Public Paces

In: English and Literature

Submitted By ravzpatel2000
Words 615
Pages 3
Summary. Commentary around the electronic media has raised issues of political action, com-munity formation and changing identities. This paper explores how the notions of 'public space' can inform this debate over electronic media. It examines the metaphorical adoption of urban models to look at electronic sociality and suggests four principle approaches: cities set in or against world flows, suburbanised telecities, communitarian visions and accounts that appeal to a renewed public sphere. The paper examines how these share many assumptions. However, instead of trying to sift these metaphors by contrasting them to a purported real world, the paper examines how they shape an electronic architecture. Spatial metaphors and electronic practices are seen as entangled and shaping each other. The paper suggests that the different metaphors for the city reflect a range of anxieties about and desires for urban life. In this sense, the 'real' city is the indefinable complexity and folding of spaces--lying outside the visualisations offered of cyberspace.
Introduction
Cyberspace as a whole, and networked virtual environments in particular, allow us to not only theorize about potential architectures informed by the best of current thought, but to actually construct such spaces for human inhabitation in a completely new kind of public realm. This does not imply a lack of constraint, but rather a substitution of one kind of rigour for another. When bricks become pixels, the tectonics of architecture becomes informational. (Novak, 1995, p. 4/4).
When it comes to thinking about the city and information and communication networks, we need to address the question what is 'urban' about these networks at all? I suggest it is less the location of access points than interactional spaces created. These are often organised using an urban ar-chitecture. I begin by examining accounts…...

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