Subproject B02 — Architectonic and Visually Mediated Conceptions of Security
in the Early Modern Period
The subproject addresses notions and perceptions of security that were uniquely constituted and represented in the early modern period through architecture and visual media. In the Holy Roman Empire, architecture took on major importance for planning and establishing external and internal security to fend off warlike threats and to secure public and private spaces. The rationality of the new forms of fortification, geometrically defined systems of bastions, not only emphasised the specialised knowledge of architects and engineers, but also presented an image of princes as skilled warlords. In addition to addressing particular architectural motifs, the sub-project will examine the symbolic use of visual media in the context of socio-political communication and in the associated security discourse through the end of the 18 th century. The underlying premise is that security occupied an important place in symbolic communication and that the visualisation of security was enhanced by architectonic symbols and various visual media. In terms of methodology, the critical insight is that the design, perception, and use of architectures, spaces, and visual media not only served to enable purposeful action but also embodied semiotic qualities that presupposed a communicative context. The construction of fortifications and the accompanying use of various visual media was always embedded in potential conflict and decision-making processes, which articulated the security interests of specific social groups and political institutions.