Author(s): Mitchell Schwarzer
Although a few among us are intrepid architectural tourists, visiting buildings and landscapes our cameras at the ready, most of us experience architecture through the windshield of a moving vehicle, the architectural experience reduced to a blurry and momentary drive-by. And the rest of our architectural "tourism" is through the images of cameras, movies, and television programs -- that is, through the lens of another's eye. Architectural hisotrian Mitchell Schwarzer calls this new mediated architectural experience the "zoomscape." In this thought-provoking book, he argues that the perception of architecture has been fundamentally altered by the technologies of transportation and the camera -- we now look at buildings, neighborhoods, cities, and even entire continents as we ride in trains, cars, and planes, and/or as we view photographs, movies, and television. Zoomscape shows how we now perceive buildings and places at high speeds, across great distances, through edited and multiple reproductions. Nowadays, our views of the architectural landscape are modulated by the accelerator pedal and the remote control, by studio production techniques and airplane flight paths. Using examples from high art and popular culture -- from the novels of Don Delillo to the opening credits of The Sopranos -- Mitchell Schwarzer shows that the zoomscape has brought about unprecedented and often marvelous new ways of perceiving the built environment.
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