Tuesday, March 8, 2011

the anesthetic city


After World War II, with the rise of planning as a new discipline, cities all over the world were shaped on ideals set by Modernism. Within half a century, after placing the machine at the centre of a new paradigm, the city has become what supermodernist French theorist Marc Augé calls “non-space”.  Never here, never there, first with the highway and now the internet, space and time have disintegrated into a vacuum where the body can no longer be present.  

Interestingly both infrastrucutres, the highway and the internet,  contribute to the dematerialisatoin  of space by creating conditions of isolation. In the car or in front of the screen,  the body becomes a spectator, an anesthetic experience that  is a form of escape from the present, an escape described in Kundera's slowness  as a form of ecstasy.