Torre Metafórico

Originally posted on Let's Go LA:

Atlas Obscura has a fascinating look at the Torre de David in Caracas. This is a 45-story skyscraper that was originally intended to be finance industry office space, but construction was abandoned in 1994. Squatters moved in and today it’s the world’s tallest slum. Here’s the documentary:

Rest assured, a copy of that book is now making its way from Switzerland to the Southland. Shipping is free, so it only cost 45 euros (whatever the hell that is). If the current going price for City of Darkness on Amazon is any indication, maybe you should pick up a couple extra copies as an investment.

I bring up City of Darkness because the KowloonWalledCity came to mind as an obvious comparison, as another “vertical slum”. If you read City of Darkness, you’ll notice a striking similarity in the way that residents describe their community and the way that…

View original 737 more words

Wallhunters: The Slumlord Project (Baltimore)

WallHunters: The Slumlord Project

a89b757230f34a1283fa92c

[Watch the 5 minute video here]

[this post follows up on previous posts on artist Gaia posted on this blog]

The project will install 15 large street art pieces with posted info that reveals/publicizes the ownership of dilapidated vacant houses.

Using radical methods, our project will unite three forces to catalyze discussion of Baltimore’s vacancy problem and how to solve it:

  • Wall Hunters Inc, a recently  created, street  artist run non profit organization
  • Baltimore Slumlord Watch
  • a film being made that gives voice to the ignored on the topic of vacancy and the power of street art.

In short, the project will bring together 15 artists from around the country, each of whom will install a large piece on a dilapidated vacant house. QR codes and text detailing the ownership information that is uncovered by Slumlord Watch will accompany the art. Voices of the people who live in these neglected areas of town, will be heard Continue reading

Biutiful Barcelona [10-15-minute video research article trailer]

My undergraduate students are busy making iMovie video final projects for a non-traditional literary survey class and I figured I might give it a try (theirs are much better I assure you). I’ve done this as a 10-15-minute video version of the argument I make in a recent article. Maybe it is more like a research article trailer… Anyone else out there making video articles? [It helps that youtube (at least for my account) allows video uploads of up to 15 minutes.]

The article is:

Fraser, B. “A Biutiful City: Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Filmic Critique of the ‘Barcelona             model.’” Studies in Hispanic Cinemas 9.1 (2012): 19-34.

4 Videos posted from CUNY-GC URBAN UPRISINGS conference (Nov 2012)

If I had eight hours, I’d watch all of these videos posted at the site of The Center for Place Culture and Politics:

Part 1: Opening Keynote (David Harvey) and Urban Uprisings of the 1960s: Living Legacies (Chair: Frances Fox Piven, Jordan T. Camp, Marian Kramer, Karen Miller)

Part 2: Global Urban Uprisings (Chair: Peter Marcuse, Hiba Bou Akar, Mavuso Dignani, Deen Sharp, Éva Tessza Udvarhelyi)

Part 3: Securitization and the City (Chair: John Whitlow, Mizue Aizeki, Christina Heatherton, Pete White, Helena Wong)

Part 4: Roundtable on How to Organize a Whole City (Chair: Kazembe Balagun, Ujju Aggarwal, Tammy Bang Luu, Rachel LaForest, Rob Robinson, Miguel Robles-Duràn)

Interviews with 25 Geographers (1970-93)

The AAG has posted interviews with 25 Geographers from the “Geographers on Film” Archive available here. The first interview is with Carl O. Sauer (1889-1975) from 1970 (Berkeley, cultural [geography], founded Department@Berkley 1923, AAG Pres. 1940, Honorary AAG Pres. 1956).

Justin Hodgson (Kairos): Walking in the Electra(City): A Fevered and Frivolous Spectacle

Read the abstract in its original context here at Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology and Pedagogy (and below)

Watch the project here:

Walking in the (Electra)City: A Fevered and Frivolous Spectacle

Justin Hodgson

ABSTRACT

“What is no longer archived in the same way is no longer lived in the same way”

– Jacques Derrida, Archive Fever, 1995.

In 1984, Michel de Certeau, writing about the practices of everyday life, exposed us to a different way of thinking about our movements through (and our relationships with) the city as the center of cultural activity. While governments, institutions, and other structures of power designed the city according to particular strategies, for de Certeau it was the “tactical” movements of “passers by” that gave meaning to spaces and places of the city: that is, the walkers, wanderers, and window-shoppers created new paths through and new uses for the cityscape. They defined and redefined the city, and, in so doing, transformed (if not transcended) the strategic imposition.

Move forward nearly 30 years. The center of cultural activity now resides in the digital ether, the electra-city (here offered as a metonym for electrate culture); and it is ferried to you (rather than you to it) by tele-technologies, mediascapes, mobile devices, social networks, and so on. Given this shift, how might we need to rethink or even reconstitute de Certeau’s position in light of the 21st century? For not only are the ways we move through space itself notably altered (morphed by the cellular and computation prosthetics that aid in our daily activities), but the very notions of walking and city have also been Continue reading

Saskia Sassen [brief video]– the gap between data and urban knowledge

“If knowledge is about the city … then you are beginning to tell an urban story”

Great short video on how data is different from knowledge (“knowledge is not simply a data set”); getting knowledge from data requires an interpretation, an experience in a way that data does not. The video comes from the Picnic festival: Life in Readable Cities hosted by the European Journalism Center.

Here’s also her piece on “Why Cities Matter”.

Toward an Urban Cultural Studies [video posted online]

For anyone interested in watching it here is a link to the lecture–or rather to the exercise in organized rambling–I gave at the University of Kentucky, now on UK vimeo:

“Toward an Urban Cultural Studies: Henri Lefebvre, Space and the Culture(s) of Cities”

To watch video, click above or go here: http://vimeo.com/50215247

Thanks again to the Department of Hispanic Studies there. The prezi itself can be seen in the background on the screen, but as announced before can also be viewed here. See also this previous post for more general information about the talk.