The Mediated City research programme seeks to build up a significant body of research and publications on the contemporary city as a hybrid mediated and material entity and experience. Increasingly, it is interested in how technologies document and represent past cities and architectures. As with all AMPS activities it seeks to instigate dialogue, engagement and interaction between thinkers, researchers and practitioners from diverse fields. Through counter-positioning these discipline centred perspectives, overlaying their research methods, and fomenting opportunities for cross and interdisciplinary engagement, it aims to serve as a platform for the consideration of the continually evolving relationship between medias and technologies and the built environment.
The Mediated City starts from the premise that today we live in a media saturated environment in constant flux. It identifies that we now perfectly attuned to the photo-realistic imagery of design presentations. It assumes the daily experience of ever present moving imagery in the commercialized urban landscape is considered a norm by many. It acknowledges that still watch the ‘city symphonies’ of a new generation of filmmakers and see ‘the city’ as both a historic and futuristic site, subject and protagonist in cinematic productions from California to Mumbai.
It recognises that we are ever more engaged in the ‘mundanity’ of the digitally laden experience of the contemporary city: an interactive public transport ride, an app based experience of architectural heritage, the google maps based navigation of our streets, and much more.
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 scaremongers, it’s a nightmare scenario in which the difference between the virtual and the real, the electronic and the material, the recorded and the lived, the past and the present becomes impossible to identify. In every case, it is accepted that corporeal engagement has been placed at one remove from the physical world.
The Mediated City research programme is a wide ranging multi-disciplinary consideration of these questions. It asks what is the influence of new and old technologies and medias on the city, its experience, design, and representation. In a changing context of smart technologies, new social and private medias, and global and local linking of peoples and places in and across cities, it seeks to explore the flux of the contemporary urban experience.
In order to explore and understand the history and present of how technologies and medias have altered the urban condition and will do so in the future, AMPS regularly organises academic conferences around these themes. Examples include:
Representing Pasts – Visioning Futures, Virtual, 2022 ;Urban Assemblage(s), London, UK, 2021; Connections: Exploring Heritage, Architecture, Cities. Kent, UK, 2020; Moving Images – Static Spaces, Istanbul Turkey, 2018; Digital-Cultural Ecology and the Medium-Sized City. Bristol, UK. 2016; The Mediated City – 50 Years in the Global Village, Los Angeles, USA, 2014; Smart Cities-Political Cities, London, UK. 2014.
In developing dissemination opportunities for scholars in fields related to this programme, AMPS uses its Academic YouTube Channel, its conferences, Proceedings Series and Special Issues of its academic journal. It has also established a book series with Intellect Books. Periodically books are also released through additional publishers. Publications so far include:
Narrating the City. Filmic Representations of City and Architecture, Intellect Books, 2019; Visioning Technologies – The Architectures of Sight. Routledge, Taylor&Francis. 2016; Filming the City – Urban Documents, Design Practices and Social Criticism Through the Lens. Intellect Books. 2014; Digital Futures and the City of Today – New Technologies and Physical Spaces. Intellect Books, 2014; Imaging the City – Art and Creative Practices. Intellect Books. 2014
The array of publications, conferences and related events connected to the Mediated City programme have brought together diverse partners. Whether in the role of speakers, keynotes, publishers or supporting institutions, this range of partners have brought their own unique perspectives to the questions posed by the programme. Examples include:
Intellect Books, UCL Press, The Public Health Film Society; the Facility for Architectural Research in Media and Mediation; The Institute of Communications Research; The Centre for Moving Image research; Arnolfini Centre for Contemporary Arts; Altinbaş Foundation / Istanbul Kemerburgaz University; The University of the West of England; Woodbury University, Los Angeles, USA; the Digital Hack Lab and the Design Research Group at the University of Hertfordshire, and more.