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> Constructing the Drawing Table
as a Polyphonic and Ritualistic Site:
Shifting Remoteness into Poetic Distance

by Bahar Avanoğlu
@ EAAE, Remote Teaching workshops.03
April 2021

Conducted entirely online during the fall semester 2020-2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic with twenty-seven students, this architectural drawing project[1]has the challenging aim to create a participatory ritualistic drawing site in spite of the restrictive remote interfaces. Thereby, it aims to transform the act of static ‘screen-share’-ing into an ephemeral cinematographic performance and finally the act of ‘judge’-ing into a poetic and polyphonic conversation.

This drawing experiment is threefold. Firstly, the project aims to abolish the drawing table as the authoritarian site where the disciplinary control takes place. Relying primarily on esoteric practices and the concept of the ‘imaginal theater’,[2]each participant is asked to perform simultaneously, construct/share their tables cinematographically. The ritualistic act constructs a spiritual, labyrinthine, obscure table-machine-site as the foundation of the cognitive imagination, while expanding the regular architectural drawing vocabulary through the integration of camera, screen, sound… Secondly, the jury is not handled as a mechanism of evaluation of the finished work. Instead, it is transformed into a polyphonic gathering, whereby online remoteness shifts into a translative, poetic distance. Collaborating with a guest musician,[3]a mutual translation session is conducted, whereby the students and the guest members perform together. Thirdly, it aims to challenge the authoritarian impact of the comments given by the instructor and the jury members. Relying on Sergei Paradjanov’s concept of cine-poems and cine-frescoes, the chat-box is used as a place for writing a cine-poetic script in relation to the audio-visual performance.[4]

This experiment opens manifold creative paths. Although it relies on the opportunities of the online interface, we can argue that these manifold poetic methods could still be implemented during face-to-face education.

[1] The drawing experiment is initiated and led as a part of DrawingConstructions, an elective course at the Faculty of Architecture at Istanbul Bilgi University (initiated and instructed by Bahar Avanoğlu since 2017).

[2] Frascari, M., “Scamozzi’s Universal Theatre of the Mind”, in Paper Palaces, ed. Hart, V., Hick, P., Yale University Press, New Haven & London, 1998, p.253.

[3] In collaboration with Manuel J. Perez III(musician).

[4] The final performance is conducted upon a workshop by Ipek Avanoğlu (architect, researcher) in collaboration with Manuel J. Perez III (musician) and Jenny Hsiao (architect).

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