Kambiz Shafei

Kambiz Shafei

Displaced Sites


Since the invention of photography the relation of images and reality has gone through many developments. A photograph as an optical document of the outside world has always been associated with notions like translation, reality, manipulation, memory, absence, presence, invention and ultimately death.
This research project investigates the relationship of architecture and images and the ways they construct and deconstruct one another. The construction process of the reality of a future built environment and its deconstruction through images, brings us to Jacque Derrida’s Deconstruction concept. Just like Derrida’s Deconstrution between text and meaning the construction and deconstruction of built space through images is not supposed to be an ineffective process of refusal which aims at demolishing the reality of either projected or documented architectural space. The role of Deconstruction in the mutual translations between architecture and images as well as images and discourse is the theoretical basis of this PhD research project.
Since the temporal reality of architecture is not a fixed entity that is waiting to be recorded or projected, there seems to be a need to apply the same unfixed approach in the creation of architecture images. This research project aims at aligning this approach of image generation together with the methodologies of Practice-led Iconic Research in order to translate the ‘Poetic of the Real’ into image sequences.
As Derrida mentions: “... when the referent itself consists of frames that are themselves framed [temporality of architecture], the index of the wholly other, however marked it may be, endlessly defers reference. [...] Not that it suspends reference, but that it indefinitely defers a certain type of reality, that of the perceptible referent. It gives the prerogative to the other, opens the infinite uncertainty of a relation to the completely other, a relation without relation.”1
In a sequence, images are selected and rearranged into a narrative which could define the unfolding of time. It is in an image sequence that the uncertainty of the relations can be defined. The contribution of this research project is to study these different aspects of image making to find experimental and alternative relations and narratives for the representation of built space. This dissertation aims at showing, since architectural relations are not unique, the translation of the temporal and concrete complexities of built space to the two dimensions of an image can also not be a singular set of circumstances.

1 Richter, G.: Afterness: Figures of Following in Modern Thought and Aesthetics, New York: Columbia University Press, 2011.

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