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Mitchell Schwarzer

California College of the Arts, San Francisco/Oakland




Zoomscape is the name of one of Schwarzer’s books; it 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.


Travels in Outer Place

Vortrag in englischer Sprache

In less than five years, in Internet venues ranging from Google Earth to Yahoo Placemaker, a technological leap into our apprehension of physical landscape has occurred that both advances the kinds of spatial/temporal dislocations and alienations of the industrial age and takes us ›virtually‹ back to a time when we could relate deeply to a single given place. For this talk, I’d like to discuss how new on-line iterations of place are amalgamating pre-modern and modern modes of perception: pre-modern community where people communicated and derived meaning through intensive, full-sensory encounters with their locale; modern society where the sources and venues of information and communication exploded and yet where individuals favored centralized, advertised and mediatized attractions over the ordinary environment. Contemporary on-line civilization is even further distanced from in-place encounters, yet becoming individual producer/consumers of dense, open-source information targeted anyplace.



Mitchell Schwarzer ist Architekturhistoriker und beschäftigt sich in seiner Arbeit mit der urbanen und suburbanen gebauten Umwelt. Sein Interesse gilt dabei Aspekten der Mobilität, der Wahrnehmungspsychologie, der Medien, des Konsumerismus sowie des Gedächtnisses. Er promovierte zur Geschichte, Theorie und Kritik der Architektur am MIT, Boston, und ist Inhaber des Lehrstuhls für Visual Studies am California College of the Arts, San Francisco und Oakland.