Sunday, 20 April 2008

Beyond the ‘dazzling light’: from dreams of transcendence to the ‘remediation’ of urban life

Stephen Graham

Graham, S. (2004) 'Beyond the ‘dazzling light’: from dreams of transcendence to the ‘remediation’ of urban life', in New Media & Society Vol6(1):16–25, SAGE Publications

This paper is not entirely central to my research contextual review but does contain some interesting points that may have some indirect bearing on my eventual research. Graham is a Professor of Urban Technology at Newcastle University’s School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape. It is in his exploration of new media and urban studies that he makes some useful points of reference for me. To quote some:

  • "Jay Bolter and Richard Grusin have called the ‘theology’ of cyberspace (…) based on a master narrative which suggested that new media transform ‘information from something separate and contained within computers to a space we can inhabit’ (2000: 180). (…) Thankfully, this situation is now changing dramatically."

  • "Since the late 1990s, high-quality theoretical, empirical and policy research on the links between new media and the changing nature of both urban places and life has emerged rapidly in many disciplines across the world."

  • “new media research needs to engage much more powerfully with the complex intra-urban and inter-urban geographies that so starkly define the production, consumption and use of its subject artefacts, technologies and practices.

  • “Above all, while there is no doubt that new media can act as ‘prostheses’ to extend human actions, identities and communities in time and space, it does not follow that the human self is ‘released from the fixed location of the body, built environment or nation’. Rather, ‘the self is always somewhere, always located in some sense in some place, and cannot be totally unhoused’ (Kaplan, 2002: 34).”

  • “As cultural geographer Denis Cosgrove suggests: The urban world networked by [Bill] Gates’ technologies strung out on the wire is not disconnected, abstract, inhuman; it is bound in the places and times of actual lives, into human existences that are as connected, sensuous and personal as they ever have been. (Cosgrove, 1996: 1495)”

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