Journal Article

The Media(tion) of Building: Manifesto Architecture in the Czech Avant-Garde

Andrew Herscher

in Oxford Art Journal

Volume 27, issue 2, pages 193-217
Published in print January 2004 | ISSN: 0142-6540
Published online January 2004 | e-ISSN: 1741-7287 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oaj/27.2.193
The Media(tion) of Building: Manifesto Architecture in the Czech
          Avant-Garde

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This essay examines the mass mediation of interwar Czech avant-garde architecture. Existing accounts of modern architecture's mass mediation have tended to shift historical analysis from a consideration of ‘author as producer’ to ‘author as reproducer’; in contrast, this essay considers authorship itself as an effect of mediated reproduction, of a circulation of signs that was not only managed by the avant-garde but also constituent of avant-garde subject positions and modes of object production. Thus, in an attempt to acknowledge the transformations in subjectivity, authorship, and the architectural work wrought by mass mediation, I track architectural effects that emerged through an array of avant-garde media practices, focusing on the typography, editing and advertising work of Karel Teige. Rather than seeing this work as a mediation of Teige's theoretical claims about architecture, I argue that it was structured by the dynamics of mass media discourse, a structuring evident in the slide of media texts and images processed by Teige into advertising – for avant-garde goods and services and for the media platforms that hosted them.

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Subjects: Art Forms ; Art Styles ; Art Subjects and Themes ; History of Art ; Theory of Art

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