History & Theory

Animating Cities Digitally: Processing Urban Space and Time

History & Theory
07 Nov, 2022

Animating Cities Digitally: Processing Urban Space and Time

A History and Theory of New Media Lecture co-sponsored by the Department of Geography and Media Studies

with Gillian Rose
Visiting Scholar in Department of Geography; Professor, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford

This talk will introduce a recent edited collection, Seeing the City Digitally: Processing Urban Space and Time, which is available as an Open Access pdf here. The various contributors to the book explore 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. My talk will offer a framework for theorising 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. I will propose that this means that digital images of cities are best understood as a form of animation, and I will explore some of the consequences for seeing the (post)human inhabitants of urban spaces in particular.

Video and Transcript Now Online

Click here to watch the recorded lecture.

Click here to view the transcript.

About Gillian Rose

Gillian Rose is Professor of Human Geography at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of the British Academy and the Academy of Social Sciences. She is the author of Feminism and Geography (Polity, 1993), Doing Family Photography (Ashgate, 2010) and Visual Methodologies (Sage, fifth edition 2022); this year has also seen the publication of a book written with Monica Degen, The New Urban Aesthetic: Digital Experiences of Urban Change (Bloomsbury), as well as the collection of essays Seeing the City Digitally (Amsterdam University Press). She has also written 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 and how cities are seen and experienced. She tweets @ProfGillian.


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