Reid 1 Michael Reid Prof. This article was ground-breaking in its ability to explain transparency in art as a precedent for a new kind of transparency in architecture. Rowe and Slutzky identify transparency in architecture as more than a mere visual perception of clarity but as a new psychological perception of time and space. A clearly ambiguous form of transparency conveys meaning in both art and architecture.
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Reid 1 Michael Reid Prof. This article was ground-breaking in its ability to explain transparency in art as a precedent for a new kind of transparency in architecture. Rowe and Slutzky identify transparency in architecture as more than a mere visual perception of clarity but as a new psychological perception of time and space.
A clearly ambiguous form of transparency conveys meaning in both art and architecture. There exists at least two types of transparency in art: literal and phenomenal. This type of transparency, which can even be recognized by the untrained eye, is associated with modern architecture through its use of glass.
Phenomenal Transparency on the other hand looks past what is real or literal and sees a depth that only exists in the psychological perception of time and space.
Phenomenal transparency uses the juxtaposition of spatial order to cause the experience of conflict, which in turn the psyche tries to rationalize, causing the interpretation of the art to be ambiguous. The unique experience of each viewer allows for a deep inner meaning to occur. Ambiguous interpretations conveying meaning in art started to appear in Cubist Paintings of the early 20th century.
However, through further contemplation the painting reveals a tipping forward of the objects in space; by the use of contrasting colors, varying sources of light and canvas intersecting the base of the mountain, the background becomes the foreground Slutzsky, The contemplation of spatial perception in the blending together of the background, middleground and foreground, causes each viewer to interpret the space differently.
The three organic forms converge and diverge from one another, causing the eye to wander continuously from one object to the next. It is through this spatial structure that the viewer is unable to decipher which of the three objects is the most important to the painting. There is not necessarily one correct way of looking at a cubist painting; it is through this ambiguous interpretation that meaning can be obtained. Advances in modern cubist paintings led to similar advances in the ambiguity of architecture.
This contemplation of spatial depth of the glazing in relation to the wall of the Villa at Garches shows how architecture juxtaposes forms to bring ambiguity into structure.
The design for the Palace of the League of Nations by Le Corbusier created a design that would have eluded the eye in many different ways. He then hides the entry and makes the palace appear as a flat elevation. However, as one gets closer they start to realize that the building has depth. Through this contemplation of what is real and what is deep space one begins to form different.
Reid 3 opinions. The clearly ambiguous nature of the Palace at the League of Nations is represented through the occasional suppression of the third dimension. This occasional suppression captivates the viewer and causes one to investigate how the building is laid out.
Meaning in art and architecture is conveyed through the use of the ambiguous transparency. Juxtaposing forms in both of these mediums allow for phenomenal transparency through the rationalization of the spatial perception of time and space, causing ambiguous interpretations to occur. These varying interpretations allow for the experience of space to be unique to each viewer.
There is not necessarily one right or wrong way to have this experience. Both literal and phenomenal transparency have positive and negative attributes. Literal transparency in architecture is very direct and can be seen even by the common man. However, phenomenal transparency is abstract and hard to comprehend, but brings deep inner meaning to the uniqueness of the architecture.
Reid 4 Bibliography Roest, Hans. Slutzky, Robert, and Colin Rowe. Through this contemplation of what is real and what is deep space one begins to form different Reid 3 opinions. Mike Reid.
Published on Mar 13, Go explore.
Transparency: Literal and Phenomenal
Rowe and Slutzky, quotes Gyorgy Kepes for defining transparency as a result of transparent figures interpenetrating each other without optical destruction, but transparency also implies something broader than optical effects, as it also includes spatial effects. This overlapping and interpenetrating of figures conjures an ambiguity or contradiction of spatial dimensions. The concepts and conditions of transparency parallel movements of Relativity theories and their implications; where space-time relativistic thinking allows for two objects to co-exist simultaneously in the same space and time, as such transparency is a space-time condition of betweeness, a simultaneous perception of space. To introduce new terms into the dialectic of transparency, one can appropriate the terms of Sol Le Witt, and the Conceptual Art movement of the s, in order to reinterpret Transparency as being perceptual or conceptual. Perceptual transparency is a transparency of looking , as the transparent conditions arise due to an overlapping of material or substance, whereas Conceptual transparency is a transparency of reading , thus engaging the mind of the viewer or reader, in order to interpret and understand successive layered spaces as modes of transparent phenomena.
With this set of evidence, Rowe sets out his basic tenets that define transparency:. One can, for this reason, distinguish between a literal and a phenomenal transparency. In this way, Rowe defines literal transparency as the physical translucence inherent in a material or structure. There is no ambiguity as to the form or that which lies behind the plane of the transparent surface.