Architectural Aesthetics in Jacques Tati’s Playtime and Mon Oncle: towards somatic implacement, by Rick Fox

A traditional opposition in architectural theory would have it that architecture understood as a set of abstract relations and concepts ought to stand in stark contrast to architecture understood as perceptual experience of the moving body. In this paper, I argue that: i) Jacques Tati’s film Playtime and Mon Oncle give us good reason to view this opposition as a false dichotomy, and strongly suggest that architectural theory based on the incompatibility of psyche and soma ought to be rejected; and, ii) these films serve as a sketch for those philosophers, architectural thinkers, and architects concerned with moving the discourse of architecture beyond the purely visual towards an integrated approach of embodied aesthetics. Since rehearsing old objections to mind/body dualism and then adding new ones only tends to reinforce the terms of this divisive dualism, my approach to these films looks at ways in which architecture as successful place-making affords human subjects immediate placement — what Edward Casey calls implacement — and I conclude that this is aesthetically and ethically relevant for today’s architectural thinkers.

Rick Fox, Stratos Form, USA

rfox@linkline.com

Harvard Citation Guide: Fox, R. (2012) Architectural Aesthetics in Jacques Tati’s Playtime and Mon Oncle: towards somatic implacement, International Society for the Philosophy of Architecture, [blog] 06 May 2012, Available at: https://isparchitecture.wordpress.com. [Accessed: 01 June 2012].

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