Sharon Zukin: Naked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places (2009)

8 December 2012, dusan

As cities have gentrified, educated urbanites have come to prize what they regard as “authentic” urban life: aging buildings, art galleries, small boutiques, upscale food markets, neighborhood old-timers, funky ethnic restaurants, and old, family-owned shops. These signify a place’s authenticity, in contrast to the bland standardization of the suburbs and exurbs.

But as Sharon Zukin shows in Naked City, the rapid and pervasive demand for authenticity–evident in escalating real estate prices, expensive stores, and closely monitored urban streetscapes–has helped drive out the very people who first lent a neighborhood its authentic aura: immigrants, the working class, and artists. Zukin traces this economic and social evolution in six archetypal New York areas–Williamsburg, Harlem, the East Village, Union Square, Red Hook, and the city’s community gardens–and travels to both the city’s first IKEA store and the World Trade Center site. She shows that for followers of Jane Jacobs, this transformation is a perversion of what was supposed to happen. Indeed, Naked City is a sobering update of Jacobs’ legendary 1961 book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Like Jacobs, Zukin looks at what gives neighborhoods a sense of place, but argues that over time, the emphasis on neighborhood distinctiveness has become a tool of economic elites to drive up real estate values and effectively force out the neighborhood “characters” that Jacobs so evocatively idealized.

Publisher Oxford University Press, 2009
ISBN 0195382854, 9780195382853
312 pages

review (PD Smith, The Guardian)
interview with the author (Rorotoko)

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Christian Ulrik Andersen, Geoff Cox, Jacob Lund (eds.): Nyhedsavisen: Public Interfaces, No. 1 (2011)

19 May 2012, dusan

Nyhedsavisen: Public Interfaces is a fake newspaper presenting cutting edge research in an accessible free tabloid format. The newspaper is a 100% genuine copy of the famous Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten.

The increasing demand for publication of academic peer-reviewed journal articles must be met. Unfortunate examples demonstrate that this may lead to plagiarism. This is not a viable solution. Research must be original and academia is not lacking original content. But perhaps researchers need new visions of how to produce research? Perhaps the readers need new ways of consuming research? Why not imagine academic research as something that can be consumed on a daily basis, in the train or at the breakfast table?

On April 1, at 1 pm, Nyhedsavisen: Public Interfaces was handed out to the public at the metro station ‘DR Byen/Universitetet’ in Copenhagen as well as at the central railway station in Aarhus and the State Library. Also, issues were tactically placed in selected free newspaper stands and at University lunchrooms worldwide.

Emerging from the Digital Aesthetics Research Center and the Center for Digital Urban Living (Aarhus University), the aim of Nyhedsavisen: Public Interfaces is to encompass the changing concept of the ’public’. This is the result of an ongoing research in the computer interface.

The starting point for the newspaper is that the computer interface is a cultural paradigm affecting not only our creative production and presentation of the world but also our perception of the world. Its authors recognize that in the past decade, interfaces have been expanding from the graphical user interface of the computer to meet the needs of different new technologies, uses, cultures and contexts: they are more mobile, networked, ubiquitous, and embedded in the environment and architecture, part of regeneration agendas and new aesthetic and cultural practices, etc. Nyhedsavisen: Public Interfaces investigates these new interfaces that affect relations between public and private realms, and generate new forms urban spaces and activities, new forms of exchange and new forms of creative production.

The newspaper is organised into thematic strands (urban, art, capital) and brings together researchers from diverse fields – across aesthetics, cultural theory, architecture, digital design and urban studies – united by the need to understand public interfaces and the paradigmatic changes they pose to these fields.

All articles derive from an initial conference and PhD workshop held in January 2011, at Aarhus University.

