Modernist Architecture and Visual Culture: Online Forms of Distribution
The project Socialist Modernism documents and aims to protect modernist architecture from Central and Eastern Europe. The platform consists of an online archive with images and texts, an interactive map, and thousands of photographs uploaded on the social media pages and groups administered by the project team. In this paper, I approach critically ... the infrastructure of distribution provided by this initiative by analyzing two examples of visual representation of architecture. I focus on the content of images, how the material is shared and how it is received on social media. I advance the claim that, in addition to the information about modernist architecture, this project generates data that is relevant for other directions of research, such as visual analysis, cultural heritage, postsocialism, and urban studies. This exploratory analysis draws attention to relevant methodological and conceptual questions and relations that can serve as directions for further research. These range from methodological issues of connecting archival research with social media analysis to conceptual tensions between aestheticized representations of architecture and architectural photography that includes specific references to social issues.
Original publication in
On_culture: the open journal for the study of culture 8 (2019)