Going Underground: Travel Beneath the Metropolis 1863-2013
17 January 2013
Marko Jobst
Movement, Vision, Underground
Green Park Tube Station, London (wikipedia)

Green Park Tube Station, London (wikipedia)

Abstract: This paper looks at the history of vision in architectural modernity and its failed acknowledgement of the London Underground. While there have been a number of studies of the architecture of Underground stations, including the interiors of the network – the Underground corridors and station platforms – the specificity of the visual regimes that the Underground establishes has been overlooked.

The paper aims to demonstrate that the establishment of the Underground represents modernity’s unacknowledged conjunction of interiority, mobility and imaging, which locates it at an interesting intersection of well-rehearsed arguments regarding the regimes of vision established in the era of the railways, the visual regimes associated with architectural interiors of modernity, and the regime of moving images that emerged at the end of the nineteenth century. In order to do this, I will look at the history of perspective in relation to the architectural interior, as elucidated by Nicholas Temple in Disclosing Horizons; the visual regimes established by the railways earlier in the nineteenth century in the interpretation of Wolfgang Schivelbusch in The Railway Journey; and the conception of mobile imagining in film, offered by Gilles Deleuze in Cinema1 and Cinema 2. The aim is to show that London Underground, as the first underground transportation system of its kind, established a model of mobile architectural imagining that brought together several trajectories of vision, yet remains unacknowledged as such in the histories of modernity.

Biography: Marko Jobst has a DIA from Belgrade University and March, MSc and PhD from The Bartlett, University College London. He is a senior lecturer in Architecture at Greenwich University and has written for The Architects’ Journal on architecture and film. He writes about the London Underground and Gilles Deleuze and is interested in film, philosophy and experimental writing. He also contributes to Mikser in Belgrade.

To listen to this podcast click here.