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Title: Transmedial cathedrals : architectural history in and between new media in Germany, 1900-1945
Author: Wilkinson, T. M. O.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7660 0424
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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Architectural history was produced via a number of new media practices in early twentieth-century Germany; this thesis asks why, how, and for whom - and what kinds of knowledge resulted. Existing studies in this area are monographic, focusing on individual media, actors, or objects, whereas this work examines several communication technologies, as well as both avant-garde and conservative protagonists. It is divided into three chapters. The first considers the production of photobooks by figures such as Paul Schultze-Naumburg, Karl Robert Langewiesche, Sigfried Giedion, and Adolf Behne. The second concerns films about Gothic architecture, both fictional (such as Der Golem) and documentary. The final chapter is devoted to radio broadcasts about architectural history, especially those of Walter Benjamin and Wilhelm Pinder. This synoptic inquiry reveals the changes wrought by media during the period, as the parameters of art-historical discourse were reconfigured and new publics were produced. At the same time, by means of this comparative approach, the boundaries of individual media are opened up to investigate a more fluid zone of intermediality in which the image of the building was unsettled and opened to new uses. In the course of such transmediations, the media were hybridised and the knowledge of history was modernised, undermining the attempts of more reactionary authors to reinforce medial boundaries and to redeem the present by reintroducing it to historical architecture using technological means. Others used the media in more productive ways, critically harnessing their qualities or refunctioning them to suit their purposes. However, they too ran up against the obstinacy of the media, which rendered the quest for an oppositional public around art quixotic at best. This situation presents striking parallels to the present day, and this study concludes by considering the ramifications of architectural history's past engagement with new media for an age of smartphones.
Supervisor: Schwartz, F. ; Fend, M. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available