Publisher Digital Aesthetics Research Center & Center for Digital Urban Living, Aarhus University, Aarhus, March 2011
ISBN 87-91810-18-3
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License
24 pages


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Operacija Grad: Priručnik za život u neoliberalnoj stvarnosti (2008) [Croatian]

16 March 2012, dusan

“Fraza “neoliberalna stvarnost” zvuči ponešto visokoparno i rasplinuto, no čim se ta stvarnost konkretnije sagleda pa je opišite kao refeudalizaciju javnih prostora i dobara, pitanja koja nas ovdje zanimaju gube svoju prividnu nedužnost i postaju oruđe u borbama za stvaranje i očuvanje prostora javnog i kolektivnog djelovanja. S onu stranu kulturnih i političkih kruha i igara, nadamo se da će vas ovaj priručnik potaknuti da postavite u pitanje novi društveni konsenzus, koji vam kao jedine dvije opcije ostavlja trijumfalizam i viktimizaciju.” (iz uvoda)

Editors: Leonardo Kovačević, Tomislav Medak, Petar Milat, Marko Sančanin, Tonči Valentić, Vesna Vuković,
lektura: Tonči Valentić
Executive editor: Tomislav Domes
Publisher: Savez za centar za nezavisnu kulturu i mlade, Multimedijalni institut, Platforma 9,81 – Institut za istraživanja u arhitekturi, BLOK – Lokalna baza za osvježavanje kulture, SU Klubtura / Clubture, Zagreb, December 2008
ISBN 978-953-95317-2-8
272 pages


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Rosalyn Deutsche: Evictions: Art and Spatial Politics (1996)

6 January 2012, dusan

“Since the 1980s a great deal has been written on the relationship between art, architecture, and urban planning and design, on the one hand, and the politics of space on the other. In Evictions Rosalyn Deutsche investigates—and protests against—the dominant uses of this interdisciplinary discourse.

Deutsche argues that critics on both the left and the right invoke harmonious images of space that conceal and justify exclusions—whether the space in question is a city, park, institution, exhibition, identity, or work of art. By contrast, she calls for a democratic spatial critique that takes account of the conflicts that produce and maintain all spaces, including the space of politics itself.

Evictions examines how aesthetic and urban ideologies were combined during the last decade to legitimize urban redevelopment programs that claimed to be beneficial to all, yet in reality tried to expunge traditional working classes from the city. Combining critical aesthetic theory about the social production of art with critical urban theory about the social production of space, Deutsche exposes this unspoken agenda. She then responds to a new alliance of prominent urban and cultural scholars who use critical spatial theory to protect traditional left political projects against the challenges posed by new radical cultural practices.

In her critique, Deutsche mobilizes feminist and postmodern ideas about the politics of visual representation and subjectivity. She also intervenes in debates taking place in art, architecture, and urban studies about the meaning of public space, and places these struggles within broader contests over the definition of democracy. Opposing the nostalgic belief that democracy’s survival demands the recovery of a once unified public sphere, Deutsche contends that conflict, far from undermining public space, is a prerequisite for its existence and growth.”

Publisher MIT Press, 1996
Graham Foundation / MIT Press Series in Contemporary Architectural Discourse
ISBN 0262041588, 9780262041584
394 pages

Review: Hayes (H-Urban, 1997).


PDF (updated on 2015-2-19)

Krzysztof Wodiczko: Critical Vehicles: Writings, Projects, Interviews (1999)

6 January 2012, dusan

Krzysztof Wodiczko, one of the most original avant-garde artists of our time, is perhaps best known for the politically charged images he has projected onto buildings and monuments from New York to Warsaw—images of rockets projected onto triumphal arches, the image of handcuffed wrists projected onto a courthouse facade, images of homeless people in bandages and wheelchairs projected onto statues in a park from which they had been evicted. In projects such as the “Homeless Vehicle,” which he designed through discussions with homeless people, Wodiczko has helped to make public space a place where marginalized people can speak, establish their presence, and assert their rights.

Critical Vehicles is the first book in English to collect Wodiczko’s own writings on his projects. Wodiczko has stated that his principal artistic concern is the displacement of traditional notions of community and identity in the face of rapidly expanding technologies and cultural miscommunication. In these writings he addresses such issues as urbanism, homelessness, immigration, alienation, and the plight of refugees. Fusing wit and sophisticated political insight, he offers the artistic means to help heal the damages of uprootedness and other contemporary troubles.

Publisher MIT Press, 1999
Writing Art series
ISBN 0262731223, 9780262731225
227 pages

google books

Download (updated on 2012-11-19)

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