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This presentation examines the role of László Moholy-Nagy’s experiments in architectural education of the Weimar era, by analysing innovations in technology of photograms, photography and photo-sculptures. Shifting the focus from artistic to technical issues, Moholy-Nagy’s innovative Bauhaus course has drastically changed the way we practice architecture today and has established the scientific foundations of architectural research. In 1930, art historian Franz Roh captured space in Moholy-Nagy’s work and interpreted his method as ‘the forming of space by means of colored flashing light.’ Basing his photography experiments on surface projections, Moholy-Nagy has made otherwise invisible spaces visible. It was a continuation of his insights into unused technical capabilities of the camera apparatus. His work paved a way to numerous innovative architectural experiments in connection to surface materiality: from application in scenography to modern surface condition of facades and contemporary practice that concretises surface tension of the media. What started in 1923 Bauhaus preliminary course, is followed by experiments with the colored glass utopias of sci-fi writer Paul Scheerbart and architect Bruno Taut, toward Mies van der Rohe’s architectural practice of releasing the materiality of the surface, and Elizabeth Diller’s interior projection onto folding screens. By contextualizing the study of projections within surface materiality, I will deal with one aspect of the forming of space: the passage from material to representational through surface projections. These historiographic possibilities are most strikingly reflected in Moholy-Nagy’s proposals for multiple, simultaneous projections onto all kinds of surfaces. Referring to cinematic projection spaces, Moholy-Nagy was critical of thinking that did not fully take account of the medium’s technical possibilities of both photography and film. Studying these unused potentials, the research pays homage to these micro-histories that have been coupled with contemporary theoretical reflection to turn these surface phenomena into the surface’s dichotomy between the material and immaterial.

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Katarina Andjelkovic 2167
Scientific production

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