Materias Investigacion::Arquitectura Aerial photography Aircraft Cartography Desert Le Corbusier Malraux North Africa Sheba Zerzura
Servicio de Publicaciones Universidad de Navarra
Velasco-Pérez, Á., (2016) ""The Rise of Phaethon. An aerial travelogue to north-Africa in the interwar period"" En: Alcolea, R.A, Tárrago-Mingo, J., (eds.), en Congreso internacional: Inter photo arch ""Interferencias"", celebrado en Pamplona, los días 2 al 4 de Noviembre de 2016, (pp. 236-245)
Despite being the traditional lens through which to understand architecture, modern history
has eclipsed the bird’s eye by the car and the boat as architecture’s favourite machine.
However, aerial photography supposed a tour de force in the technologies of Modernity,
bringing legibility and empowerment into the ungraspable nineteenth-century metropolis.
A vision for which Le Corbusier argued in his Aircraft. Paradoxically, the revelatory journey
for Le Corbusier was not over the metropolis but over the desert. However, other author’s
experiences of overflying the desert challenged the scientific logic associated to god-eyed
airplane view. This paper explores the creative process set in motion by the shooting of the
desert from an airplane, showing that high-technological means did not produce a direct
process of modernisation but a more complex one in which the relations between positive
science, technology, colonisation and the uncontrollable landscape were in an unstable
equilibrium that reversed the conventions of aerial photography.