Research Line 3

Urban Aesthetics: Digital Age and Cinematographic Effects

This aesthetic research line integrates the art and technology of producing images and the history, theory, and pedagogy of its relationship with the social sciences and visual culture. In addition to achieving research results and knowledge, it is essential to focus on two strictly convergent studies involved in aesthetic experience: environmental and urban aesthetics—the interactions between nature, architecture, framing photography, moving images, and media—to understand the current value of the aesthetic realm. This study explores space and time modalities in the interdisciplinary exchange between perception studies and cinematic methods, theories, and editing effects (montages of fragments of environmental and urban scenarios). The objective is to prioritize the potential of cinematic representation: moving images in the transition from nature and architecture to a screen-mediated environment and framing photography through photosensitive surfaces and their digital counterparts. Some important aspects are considered, such as the inclusion of new subjects and objects in the field of perception of what Walter Benjamin referred to as “sensory-perceived shocks.” Furthermore, films allow for an affective response from the viewer, a subjective experience—the Kino-Eye style that generates a particular effect. One of the best-known cinematographic effects grew from the mission of the Kino-Eye to resist everyday life and reconfigure perception, thus, allowing individuals to have cinematic relationships outside the cinema. The potential use of cinema as an instrument of social transformation with the political-cultural power to form critical thinking is highlighted. These ideas are further related to the perception of movement: how one moves or is mediated in an environment or urban space. The visual narrative involves memory as much as the act of seeing. Memory is a process in which visual sequences are perceived and coordinated in the imagination. Insights are also shaped by how environmental and urban perceptions influence this interplay. Therefore, a conception of space is not developed independently of forms, nor is it entirely autonomous. However, the space-time perception of the elements of internal and external spaces or the connections between them always reflects the visual narrative’s conditions. Finally, this research line should offer theoretical, critical reviews and an in-depth analysis of the socio-historical importance of practical possibilities for environmental and urban spaces.