2014 marks the fifty year anniversary of one of the 20th century’s most influential texts – Understanding Media by Marshall Mcluhan not only introduced the media-as-the-message, it presented the world with the metaphor of the global village.
Half a century after the publication of this revolutionary text The Mediated City – Los Angeles – Conference seeks to explore the multiple ways in which the city of today is experienced, perceived, represented and constructed as a ‘mediated’ phenomenon.
From the use of photo-realistic imagery in the presentation of design proposals and the simulation of user behavior as a form of ‘space syntax’, to the making of contemporary city symphonies by a new generation of filmmakers; to the ever present moving-ad imagery of the commercialized urban landscape and the digitally laden experience of the contemporary public transport ride, corporeal engagement is placed at one remove from the physical world.
As Mcluhan identified in 1964, today’s global village is a place of simultaneous experience; a site for overlapping material and electronic experience; a place not so much altered by the content of a medium, but rather, a space transformed by the very nature of medias themselves.
For some, this is little more than the inevitable evolution of urban space in the digital age. For others it represents the city’s liberation from the condition of stasis. For others, it’s a nightmare-like scenario in which the difference between the virtual and the real the electronic and the material the filmed and lived, becomes impossible to identify.
In this context, The Mediated City – Los Angeles – Conference welcomes a wide variety of papers including theoretical examinations of the cinematic city; practical debates on the architect’s role in filmic production; conversations on the use of apps to navigate ‘metropoli’; considerations on the simulation of the urban environment; debates about the nature of the ‘virtual’ building; and discussions on the digital mapping of the world by companies like Google – and more.