A symposium delving on the new 'atmospheric phase' of the cities where its substance is not only material.
As a sequel to The Art of the Accident (1998) and Machine Times (2000) V2_Organisation organized a symposium entitled TransUrbanism.
TransUrbanism describes how our cities enter the new 'atmospheric phase'. The city and her boarders blur. It is no longer a material object of which one can easily say where it precisely starts or ends. The urban experience is continued in other media and is echoed by other cities. Some sort of urban continuity occurs that only condenses and precipitates here or there in a 'city.' Sometimes quite materially, sometimes in a very narrative way, sometimes statistic, sometimes economically, sometimes very visually, but mostly all these together. Anyhow the city's continuity is in the first place temporal and not spatial. Spatial continuity as provided by architecture and urban planning seems to be less important than creating a coherent stream of experience in the fusion of movement, brands, faces, conversations and media. It is the living individual, not the urban planning, that synthesizes all of these media streams.
The city's substance is hardly material/architectural anymore. Public squares, market places, the layout of streets seem no longer relevant to how the city is experienced. Also, cities in general no longer seem to be the subject of individual experience. The urban experience is a continuous interaction between the city itself, the Internet, television and magazines. Consumer behavior and lifestyles are all temporary products of all of these different media concurrently and especially of how they interact. A lifestyle is the creation of an uninterrupted atmosphere in which urban elements such as certain shops and cafés are closely linked to a certain brand of shoes, cars, clothing and a certain vernacular.
Rather than just attempting to analyze this, TransUrbanism aims at a conscious practice: how can writers, artists and urban developers define new methods for inventing our future cities?
This symposium brought together thinkers and doers, theorists and practitioners, analysts and catalysts. Not as passive contrasts but as active, mutually influencing ways of putting theory into practice and of theorizing about what is being practiced.