Next to Nothing: Psychogeography and the "Film Essay"

In Igea Troiani & Suzanne Ewing (eds.), Visual Research Methods in Architecture. Bristol, UK: Intellect. pp. 204-17 (2021)
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Abstract

The idea of the “film essay,” from Alexandre Astruc to Harun Farocki, concerns arguments for and/or against cinema and its truth-telling apparatuses. For example, as discordant and often-dark elegy for themes present in everyday cultural criticism, yet themes often eclipsed by rationalist and neo-positivist biases, the subjective states of the “film essay” hold considerable promise toward new visual methodologies or procedures for psychogeographical inquiry in landscape-architectural discourse – through foregrounding novel forms of so-called vision plans toward the much-needed short circuit of persistent analytical models grounded in programmatic hubris. When applied to environmental design disciplines, the reverie-inducing “film essay” acts as a critique of the usual rules and biases of project design development and presentation methodologies, conjuring possible futures for sites that do not automatically default to utilitarian concerns and/or mere political expediency.

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