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From Ando to Zumthor, SCI-Arc’s Media Archive Arrives Online


Frank Gehry in a 1976 interview, now digitized and online in the SCI-Arc Media Archive.

You’ve exhausted your Netflix queue and watched every episode of Homeland (twice), but fresh video wonders await you in the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc)’s Media Archive, which is now online with more than 1,000 hours–and counting–of architecture and design lectures, symposia, and events dating to 1974. Among the video trove is this 1976 interview with Frank Gehry. “The work of Donald Judd fascinates me. It’s sort of using cheap materials and getting a lot of response out of it,” a 47-year-old Gehry tells Shelly Kappe. “I guess that’s minimal art…I’m not just interested in minimal art, though. I don’t think that’s my whole thing, although it appears that way in some of the buildings. I’m more into the illusionary qualities of a building and creating a visual richness without it really being there. You almost have to trip over it. I guess it’s minimal in that sense.”

Created with funding from the Getty Foundation (as part of the “Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture” initiative) and the National Endowment for the Arts, the web-based archive also includes rare footage of Charles Eames, Zaha Hadid, David Hockney, Rem Koolhaas, John Lautner, Thom Mayne, Eric Owen Moss, and Kazuyo Sejima, among hundreds of others. And many of the architects and artists appear more than once, providing opportunities to analyze their development over the span of their careers. Don’t miss the “Exhibits” section, which features handpicked assortments of videos around particular themes. Delve into one called “Unfrozen Music (and Dancing)” and you’ll encounter Richard Neutra‘s wife, Dione, singing folksongs and accompanying herself on the cello.

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