How to Read (With) Benjamin: From Cultural History of Materialism to Materialist History of Culture




Footprint 18 investigates the following issues: what Benjamin understands by the ‘constellation of awakening’, how he conceptualises ‘dialectical images’, his deployment of montage, his refusal of a conception of either progress or decline, and his undertaking to show that the images belong not only to a particular time but attain legibility only at a particular time. Famously, according to Benjamin, image is that wherein what has been comes together in a flash with the now to form a constellation. With regard to the architectural theory Benjamin engaged directly with the tectonic tradition, especially the work of Bötticher. He posited the tectonic unconscious and the deployment of optical instruments as crucial for understanding the development which architecture carried from the luxus capitalist forms of commodity. In light of technical innovations in iron and glass, it expressed a form of projective dream work of the architectural around material realisations as products of the industrial revolution, with long consequences for the future.

Author Biographies

Patrick Healy, Delft University of Technology

After completion of studies in Philosophy and later Sociology and Near Eastern Languages, Pontifical University Maynooth, University College Dublin, Patrick Healy has been engaged in writing, research and teaching, mainly in the area of aesthetics and contemporary art. His recent publications include works on aesthetics, the philosophy of science and artists biographies, including a broad range of other activities associated with his work as Professor of Interdisciplinary research for the Free International University, Amsterdam, appointed 1997. He works as a Senior Researcher and tutor in the Architecture Theory Section at the Faculty of Architecture, Delft University of Technology, and provides lecture series in aesthetics and the Philosophy of Science.

Andrej Radman, Delft University of Technology

Andrej Radman has been teaching design and theory courses at Delft University of Architecture, Faculty of Architecture since 2004. A graduate of the Zagreb School of Architecture in Croatia, he is a licensed architect and recipient of the Croatian Architects Association Annual Award for Housing Architecture in 2002. Radman received his Master’s and Doctoral Degrees from TU Delft and joined Architecture Theory Section as Assistant Professor in 2008. He is a member of the National Committee on Deleuze Scholarship.


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