Surveillance, Transparency and the Hidden in Contemporary Culture
Edited By Henriette Steiner and Kristin Veel
PART II Urban Topography, Void and Display
← 84 | 85 → PART II
Urban Topography, Void and Display
← 85 | 86 → zURBS
In Chloe, a great city, the people who move through the streets are all strangers. At each encounter, they imagine a thousand things about one another; meetings which could take place between them, conversations, surprises, caresses, bites. But no one greets anyone; eyes look for a second, then dart away, seeking other eyes, never stopping.
—ITALO CALVINO, Invisible Cities
There is such a thing as a distribution of the sensible: an underlying structure that is hardly visible in urban space, but that nevertheless, according to the French philosopher Jacques Rancière, determines what is possible, acceptable, and even perceptible in a certain place. This structure shapes the spatial forms that social phenomena and material things take on, and it influences all the different realities, possibilities, images, meanings, futures, perceptions, experiences, connections, forms, patterns, relations and structures that these spatial forms consist in. In short, the distribution of the sensible shapes and controls our spatial realities.
Space, then, can be seen as the precondition for re-imagination: encounters that could take you on a carousel of fantasies. Disagreements that could escalate into love affairs. Your envious car glancing at a bike while impatiently waiting for green light. The intimate experience of holding hands with a stranger during a thunderstorm. The joy of sitting in a café without buying anything before eating your breakfast at...
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