CFP: Digital-Cultural Ecology and the Medium-Sized City

In every country in the world medium-sized cities out number capital cities in both quantity and gross population. They are however, historically overlooked. In Europe medium-sized have a long history. In China, the history of these places is even older and, in some cases, non-existent – as new urban centres spring up almost overnight. In Australasia and North America, this history lies somewhere in-between. In a digital and interconnected age these cities have the potential to by-pass capitals and challenge the hegemony of central economic and political organisations. They can form networks vastly more complex, intricate and numerous than the now standard group of connected ‘global cities’; can become self-sustained economically and culturally; forge forward with new ideas in their specialist fields; and be test beds for globally applicable innovations.

Led by the Centre for Moving Image Research and the scholarly journalArchitecture_MPS this conference is interested in the exploring the still latent possibilities of the internet in urban, social and cultural contexts; the development of citizen led ‘hybrid cities’ in which new technologies foster new behaviours; new ethnographic interpretations of the city and its peoples; and changing representations of the city in new and old formats: photography, film, animation, augmented and virtual realities.

The questions it asks include, but are not limited to: how can old urban infrastructures incorporate the possibilities of new technologies; how do these technologies affect design, participation, experience and representation in the city; will new modes of communication and visualisation alter the ‘culture’ and ‘economy’ of these places and their peoples; will passive city consumption be replaced by active engagement; how will inhabitants of these cities interact with each other, across boundaries and with their respective levers of power. In short, what are the implications and possibilities of the digital times in which we live, on the civic, cultural, aesthetic, economic, urban and architectural forum of medium-sized city.

It welcomes the participation of architects, planners, activists, artists, technologists, animators, filmmakers, cultural studies experts, programmers, gamers and more. It particularly welcomes those engaged in smaller cities or those in larger cities with a view to their own periphery. It welcomes multiple formats of presentation and interaction.

For details: http://architecturemps.com/bristol-uk/

ABSTRACT DEADLINE: 15th NOVEMBER, 2015

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