• 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.

The Digital Home
The digital home

[B]lindness is still vision, vision that is no longer the possibility of seeing, but the impossibility of not seeing.

(Maurice Blanchot 1981)

I exist only insofar as I am looked at all the time.

(Slavoj Zizek 2002)1
From Windows to Screens

In Paul Virilio's (1988: 185–97, 1991a: 69–100) evocative chronology, the history of the window is divided into three phases. The first window is simply an entrance or door: the single opening, common to cave and room, which has the primary purpose of allowing the passage of occupants. This is followed by the ‘light-window’ discussed in the previous chapter: a specialized opening designed to facilitate the movement of light and air rather than bodies or material objects. The ‘third window’, however, is an opening of ...

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