Wael Salah FahmiThe urban incubator:(De)constructive (re)presentation of heterotopian spatialityand virtual image(ries)Chaz EvansAD50811/3/10
II. Spatial (re)presentation"Whilst sociologists maintained that post-modern society was becoming increasinglyfragmented as community groups become less clearly defined, global companies - throughsales and branding have developed a new niche of 'fluxus community' based on imageconsumption. II. Spatial (Re)presentation Society's dependence on image and the perceived value of goods has createdunprecedented control over people's choices. Multiple selection and combination of 'products'allows a unique spatial experience- the architecture of the post-modern commercial takeaway."
III. Urban Images/Screens"Buildings are no longer mass and weight, stone and iron, but an array of sentences spellingout the consciousness of a city, what a city means when we enter it and use its services,consume its goods."II. Spatial (Re)presentation"Metaphors of cities, of electronic spheres imply that Cyberspace is more than a space, it is 'aplace and a mode of being.'"
IV. Heterotopias and (neo)flanuers"The city itself is ‘soft’, in the sense that it is a type of reality for which the boundary betweenimagination and fact is not absolute (Raban, 1974). This dynamic has affected our sense ofourselves and our lives, with the self being collapsed into its manner of (re)presentation withthe II. border Spatial (Re)presentationbetween the 'self' and 'city' becoming fluid. "“Gennochio's (1995) interpretation revealed two different kinds of heterotopias: the extradiscursiveone which is the absolute Other, 'external' spaces’ and 'heterogeneous site' capableof juxtaposing in a single real place (with several spaces that are in themselves incompatible);and the discursive other coexisting in an 'impossible space' of a large number of fragmentary,possible, though incommensurable orders or worlds.“"The neo-flâneur, as an absorbent recipient of post-modern imageries,is a type that is out totake its artistic or aesthetical distance from its consumerist urban surroundings."
VI. The urban incubator and (de)constructive experimentation“the experiment(s) acknowledges the conflict between imagination and realisation as a drivingforce for creating and structuring virtual spatial orders, thus operating on the boundariesbetween virtuality and reality.“II. Spatial (Re)presentation
●Urban screens: collages and fragments●Urban semiotics: signs and images●Urban diagramsII. Spatial (Re)presentation“Such technique detaches form from its programmatic concerns, and displaces it from itsrelationship to meaning, whilst being subjected to functions of (trans)forming, (in)formingand (per)forming (Eisenman, 1999).“●Urban narratives"With the text remaining central, our environments grow increasingly hyper-real, withpeople generally exchanging their role as users and becoming readers and consumers(Bergum, 1990). "●Urban installations"Urban installations do not monumentalise established institutions of culture, corporateheadquarters, commercial operations but rather explores new possibilities of urban lifeand human experience, weaving into existing fabric of the city and becoming a hidden cityof entirely unknown purpose or meaning."
Figure 2: Semiotic matrix of postmodern nocturnal city forms a text of aesthetic representationwhere signs and images create a hybrid identity for its inhabitants
Figure 3: Pursuit of pleasure and sights (sites) of highly charged encounters
VII. Urban futures between virtual diffusion and spatial viewing"Cyberspace is established as an "other" place to enact the deconstructed self; a self whosemultiplicity and ambiguity is continually reinforced as the body seems to increasingly inhabitthe dematerialised world that technology creates."II. Spatial (Re)presentation“Whilst a non-local trans-urbanism is in the making, freed from a fixed geometry, the virtualcity will not be the post-physical city, but a transmutation and a transgression of the known,interwoven into real urban life. We tend to operate in topographies that weave between actualand digital space, as we are increasingly relocating activities to digital spaces and locatingdigital capacities in the human body (Latham and Sassen, 2004)“
VIII. Conclusion"According to Boyer (1994) a 'crisis of collective memory', a shared disjunction of our relationsto the past, is linked to rapid urban change as modernism and industrialisation disrupts themyriad of ways in which cities house a collective sense of history. The crisis of collectivememory II. Spatial provokes (Re)presentationa desire to reframe the past in urban scenography. Such scenographicrepresentations repress the mystery and disorder of urban life, which is collapsed into 'scenes',as seen in the shopping malls and housing enclaves, where history becomes a product which ispackaged and consumed. The deconstructive task leads to a play of formal imagery, whilstaiming to unpack and reconstruct the life world and its spatial programs. The key role of futurecity designers is to deploy creative imagination in the public interest, yet it must be divorcedfrom Plato's ideal forms' and authoritarian politics."
Some questions:What exactly do you think the author means by using parentheticals to make contradictoryhybrid words? What do you think of this technique?Fahmi II. Spatial describes (Re)presentation the post-modern hybrid urban space in the present-tense. How much does thisanalysis describe the urban environment in 2004 or 2010?If Fahmi is reconstructing that which is deconstructed is this description of the city really postmodern?
Performance space drawing for KordianTaken from Towards A Poor TheatreGerzy Grotowski, 1968