Surveillance, Transparency and the Hidden in Contemporary Culture
Edited By Henriette Steiner and Kristin Veel
PART I Transparency, Refraction and Opacity
← 1 | 2 → Part I
Transparency, Refraction and Opacity
← 2 | 3 → zURBS
Valdrada’s inhabitants know that each of their actions is, at once, that action and its mirror image, which possesses the special dignity of images, and this awareness prevents them from forgetfulness.
—ITALO CALVINO,Invisible Cities
There is no such thing as one given urban reality. The countless mirror images and reflections enveloping us in our day-to-day lives remind us of that: what we perceive as reality can be multiplied in several different forms an exponential amount of times. We could say that the mirror doesn’t only reflect the world, it also changes it. As Calvino points out: ‘At times the mirror increases a thing’s value, at times denies it. Not everything that seems valuable above the mirror maintains its force when mirrored.’
← 3 | 4 → Thus, the mirror not only reflects reality in terms of replicating it in a mirror image, it also helps us reflect upon reality, by offering a sensory and critical interpretation that makes us question and further understand our environment.
Mirroring space, then, can reflect many possible realities and provide many different perspectives on the city: mirrors with reflections that make enemies become friends, subversive mirrors with reflections that make left become right, and right become left. Mirrors turning all the windows in a city into reflections of its many possible urban realities, dreams and futures....
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