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  • Articulating space: the translation of modern architectural space into filmic space through artists' film and moving image practice

Richardson, Emily, 2019, Thesis, Articulating space: the translation of modern architectural space into filmic space through artists' film and moving image practice PhD thesis, Royal College of Art.

Abstract or Description:

Using a practice-based method, the outcome of this research is a trilogy of films looking at three post-war modern prototype houses built by British architects. The examples chosen are: H.T. ‘Jim’ and Betty Cadbury-Brown’s 3 Church Walk; Aldeburgh, Suffolk (1962); John Penn’s Beach House, Shingle Street, Suffolk (1969)
and Richard and Su Rogers’ Spender House and Studio, near Maldon, Essex (1968).
With each of the films a house is reconstructed on film, reactivating the architectural space as filmic space. The films explore the interaction between architectural space and its filmic translation using artists’ film and moving image practice as a method to examine how the relationship between moving image and sound can activate architectural space to create a sensory experience on film, and to determine how the physical traces remaining contribute to new possible readings of the architectural examples considered.
The combined research project and the films examine two architectures that are inhabited simultaneously: physical architectural space and filmic architectural space.
Techniques and conventions of both documentary and artists’ film and moving image practices such as critical and reflexive filmmaking, direct observation, archive
research materials, sound composition from location recording and archive sound are used to rework space in filmic terms. Taking an individually tailored approach to each of the soundtracks of the films highlights the role of sound in activating architectural space on film.
Following the premise of the house as a phenomenological concept set out by Gaston Bachelard and examining Giuliana Bruno’s notion of the film viewer as voyageur as opposed to voyeur, the shift from optic to haptic is explored through my practice to examine how an architectural space can be translated to film in a way that goes beyond functional description into the realm of the poetic, narrative and the event.
Several case studies of artists’ films by Heinz Emigholz, Elizabeth Price, Man Ray and John Smith that take the modern house as subject are analysed to demonstrate a range of approaches to articulating space on film. How each one allows for a
particular reading or understanding that operates outside of the official historical narratives of modern architecture is discussed.
In the context of wider research into the interrelationships between film and architecture and the role moving image and sound play in interpretations of architectural space, this project shows how this practice-based method arrives at a contribution to knowledge of the particular buildings chosen, and how this method contributes to current readings of the modern house in film. New knowledge is generated on each of the case study buildings as evidenced through the films, which are an artistic response to each of the houses and through the writing, which gives a historical, theoretical and formal context to the works produced. In capturing these houses lost to architectural history, reactivating the spaces through moving image and sound the films, both individually and as a trilogy are a contribution to knowledge. Each acts as a record of a significant example of 1960s design at a moment in its history, adding to the archive of each and providing material for further research in the area.

Qualification Name: PhD
Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W600 Cinematics and Photography
School or Centre: School of Communication
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2019 16:53
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2019 16:58
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/3844

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