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Vahid Vahdat & James F. Kerestes

Cinematic Betwixt

Today’s conversation is with Vahid Vahdat and James Kerestes about their book Architecture, Film and the In-Between, Spatio Cinematic Betwixt’. 

Spatio Cinematic Betwixt Web

Architecture, Film and the In-Between, Spatio Cinematic Betwixt’

Discussions about trying to give shape to an uncertain future have been a recurring topic on this program. This is in part because it seems that even the most informed people are aware of just enough to know how much they don’t know. A changing climate, an evolving human body, and ubiquitous communication networks, AI, and social justice are just a few of the pressures facing us today. Such sustained change makes one wonder if the direction forward for architecture isn’t making master plans or devising grand unifying theories but instead striving to ask better questions about what appears to be a prolonged period of transition. In other words, maybe the discipline should avoid once again claiming its value by retreating into its own autonomy or offering solutions to predefined problems and instead helping to curate and guide this transitional state in which so many unknowns exist before us. To better understand these environmental, technological and social transitions, architects need to be more involved in offering nimble, iterative projections that help give our future shape. But to do this, the architect likely needs to rethink our methods of working. 

As Dona Haraway says It matters what thoughts think thoughts. It matters what knowledges know knowledges. It matters what relations relate relations. It matters what worlds world worlds. It matters what stories tell stories.’ And so, when thinking about architecture going forward, it’s likely less about better technology, or presenting solutions, and more about reorienting our starting points, questioning our assumptions and inhabiting this state of becoming. 

Vahid and James’s book brings together a collection of essays that look at how films imagine and represent in-betweenness. At times this in-betweenness is physical spaces within architectural structures and at other times it is evolving architectural or environmental conditions depicted through film. By looking at film the authors introduce us to terms and techniques often associated with film theory like the betwixt, the liminal and more.

Architecture, Film, and the In-between: Spatio-Cinematic Betwixt

Other episodes linked to the topic include Ep 043 Graham Harman OOO, Ep 090 Emanuele Coccia The Life of Plants’ and many others. Try the websites search’ function above to find more related episodes. 

Vahid Vahdat

Vahid Vahdat is assistant professor of architecture and interior design at Washington State University. His primary research is spatial mediation, with an emphasis on virtual reality and film. 

James F. Kerestes

James F. Kerestes is associate professor of architecture at Ball State University’s College of Architecture and Planning. 

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