Urban Drifting, part 1: The Controlled City

this is reminding of a couple things that I will have to, somewhat grudgingly and unhappily, need to think about.

Deterritorial Investigations

When the Europeans landed on the shores of far-off lands, traversing the geographies of the Other, they brought with them what the perceived to be the light of civilization. This was the light of the Enlightenment – creative, mutable forces to be sure, but a light that simultaneously aimed to organize, regiment, recreate things in its own image, each object in its proper and fixed space. Autonomous circuits of localized knowledge – metis, as James C. Scott calls it – were something to be broken up, wayward systems that they seemed to be, requiring a rapid replacement by calculation and measure. Polycropping, for instance, took on the aesthetic appearance of the nature from which it emerged, a chaotic and disorderly system bound by no rigid segments, Cartesian angles, and thus was phased out by the colonialists and replaced with a system of “pure stand planting,” devoid of the ecological…

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what does ‘ubiquity’ do to ‘the image’?

reminding myself to review. But in thinking about the last paragraph, the need to grapple with the ‘spread-ness’ and wondering if that should be quantitative…. it reminds of a recent panel discussion where one tech worker said of data ‘market researchers have a lot of information on what we buy, but they don’t know why.’ When mentioning this to another friend who conducts user research, she simply said, ‘well, they don’t really need to know. They have enough information to compile a consumer that gets close enough.’ An approximation, in my words. I can’t help but think that a quantative method to deal with the spread-ness is simply an approximate story we will inevitably construct to make sense of the data. I’m not sure what the alternative is, but I feel content to say, ‘it’s ubiquitous,’ I mean, with a statistic like ’72 hours of youtube uploaded every minute’ and that is just one particular platform, that seems like that conveys a sense of the extent, one that demands extrapolation as it continues to change by the minute.

visual/method/culture

handcoverI’ve just been reading Martin Hand’s new book Ubiquitous Photography, which is part of a series on digital media and society published by Polity Press.

It’s an interesting read because it takes an approach to photography which Martin describes as “non-essentialist”: that is, he understands photography not through A Theory of The Photograph, but rather as a practice, a process, which can and does take an extraordinarily wide range of forms.  He backs this up with some nice empirical investigations .  This approach is still all-too-rare in discussions of photography, in my view, but absolutely vital for understanding what photography and photos are doing now.

The book’s conclusions explore three broader consequences of ubiquitous photography: for the intersection of photographical practices with social change; for the making and remaking of memory; and for the public performance of selves.  All very persuasive, I think.

The book concludes by emphasising the…

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Back from the AAG

After a much needed trip to the land of sunshine, I’m back in soggy Seattle. Our panels of Geophilosophy and the Planes of Urban Experience went really well- and we are really excited by the quality of the presentations. My paper, Plane of Immanence of a Fascist Regime: Google and its Mapping Empire, is located here. It’s currently without citations, but there is plenty of time for that as I work it into the dissertation. And besides, isn’t that what evernote is for?

Communication and the City conference schedule

the conference looks great all around- I just might have to do a little conference tourism and squeeze in a trip to Leeds before Milan and Lisbon…

My Desiring-Machines

It looks like I’ll be in good company:

THE DIGITAL PRODUCTION OF CITIES

Lecture Theatre G.12 Chair: Giorgia Aiello

  1. Light fantastic: The digital imaging of new urban developmentsGillian Rose, The Open University; Clare Melhuish, The Open University; Monica Degen, Brunel University
  2. Cartographic attributes of the invisible: The semantic web and depoliticised urban data shadowsHeather Ford, University of Oxford; Mark Graham, University of Oxford
  3. The digital production of social space: Examining the ‘Elite Squad’ on Yelp.comDebora Lui, University of Pennsylvania
  4. Planes of organization, expression, and content in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhoodKeith Harris, University of Washington

See the full program here:

CommCity_final_programme

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