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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments

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.


In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the John Lindsay administration in New York City created innovative policies to try to draw on-location media production to the city. At the same time, the New York City Planning Commission was producing a wealth of documents that clearly reflect the influence of various media depictions of New York. Imaginary Apparatus reveals the links between those two efforts, showing how they fed each other. As more and more films and TV shows were shot on location in New York, mediated images of the city and its buildings proliferatedandmdash;and those same images exerted a powerful influence on the imaginations of the planners who were generating ideas for New Yorkandrsquo;s future development. Included with thisbook is a DVD featuring the movie What Is the City but the People?, the film version of the 1969 andquot;Plan for New York Cityandquot; and a unique document that has never before been publicly available.and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;

A groundbreaking exploration of a key moment in New York history, Imaginary Apparatus reveals fascinating hidden linkages between representations of the city and the actual built environment.


Imaginary Apparatus: New York City and its Mediated Representation is a book about the relationship between New York and its mediated image. The analysis is rooted in events and policies during the John V. Lindsay Mayoral tenure in New York, from 1966 to 1973. During this period, the city created innovative policy intended to draw on-location media production to New Yorkand#8217;s streets. Simultaneously, the New York City Planning Commission and associated offices produced a wealth of documents that reflect conceptual and aesthetic influences of various visual media. The authorand#8217;s contention is that the effects of these two areas of ambition under Lindsay were richly interrelated. These policies then proved resonant with contemporaneous business developments in film and television production, and emergent cultural attitudes towards media. The first part of this this book describes a relationship between New York City and its mediated representation at the conjuncture of these circumstances, tracing the interrelation of their attendant cultural, economic and aesthetic valences. Thus, the analysis unpacks one story of the conditions through which New Yorkand#8217;s mediated representation became imbricated within the cityand#8217;s apparent physical reality. The second part of this book punctuates the legacy of Lindsayand#8217;s policies by analyzing their effects on New York Cityand#8217;s built environment. Planning and urban design initiatives with a connection to Lindsayand#8217;s tenure are analyzed and traced to their effects on buildings and urban spaces throughout New York City. Thus, the influence of visual media on New Yorkand#8217;s built environment is identified in specific case studies.

Research for the book has involved the collection of a diverse array of sources. McLain Clutter has amassed important materials from archives, including the John V. Lindsay Papers at Yale University, the New York City Municipal Archives, the Gregory Bateson Papers at the University of California Santa Cruz, the Museum of Modern Art archives and others. He has collected and analyzed the text and imagery of a wealth of historic planning documents like the 1969 Plan for New York City and its film-version, What is the City but the People?. He has conducted a formal analyses of media produced as a result of John Lindsayand#8217;s policies, and of buildings and urban spaces resultants from the policies of Lindsayand#8217;s Planning Commission. Finally, he has personally met and interviewed several individuals who were involved in either media production or Urban Planning/Design during John Lindsayand#8217;s mayoral tenure. Together, the materials he has amassed span in register from the rote (such as city taxation documents), to the highly aesthetic (such as several photographic and filmic artifacts). His analysis draws out latent conceptual and material connections between the heterogeneous assemblage of sources he has compiled. In sum, the many connections he establishes amount to web of relationships that constitute an un-described relationship between New York City and its mediated representation.

About the Author

and#160;McLain Clutter is an architect and assistant professor at the University of Michiganandrsquo;s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning.


Table of Contents


Part 1: The Apparatus

Part 2: The City

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Spectator

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Desire

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Ecology




Product Details

Trade Paperback
Publication date:
Age Range:
from 13 up to 99 and up
Grade Range:
from 8 up to 17
Number of Units:
Copyright Year:
Series Volume:
UPC Code:
McLain Clutter
Mitchell Scwharzer
Mitchell Schwarzer
Mitchell Schwarzer
Architecture and technology
Visual perception
Architecture, Modern — 20th century.
General Architecture
Architecture, modern


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