Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Re: [Yasmin_discussions] Hybrid Space - Hybrid Cities discussion

Dear all

Eric thank you very much for your email, your input and for joining our list!
Your points are very interesting and I would like to explain that last two
paragraphs of mine that you are quoting did not aim in any way to doubt
your perspective but on the contrary to summarise some questions on
today's "gaze" and its formation, close to the ones that you are
approaching. I ll try to go a bit deeper to some of my points.

Surely there is no "all"; some of the main questions of nowadays still are
around aspects of inclusion and exclusion like: "Access for whom?" Or
"Whose city?" And the next important questions that would appear for
database cities I think would be: "Whose interface?" on one hand and
"Whose data?" on the other.

I believe that the contemporary metropolies have a lot in common with the
web itself. They are factories of knowledge, of experience, of a common
wealth that is being built by its users – inhabitants (again, those who
have the possibilities to take part). They are both places where the
"artificial common" (the common that resides in languages, images,
knowledges, affects, codes, habits and practices, as Negri and Hardt say)
is produced. And I do find that accordingly the same issues that we are
asked to face on the internet are now slowly moving to the cityscape.
Accessibility, privacy, control, appropriation…

Through the Google platforms and through various mobile applications we
are given opportunities to share, to connect, to enjoy the city just like
we do in the social platforms. The map of the city is being personalized,
modified and shared just like our facebook pages. We navigate in real
cities through the google street view just like we navigate in Second
Life (well almost...:)) But who is creating this context and who controls

A very interesting critical project on this direction, commenting on the
images of the world through google is the google street views of Jon

Rafman collecting images from google street views, documents google eyes'
transparency and a city whose inhabitants' tactics are now being captured.
Some of them welcome it, some hate it, some play with it.

So in a situation where as you write "the spectator does not want to be
told precisely how the connection with the city takes place" , where
unavoidably we have moved to the "cryptopticon" model as Olga very
interestingly also comments, giving us Vaidhyanathan's perspective… ,
approaches like the one of Rafman bring to the foreground the possibility
of still "playing against the apparatus", as Flusser once wrote.

Kind regards

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