• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Significant changes are occurring in the social spaces of modern cities and the social functioning of media. This erudite, forceful book argues that the spaces and rhythms of contemporary cities are radically different to those described in classic theories of urbanism. Changes in the city have been paralleled by the transformation of media which has become increasingly mobile, instantaneous and pervasive. The media are no longer separate from the city. Offering social commentary at the deepest levels of historical and critical reference, The Media City links Myspace to Howard Hughes; trams to cinema; security cameras to exploding buildings; reality TV to Marx; and Lenin on privacy to Kracauer on the mass ornament.

Wide-ranging and richly illustrated, it intersects disciplines and connects phenomena which are too often left isolated from each other to propose a new way of understanding public and private space and social life in contemporary cities. It will find a broad readership in media and communications, cultural studies, social theory, urban sociology, architecture, and art history.

Introduction: The Uncanny Home
Introduction: The uncanny home

There will be a road. It will not connect two points. It will connect all points. Its speed limit will be the speed of light. It will not go from here to there. There will be no more there. We will all only be here.

(TV ad 1993)

[T]he dream of a completely fluid and passable world-space may be the last utopia of the 20th century.

(Multiplicity 2005)1
The House That Gates Built

In the mid-1990s, as the dotcom boom ramped up in velocity, media reports circulated about the house Bill Gates was constructing in Seattle. Conceived as a state-of-the-art merging of computer technology with architecture, Gates’ multi-million dollar residence boasted all the standard automated functions such as climate control and electronic security ...

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