Responsive Eyes: Urban Logistics and Kinetic Environments for the 1968 Mexico City Olympics looks closely at a series of temporary designed environments created for the organizing committee of the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. Integrating architecture, visual communication, and mass media, the design team created kinetic environments, or spaces that estranged user-beholders’ visual and spatial perceptions, inviting immersion and interaction to produce a holistic image of a thoroughly modern, socially integrated Mexico at a time when this view of Mexico was not necessarily held by audiences at home or abroad. The team’s design choices demonstrated cosmopolitan awareness of global aesthetics and discursive currents, including optical and kinetic art as well as recent advances in scientific investigation that inspired new modes of urban vision and engagement, part of an international renewal of modernist techniques and aspirations. These environments also responded to more local concerns, including Mexico City’s ongoing capitalist urbanization and reticulation of the modernist architect’s professional and social purchase in Mexico in light of increasing globalization. By situating the Olympic environments within the larger context of exhibitions of kinetic art and art happenings from the period, George F. Flaherty highlights the possibilities and limits of transformation envisaged by Mexico 68’s kinetic environments, arguing that their design provides a window through which to assess Mexican architects’ claim to act as expert mediators between the city and state, architecture and art, and Mexico and the wider world.
Responsive Eyes: Urban Logistics and Kinetic Environments for the 1968 Mexico City Olympics
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George F. Flaherty; Responsive Eyes: Urban Logistics and Kinetic Environments for the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 1 September 2014; 73 (3): 372–397. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jsah.2014.73.3.372
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