At some point before publication, a book assumes its final form, the form in which it is experienced by its audience. Naturally, this audience is often oblivious to the many, sometimes complex, decisions involved in constructing visual meaning through the montage of different ideas and elements. But, although these deliberate decisions are not normally communicated to the audience, the book is always to some extent a conception, or mediated presentation. The contributors to Before Publication consider the construction of visual meaning through montage, with each essay taking as its starting point a particular artifact—from Ed Ruscha’s photobook, Every Building on the Sunset Strip to works by Sergei Eisenstein, Muriel Cooper, and Marshall McLuhan to Tristan Tzara’s unpublished Dadaglobe anthology. A common theme threading throughout the chapters is the relationship between privacy and publicity. A concise introductory chapter by the book’s editors, Nanni Baltzer and Martino Stierli places the chapters in conversation and discusses the broader subject of montage in art, architecture, and book design.
Montage has been hailed as one of the key structural principles of modernity, yet its importance to the history of modern thought about cities and their architecture has never been adequately explored. In this groundbreaking new work, Martino Stierli charts the history of montage in late 19th‑century urban and architectural contexts, its application by the early 20th‑century avant‑gardes, and its eventual appropriation in the postmodern period. With chapters focusing on photomontage, the film theories of Sergei Eisenstein, Mies van der Rohe’s spatial experiments, and Rem Koolhaas’s use of literary montage in his seminal manifesto Delirious New York (1978), Stierli demonstrates the centrality of montage in modern explorations of space, and in conceiving and representing the contemporary city. Beautifully illustrated, this interdisciplinary book looks at architecture, photography, film, literature, and visual culture, featuring works by artists and architects including Mies, Koolhaas, Paul Citroen, George Grosz, Hannah Höch, El Lissitzky, and Le Corbusier.
In 2002 Jason Griffiths and Alex Gino set out to explore the American suburbs. Over 178 days they drove 22,383 miles, made 134 suburban house calls and took 2,593 photographs. In Manifest Destiny, Griffiths reveals the results of this exploration. Structured through 58 short chapters, the anthology offers an architectural pattern book of suburban conditions all focused not on the unique or specific but the placeless. These chapters are complemented by an introduction by Griffiths and an afterword by Swiss architectural historian Martino Stierli.
In 1960, Brasilia was celebrated as the realization of an urban planning vision based on designs by Lucio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer. At the same time, the sectoral city of Chandigarh was rising according to plans by Le Corbusier. The ” test tube city” arose as an export of modernity from a Western planning euphoria that displayed utopian traits. In both cities, foreign architecture entered into a harmonious relationship with indigenous culture, forming new and independent identities. This publication addresses the question of how modernism has been appropriated in both cities, and how the people who live in them deal with it. Commonalities and differences are identified and images of everyday urban life showcased. On the initiative of the publisher, the young photographer Iwan Baan has taken stock of contemporary life in both cities. With commentary in the form of essays by Cees Nooteboom on the photographs and by Martino Stierli on the architectural and planning history.
1968, American architects Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, and Steven Izenour joined together with students from Yale University and took on Las Vegas as a subject of research. The research led to the 1972 publication of the seminal architectural theory treatise Learning from Las Vegas. Since it was first published in 1972, it has become a classic in the theory of architecture, and one of the most influential architectural texts of the twentieth century. The treatise by Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, and Steven Izenour enjoys a reputation as a signal work of postmodernism in architecture and urban planning. However, despite of the book’s prestige, none of the editions have ever featured high-quality color images of the field research Venturi, Brown, and Izenour conducted in Las Vegas and used to illustrate their argument. Las Vegas Studio presents for the first time these significant photographs in large color reproductions. The numerous pictures and films the architects shot during their research in 1968 are a crucial aspect of their architectural study, which relies heavily on these images as the foundation of their ideas. The original slides of these pictures are held by Philadelphia architecture firm Venturi, Scott Brown, & Associates, which has only now opened its archive. The book assembles a large selection of these iconic images and film stills, alongside essays that explore how the pictures contemplate the phenomenon of the modern city—forge the link to architectural practice of the decades since. Essays, including a discussion with celebrated Swiss artist Peter Fischli and highly renowned Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas on the strong and lasting influence Venturi and Scott Brwon’s images still have on contemporary art and movies, complement the pictures.
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