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Cultural TechniquesGrids, Filters, Doors, and Other Articulations of the Real$
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Bernhard Siegert

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823263752

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823263752.001.0001

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(Not) in Place

(Not) in Place

The Grid, or, Cultural Techniques of Ruling Spaces

(p.97) 6 (Not) in Place
Cultural Techniques

Bernhard Siegert

, Geoffrey Winthrop-Young
Fordham University Press

The chapter aspires to describe some of the basic aspects of our media culture by pointing to the histories, interconnections and mutual translatability of imaging grid (as introduced by Alberti), cartographic grid (as introduced by Ptolemy), topographic grid (as put to use by early modern Spanish colonialism), speculative grid (as put to use by the land surveys of the early United States), and planning grid (as introduced by architects like Neufert and Le Corbusier in the twentieth century). Like in the case of the Renaissance grid that effectivelyc ombines an imaging process (Alberti’s velum) with a topographical planning procedure (the colonial settlement of Latin America), it is the linking of representational and operative functions, which turns the grid into a formidable cultural technique. Linked with the convertibility of these diverse grids and with corresponding scaling techniques, grids have become the basis of a mediatization of space from which hardly anything can escape.

Keywords:   Grid, Velum, Alberti, Geodetic Grid, Spanish colonial topography, Land survey, United States of America, Architecture

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