chapter  2
24 Pages

Fragmenting frontier

Night, time and the city
WithRobert Shaw, Robert Shaw

This chapter looks at the infrastructure that is necessary for the urban night. Focusing on artificial lighting, it explores how – given that night is inherently challenging to human biology – infrastructures have been developed to help society persist through the night. Building on the role that darkness and sleep play during the night, the chapter also explores how it becomes associated beyond the body with rhythms of rest, recuperation and maintenance. Taking, for example, the social rhythms of transport, it identifies a 'night-mode' when either no or a minimal number of services operate. While this night-mode may roughly correspond to actual darkness or the quiet hours, 'the night' as a whole is the intersection of multiple rhythms which enter the night-mode at similar times. The chapter shows how the urban subjectivity machine produces multiple ways of nocturnal urban being.