Co-edited book with Kevin O’Brien, Edward Clift, Graham Cairns. Intellect Books publishing date 2016. Introduction and book chapter, Manchester as a mythical city; reflections in art and locative media.
Our experience of the large and unknowable city has always been mediated to us through emergent technologies. The first century fresco at the Baths of Trajan in Rome depicts an impossible bird’s eye view of the eternal city that must have been a revelation for the ancient Roman, and ever since, new devices and knowledge have enabled both the depiction of and encounter with the metropolis The oil painting gave way to the photograph and then the city symphony films of the 1920s, as the city itself was galvanized first by gas lamps and then neon signs. But digital technologies and the internet of things have widened immensely the possibilities for both design, and contemporary art and new media practice, and permeated the very ether of the city as once gas pipes snaked ubiquitously like a web beneath its streets.
This volume brings together those artists, dancers, media agitators and speculators who cross the borders of design and art practice to interrogate how we experience the city: how we might design it, provoke it and dream of it. The chapters break disciplinary boundaries as the boroughs and suburbs shade one into another, and it opens the field of urban analysis and thought to the lens of creative practitioners and others largely outside the disciplines of architecture and urban design.
This book is split into three sections that cover theoretical, research and practice-based approaches to documenting and changing the city through engagement with new media. It includes examinations of how our perception of and participation in urban environments is altered by interactions with digital media, and actual case studies of art practices and projects that engage with the city.