CIOTAT STUDIO
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CIOTAT STATION is a roving venue for cinema architecture and architecture cinema, coming soon to a city near you. It might look, or at least feel, like this image. It is inspired by some of the world's earliest and most creative screening rooms, and it rejects the passive model of viewing found in conventional theaters. Thomas Edison first exhibited his motion pictures in a kinetoscope, a large box with a single-person viewing window. Although he placed several of these boxes into public venues, the experience itself was private. The Lumière Brothers were the first to project images through the air. Their invention, the Cinématographe, acted as both camera and projector. The acts of filming and viewing were inverses of a single, inherently public, device. The first public screening occurred in the basement of the Salon Indien du Grand Café in Paris in 1895. Later, the Lumière Brothers projected images from the Cinématographe onto translucent screens, placed in the middle of simple rooms. Viewing occurred on both sides of the image, creating an inversion of front and back that recalls the inversion of production and exhibition inherent to the Cinématographe. The Lumière Brothers adopted a more theatrical model of space when they opened the Eden, the first true cinema in the world, in La Ciotat in 1898. In an attempt to slow the declining popularity of cinema after 1910 and to rescue the medium from the graveyard of tire fads, production studios promoted a theatrical "fourth-wall" model of public viewing, where a proscenium strictly separates viewer and viewed. They correctly assumed that movie "theaters" could charge higher fees and attract a more affluent audience than screening rooms. In the spirit of Dziga Vertov's mobile/portable projection apparatus, Ciotat Studio seeks a return to ad hoc and adaptive screening venues.