Architectural Research Quarterly

theory

Thinking between diagram and image: the ergonomics of abstraction and imitation

Christoph Luedera1

a1 6 Salisbury Place, London, SW9 6UW, UK, lueder@form-ation.de

The work of the American painter Jackson Pollock speaks to us not only through exhibitions of paintings hung on gallery walls, but also through the films and photographs [1] of Hans Namuth which exposed Pollock's phased working process to the public. In the first of two distinct phases Pollock is seen immersed in, and in intimate interaction with, a large horizontal canvas. This records traces of his movement and expressive gestures in heterogeneous media. A second phase is then triggered by a pivotal operation: the horizontal recording and working surface is transposed to a vertical viewing plane. Leo Steinberg recounts that Pollock: ‘would tack the canvas on to a wall – to get acquainted with it, he used to say; to see where it wanted to go. He lived with the painting in its uprighted state, as with a world confronting his human posture’.

(Online publication May 13 2011)

Christoph Lueder is a graduate of the University of Stuttgart in architecture and urbanism, where he has also taught. He practised with Behnisch & Partners as well as Auer+Weber in Stuttgart, before setting up his own office in Zurich, along with teaching and research at the ETH. In the UK, he has taught at Canterbury School of Architecture and Kingston University. He has edited books on: Dynamische Instrumente für die Peripherie, Schlieren/ ZH, NSL, ETHZ; Extensive: Intensive, CSA, UK; and Project: Perform, Kingston University, UK.