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Kinaesthetic impulses : aesthetic experience, bodily knowledge, and pedagogical practices in Germany, 1871-1918

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dc.contributor.advisor Mark M. Jarzombek. en_US Çelik, Zeynep, Ph. D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.contributor.other Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture. en_US 2008-05-19T16:12:04Z 2008-05-19T16:12:04Z 2007 en_US 2007 en_US
dc.description Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 2007. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (p. 239-276). en_US
dc.description.abstract This dissertation studies a moment of transition in German aesthetics in the late nineteenth century. Starting in the 1870s, groups of artists, architects, historians, critics, connoisseurs, and museum officials in Germany declared that traditional aesthetics, which had operated "from above" with metaphysical concepts such as the beautiful and the sublime, was obsolete. According to these intellectuals, the old aesthetics needed to be replaced by a scientific and empirical "aesthetics from below." The emergence of the new aesthetics was closely related to the rise of mass politics and mass culture in the newly unified Germany. Concerned that an attentive and contemplative perception could not be afforded by the masses, these liberal-minded members of the educated middle classes theorized a new kind of aesthetic experience that was based on corporeal pleasure rather than intellectual judgment. According to this model, an aesthetic encounter with an artwork was primarily kinaesthetic: an artwork elicited an unconscious and immediate effect on the musculature of its beholder. I examine three episodes, in which this idea was employed to pedagogical ends at the turn of the twentieth century. In the work of the artist Hermann Obrist (1862-1927), the kinaesthetic model of experience became the basis of a new pedagogy for the arts, which utilized the unconscious movements of the body to choreograph the production and reception of aesthetic effects. The architect August Endell (1871-1925) theorized these effects further and attempted to invent an exact science of design, which correlated architectural forms to the reaction that they would produce in the human body. en_US
dc.description.abstract (cont.) The same idea of kinaesthetic response appeared within art historical circles under the rubric of the Baroque at the turn of the twentieth century, particularly in the debates between Heinrich Wilfflin (1864-1945) and August Schmarsow (1853-1936) on the nature of the painterly (malerisch). The double slide lecture was an ingenious solution devised by the incipient discipline of modern art history simultaneously to utilize the pedagogical effectiveness of kinaesthetic experience and to control its sensual excess. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Zeynep Çelik. en_US
dc.format.extent 276 p. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights M.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.rights.uri en_US
dc.subject Architecture. en_US
dc.title Kinaesthetic impulses : aesthetic experience, bodily knowledge, and pedagogical practices in Germany, 1871-1918 en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US Ph.D. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 222346373 en_US

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