Enclosed by Images: Eames Multimedia Architecture

Posted March 12, 2009

Enclosed by Images: The Eames Multi-Media Architecture, 2009
By Beatriz Colomina


Professor, History and Theory
Director of Graduate Studies, Ph.D. Program
Director, Program in Media and Modernity
Titulo de Arquitecto, Ph.D., Escola Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Barcelona

An excerpt of her essay is below:

“We are surrounded today, everywhere, all the time, by arrays of multiple, simultaneous images. The idea of a single image commanding our attention has faded away. It seems as if we need to be distracted in order to concentrate. As if we – all of us living in this new kind of space, the space of information – could be diagnosed en masse with Attention Deficit Disorder. The state of distraction in the metropolis, described so eloquently by Walter Benjamin early in the twentieth century, seems to have been replaced by a new form of distraction, which is to say a new form of attention. Rather than wandering cinematically through the city, we now look in one direction and see many juxtaposed moving images, more than we can possibly synthesize or reduce to a single impression. We sit in front of our computers staring with a fixed gaze at many simultaneously ›open‹ windows through which different kinds of information stream towards us. We hardly even notice it. It seems natural, as if we were simply breathing in the information.”

To read the entire essay, click here.

Beatriz Colomina is an internationally renowned architectural historian and theorist who has written extensively on questions of architecture and media. Colomina has taught since 1988, and is the Founding Director of the Program in Media and Modernity at Princeton University, a graduate program that promotes the interdisciplinary study of forms of culture that came to prominence during the last century and looks at the interplay between culture and technology. Her books include Privacy and Publicity: Modern Architecture as Mass Media (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1994), which was awarded the 1995 International Book Award by the American Institute of Architects, has already been translated into many languages and is coming out in Spanish and in Turkish.