David Kolb

Stones, Screens, and Spirits: Opacity and Transparency in Hegel and Beyond

There are always stones, hard and heavy, lying about separate from one another. Then we put them together into buildings. For Hegel, architecture is a curious art. It stands at the beginning of his hierarchy of the arts, the least spiritual, yet with its own distinctive mission. the unifying teleology of an architectural artwork is external architecture works with brute matter at its most external: heavy and extended, and shown as such. Spirit’s higher transparent self-positing and self-exposition winds around or over this hard stone. I discuss how the external endures amid that self-transparency, and what happens to Hegel’s strategies today, when the ways that architecture is now going beyond its role of resisting and expressing gravity architecture is going digital and weightless and loosening its connection with gravity.

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