Sites Unseen: Landscape and Vision
Dianne Suzette Harris, D. Fairchild Ruggles
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007 - Architecture - 318 pages
Sites Unseen challenges conventions for viewing and interpreting the landscape, using visual theory to move beyond traditional practices of describing and classifying objects to explore notions of audience and context. While other fields, such as art history and geography, have engaged poststructuralist theory to consider vision and representation, the application of such inquiry to the natural or built environment has lagged behind. This book, by treating landscape as a spatial, psychological, and sensory encounter, aims to bridge this gap, opening a new dialogue for discussing the landscape outside the boundaries of current art criticism and theory.
As the contributors reveal, the landscape is a widely adaptable medium that can be employed literally or metaphorically to convey personal or institutional ideologies. Walls, gates, churchyards, and arches become framing devices for a staged aesthetic experience or to suit a sociopolitical agenda. The optic stimulation of signs, symbols, bodies, and objects combines with physical acts of climbing and walking and sensory acts of touching, smelling, and hearing to evoke an overall “vision” of landscape.
Sites Unseen considers a variety of different perspectives, including ancient Roman visions of landscape, the framing techniques of a Moghul palace, and a contemporary case study of Christo's The Gates, as examples of human attempts to shape our sensory, cognitive, and emotional experiences in the landscape.
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Abraham Ortelius aesthetic American ancient appeared architect architecture Belœil Berkeley buildings central century Chantilly chasse Chumash cityscape Classical Library Cambridge construction context D. F. Ruggles depicted dining hall domestic drawings environment example experience Figure frame Gates gaze Geography glass global hamlet Harvard University Harvard University Press hearth historians House Beautiful human hunting images interior Islamic jardins Jay Appleton John land Landscape Architecture landscape historians Loeb Classical Library look Marcel Breuer Martin Jay Mass modern Mughal Native nature object Ortelius outdoors painting Paris Park perspective Photo pictorial picturesque plants pleasure political postwar prince de Condé representation Richard Edes Harrison Robert Smithson Roman Rome scape scene scholars screen social space spatial specific Stourhead symbolic tion tourist trans urban viewer Villa vistas visual culture visual theory W. J. T. Mitchell walls Wolschke-Bulmahn woodland York