Facade Mashup

citymovement

The mashup is a term that is often refered to music or video where a file combines and modifies existing works to create a new  work that emulates the original work. The mashup is slightly different than collage because it is a blending of two or more files where collage intergrates contradicting or incongruent forms by keeping the edge of the two elements apparent. I have always been interested in that ‘edge’ – the point where these two divergent forms meet.  However, because of technological advances, blurring or erasing the edge is the goal with many photographers and artists, who try to seamlessly collage their images.  With the removal of the ‘edge’ I feel that something is lost and the image usually appears contrived. By keeping the ‘edge’ there is the perception of spontaneity in collage – the improvisation of forms connecting together but keeping the juxtaposition of both edges apparent. The…

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Boys Town Redux – Antipode supplement to Society and Space virtual theme issue

Progressive Geographies

Our colleagues at Antipode have put together a supplement to the ‘Boys Town Redux’ virtual theme issue Mary Thomas assembled for the Society and Space open site. A good number of papers – Rosalyn Deutsche, David Harvey, Gerry Pratt, Doreen Massey, Gillian Rose, Linda McDowell, Iris Marion Young, Cindi Katz and many others – from both journals are now open access for a limited time. The Society and Spacepapers will be available until 7 May 2012; the Antipodeones until 23 June 2012.

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Disability Art, Visibility and the City

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During May 2011 (ending May 15th) I visited the exhibition titled ‘Trazos Singulares [Singular Strokes],’ which was on display in Madrid’s Nuevos Ministerios metro station.

The exhibition comprised some sixty works produced by thirty artists with developmental disabilities [see above slideshow-my photos], and significantly, the work of artistic production was itself performed in situ between the 5th and the 8th of April. This simple decision has an understated significance given the history of the public (in)visibility of disability that has been written about so lucidly, for example, by Licia Carlson in her book The Faces of Intellectual Disability.

Also of interest is that the artists produced images of Madrid’s urban environment and transport systems (subway). An easy criticism would be that since the event was sponsored by Metro Madrid, it was a showy form of outreach/advertising, but I think that the event transcends that critique in some respects.

In my view this event raises questions of access to the city (Lefebvre’s question: who has the “right to the city”). This exhibit necessarily highlights how disability, urbanism and the interplay between the creative imagination and the built environment are all connected.

Upcoming conferences related to Urban Cultural Studies

The Society for Cinema and Media Studies has a conference in 2013 in Chicago March 6-10 and in 2014 in Seattle and an Urban Studies Scholarly Interest Group [sign up here].

The Association for American Geographers has the next conference April 9 to 13 2013 in Los Angeles (and of course features numerous sessions on cities], and is actively promoting connections with the humanities–see this book and also this one.

There’s the Modern Language Association, which features a growing number of scholars interested in cities and spatial theory (even if still largely devoted to more traditional approaches), with the next conference in Boston, Jan 3-6, 2013.

Also the Cultural Studies Association, which has a new journal launched in 2012 named Lateral (2012 conference starts tomorrow March 28, no dates posted for 2013).

Finally the Urban History Association, currently featuring a call for conference papers on THE COSMOPOLITAN METROPOLIS (Columbia University; New York City October 26-28, 2012).

urbanculturalstudies

Coming (relatively) soon, with an international publisher:

Journal of Urban Cultural Studies

Launching with its first issue in late-2013 or 2014, the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies is a peer-reviewed publication devoted to research centered on urban themes and cutting across both the humanities and the social sciences. Articles (between 7,000-10,000 words including works cited) should give more or less equal weight to: a) one or more aspects of urban studies (everyday life, built environment, architecture, city planning, identity formation, transportation…) and b) one or more specific forms of cultural (textual) production (literature, film, music, art, graffiti…) in relation to a specific urban space or spaces. The journal is open to studies that deal with culture, urban spaces and forms of urbanized consciousness the world over.

Please contact the editor at urbanculturalstudies@gmail.com.

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housestory

Tuberculosis was big money  for Colorado Springs in the early 1900’s. So much so that a 1917 Chamber of Commerce booklet devoted more than half of its 87 pages to detailing all the reasons why tuberculars should make the trek out west.

They could have nice, fresh, “germ-free” air and loads of sunshine. A stunning mountain climate would provide beautiful vistas and thin, dry air at the same time. And, as if those weren’t reason enough, welcoming citizens and local businesses were on hand to provide ample opportunities for rest and relaxation, a nourishing diet, and a charming social life. All of which, according to medical thinking of that time, were just what the doctor ordered for “lungers”.

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Link

Dr. Reena Tiwari published a book called Space-Body-Ritual: Performativity in the City in which she puts a reading of Henri Lefebvre’s Rhythmanalysis to use in arguing for approaching the ‘city-as-body’, rather than ‘city-as-text’. It’s in my stack of current ‘to-reads’, and may be of interest to readers here.

Looking for information about the author, I came upon this Q&A, in which she touches on issues relating to urban architecture, public housing, poverty and migration. She makes some interesting points about making spaces that are ‘mixed’, both socioeconomically and public/private. Tiwari is both a scholar and an urban planner; is anyone here familiar with her book, or her work in general?

Note too that the website (www.cluster.eu) hosting this conversation may well be worth exploring, especially to readers interested in urban thought in Italy.