Seeing the City Digitally
Processing Urban Space and Time
Amsterdam University Press
This book explores what’s happening to ways of seeing urban spaces in the contemporary moment, when so many of the technologies through which cities are visualised are digital. Cities have always been pictured, in many media and for many different purposes. This edited collection explores how that picturing is changing in an era of digital visual culture. Analogue visual technologies like film cameras were understood as creating some sort of a trace of the real city. Digital visual technologies, in contrast, harvest and process digital data to create images that are constantly refreshed, modified and circulated. Each of the chapters in this volume examines a different example of how this processual visuality is reconfiguring the spatial and temporal organisation of urban life.
Gillian Rose is Professor of Human Geography at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of the British Academy and of the Academy of Social Sciences. She is the author of Feminism and Geography (Polity, 1993), Doing Family Photography (Ashgate, 2010), The New Urban Aesthetic: Digital Experiences of Urban Change written with Monica Degen (Bloomsbury, 2022) and Visual Methodologies (Sage, fifth edition 2022), as well as many papers on images, visualising technologies and ways of seeing in urban, domestic and archival spaces. Her current research interests focus on contemporary digital visual culture.
Sam Hind is Research Associate in SFB1187 Media of Cooperation at the University of Siegen. He is co-editor of Time for Mapping: Cartographic Temporalities (Manchester University Press, 2018) and co-author of Playful Mapping in the Digital Age (Institute for Network Cultures, 2016). He has published in Political Geography, Mobilities, and New Media & Society.
Scott Rodgers is Reader in Media and Geography in the Department of Film, Media and Cultural Studies at Birkbeck, University of London. His research specializes in the relationships of media and cities and the geographies of communication. Scott also has broad interests in social media, journalism, urban politics, phenomenological approaches to media and technology, and ethnographic methodologies. His most recent work focuses on the convergence between digital platforms and the making of contemporary urbanism and locality.
Monica Degen is a Reader in Cultural Sociology at Brunel University London. Her research focuses on the politics of space with a particular interest in the ways sensory, temporal and emotional dimensions underpin urban culture and politics. In 2016 she was awarded a British Academy Fellowship to research „Timescapes of Urban Change“. More recently she has been working on developing creative methodologies and digital tools to capture the sense of place of cities and the ways in which urban environments are stratified by power relations; see www.sensorysmithfield.com and www.sensorycities.com. Her forthcoming monograph, A New Urban Aesthetic: Experiencing Urban Change Digitally (with Gillian Rose), explores how digital visualizations are transforming urban experiences.
Isobel Ward is an AHRC-sponsored PhD candidate in the Department of Geography at King’s College London. She has carried out research in London amongst communities that are undergoing considerable urban renewal around issues of mobility and migration, place attachment and social ties to look at processes of un-making and re-making home. She has an interest in sensory, visual and digital methodologies to explore emerging urban spatialities.
Zlatan Krajina is Associate Professor of Media Studies at the Department of Media and Communication, Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Zagreb. He is the author of Negotiating the Mediated City (Routledge, 2014) and co-editor of The Routledge Companion to Urban Media and Communica_x0002_tion (2020).
Giorgia Aiello is Professor of Culture and Communication at the University of Leeds (UK) and Associate Professor in Sociology of Culture and Communication at the University of Bologna (Italy). She has written extensively about the problems and potentials of visual communication in digital media, cities, and everyday life. She is a co-author of Visual Communication: Understanding Images in Media Culture (with Katy Parry; SAGE 2020) and a co-editor of Communicating the City: Meanings, Practices, Interactions (with Matteo Tarantino and Kate Oakley; Peter Lang, 2017). Her current research projects focus on the role of generic images in contemporary culture, stock photography and data visualization in digital journalism, and visual-material approaches to researching the urban built environment.
Joel McKim is Senior Lecturer in Digital Media and Culture and the Director of the Vasari Research Centre for Art and Technology at Birkbeck, University of London. He is the author of Architecture, Media, and Memory: Facing Complexity in Post-9/11 New York (Bloomsbury 2018) and recently completed a visiting fellowship at the V&A Museum, working on the research project “A Pre-History of Machine Vision”.
Ayona Datta is Professor in Urban Geography in University College London, UK. Her research interests are in gender citizenship, urban futures and smart cities in the global South. In particular, she is interested in how cities seek to transform themselves through utopian urban visions of the future and their impacts on everyday social, material and gendered geographies. She is author of The Illegal City: Space, law and gender in a Delhi squatter set_x0002_tlement (2012), co-editor of Translocal Geographies: Spaces, Places, Connec_x0002_tions (2011) and Mega-Urbanization in the Global South: Fast Cities and New Urban Utopias (2016). Ayona is co-editor of Urban Geography journal, on the Trustees’ Board of the IJURR Foundation and on the editorial boards of the journals Antipode, Digital Geography and Society and EPD: Society and Space. For her contributions to understanding of smart cities through fieldwork she received the Busk Medal from Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) in 2019.
Asli Duru is a feminist cultural-political geographer, mother, long-distance walker and Zenarcher based in Berlin. She currently writes research-based fiction and non-fiction on home-spaces, ownership, bodies — imaginations, limits, boundaries. In a broader sense, she is interested in developing tools, design, and multimodal narrative using old and new media to activate formal and informal research and teaching practices that contribute to transdisciplinary knowledge on gender, difference and space/place relations.