chapter  1
10 Pages

An Archaeology of the Media City

Toward a Critical Cultural History of Mediated Urbanism
WithScott McQuire

In this chapter, I trace four thresholds that might form a provisional archaeology of the media city: the “big city life” that emerges in the 19th-century industrial city, the “electropolis” of the 1920s, the dispersion of the urban into suburbs that emerges in the aftermath of the Second World War and the more recent transformations associated with the digital media city. My aim in delineating these four thresholds is not to consecrate them into a linear progression where each successive “era” is cut off from its antecedents, but to establish a frame for thinking of the problematic of mediated urbanism as an ongoing process resulting in the production of new relations between urban structures, media infrastructures, and individual and collective social life, including subjectivities and cultural forms.