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Communicating the City

Meanings, Practices, Interactions


Edited By Giorgia Aiello, Matteo Tarantino and Kate Oakley

How human meanings, practices and interactions produce and are produced by urban space is the focus of this timely and exciting addition to the study of urban communication.

Challenging notions of the ‘urban’ as physically, economically or technologically determined, this book explores key intersections of discourse, materiality, technology, mobility, identity and inequality in acts of communication across urban and urbanizing contexts. From leisure and media consumption among Chinese migrant workers in a Guangdong village to the diverse networks and communication infrastructures of global cities like London and Los Angeles, this collection combines a range of perspectives to ask fundamental questions about the significance and status of cities in times of intensified mediation and connectivity.

With case studies from Italy, Britain, Ireland, Russia, the United States and China, this international collection demonstrates that both empirical and critical knowledge on the relationship between communication and urban life has become vital across the humanities and social sciences.

Communicating the City will be essential reading for all scholars and students who desire to gain an in-depth understanding of the multiple roles that media and communication have in lived experiences of the city.

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Chapter Eleven: Communication and knowledge creation in urban spaces: The tactics of artistic collectives in Barcelona, Berlin, and St. Petersburg (Aleksandra Nenko / Anisya Khokhlova / Nikita Basov)


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Communication AND knowledge creation IN urban spaces

The tactics of artistic collectives in Barcelona, Berlin, and St. Petersburg



Today the city is a space for numerous multidimensional interactions between various actors and groups. In their ongoing communication one witnesses intense generation of different visions, which frequently clash and intersect. This turns the city into a space of particularly intense knowledge creation. Artists are knowledge-generating agents in the city, especially those who collectively act in urban public spaces and use them as arenas for creative endeavour and civic participation. Art groups working as teams and running multiple interconnected activities are particularly capable of reinventing urban spaces. These groups suggest novel practices, sensations and images of the space (Lefebvre, 1991), claim their own right to the city, and also claim it on behalf of broader groups (Harvey, 2008) introducing creativity from below. If open to the audience, their projects can invite urban dwellers to experiment with the city, to challenge its regulations, and to rethink themselves as urban actors rather than mere consumers. Thus, together with the artists, the city’s residents can create new visions of their surroundings. Artworks here operate as knowledge objects spanning boundaries between different images of the city and—when brought into urban public space—induce new ideas, images and emotions. With the expansion of participatory and dialogic art, which created contexts for...

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