Watching the City

A Genealogy of Media Urbanism

Authored by: Joshua Neves

The Routledge Companion to Critical Approaches to Contemporary Architecture

Print publication date:  August  2019
Online publication date:  August  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138917569
eBook ISBN: 9781315688947
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter argues that the relationship between seeing and the city has changed. As such, it charts an alternative genealogy of technologized space that reframes canonical approaches (from de Certeau, Lynch, Jameson), paying particular attention to Ravi Sundaram’s notion of “media urbanism” and Ariella Azoulay’s “civil contract of photography.” By examining forms of media urbanism in contemporary Beijing—e.g. the New Documentary Movement and ambient television—the chapter both extends models of urban visuality beyond the idealized Euro-American city, and shifts attention to the ways media reconstitute urban experience and everyday politics.

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