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Intensity of Scrutiny and a Good Eyeful.

Whiteley, N .S. (2003) Intensity of Scrutiny and a Good Eyeful. Journal of Architectural Education, 56 (4). 8 -16.

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Abstract

During the period of the "new architecture" in the 1910s and 1920s, transparency was remarkable, a sign of modernity and progress that was not just technical, but also aesthetic and ethical. However, it changed with consumer capitalism in the 1950s and 60s, and underwent further transformations in the 1990s. This essay sketches some of the key changes and shows, first, how something initially associated with honesty rapidly became problematic once the power of the gaze was noticed and, second, that ambivalence characterizes our contemporary response to a transparency associated with both scrutiny and voyeurism.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Architectural Education
Additional Information: This text is part of Whiteley's research on changing cultural values in the visual arts in the second half of the twentieth century. It developed from invited papers given at a seminar co-hosted by the University of Plymouth, the British Sociological Association, and the Landscape Research Group (London, 2001), and the Association of Art Historians' annual conference (Oxford, 2001). During the period of the 'New Architecture' in the 1920s, transparency was a sign of modernity and progress which was not just technical, but also aesthetic and ethical. However, it changed with consumer capitalism in the 1950s and '60s, and underwent further transformations in the 1980s and '90s. The essay attempts to show, first, how something initially associated with honesty rapidly became problematic once the power of the gaze was noticed and, second, that ambivalence characterises our contemporary response to a transparency associated with both scrutiny and voyeurism. Methodologically, the essay pulls together different historical and social uses of the concept of transparency. It was quoted from in the editorial to the Architecture Review's special issue on transparency (February 2005). Whiteley also received a request from the Head of History and Theory of Architecture at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, to use the essay as lead text with postgraduate students in China. Following publication, Whiteley was invited to deliver the Morgan Public Lecture presented by the Allen R. Hite Institute and the University of Louisville at the Speed Museum, Louisville, (March 2006) on the topic of ''Seeing through architecture: the changing meaning of transparency in architecture.' Another invitation resulted in him addressing the Theory and Design in the Digital Age: first International Symposium in Croatia (August 2004) on this topic. RAE_import_type : Journal article RAE_uoa_type : LICA
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts
ID Code: 4247
Deposited By: ep_importer
Deposited On: 29 Feb 2008 11:03
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 18:08
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/4247

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