• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Information and communication technologies are said to be transforming urban life dramatically and bringing about rapid economic and cultural globalization. This book explores the many fascinating and urgent issues involved by relating advanced theoretical debates to practical matters of communication with cultural policy. It maps out a range of ‘optimistic’ and ‘pessimistic’ scenarios with special regard to various forms of inequality, particularly class, gender and geo-political inequalities. The sheer pace of change is difficult to track yet the expert contributors to this volume all offer insights and essential guidance to what is going on. There are chapters on urban planning, virtual cities and actual cities, economic and political policy, and critical social analysis of current trends that are of momentous consequence.

The book concludes that neither technological determinism nor economic determinism satisfactorily account for information and communication technologies and urban development. Instead, it is necessary to bring together a number of differently informing approaches, cultural, economic, political and technological, to make sense of a field of dynamic and contradictory forces.

Chapter 5: The Ideal City and the Virtual Hive: Modernism and Emergent Order in Computer Culture

The Ideal City and the Virtual Hive: Modernism and Emergent Order in Computer Culture
The ideal city and the virtual hive: Modernism and emergent order in computer culture
JulianStallabrass

‘Observers of media art,’ wrote Herbert W. Franke, one of its most venerable practitioners, ‘notice that a new turning point has been reached. Perhaps this will lead to a decisive breakthrough. Art critics and philosophers are proclaiming the dawning of a new epoch, a “second modernism” characterised by the application of the new media’ (Franke, 1996: 253). And, indeed, it is true that computer art now seems ubiquitous in exhibitions of contemporary art, and that over the last few years the literature dealing with computer culture has grown exponentially, and that it is full of proclamations.

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