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Geopolitics of Urban Landscape and Technologisation

We're now in the last session of the Tallinn section of ISEA2004. The first keynote is by Jussi Jauhiainen from the universities of Oulu (Finland) and Tartu (Estonia). Let's hope my battery lasts!

He notes the collagic nature of urban landscapes - work-play, live-work, and play-live are all combinations which exist and need to be catered for within city spaces. He also points out that representations of the postmodern city tend to generalise from individual citizens' experience of the city. This is also further complicated by false juxtapositions of overgeneralised local (place) and global (space) environments whenever urban settings are discussed. (He doesn't mention the concept of the 'glocal' as an interweaving of global and local influences, but essentially this seems to be what he's arguing for.) So, desribing the urban context in one form or another is always a geopolitical act. (He's also going on something of a detour about the nature of academic writing - this is essentially rehearsing good old Barthesian work on readerly vs. writerly texts, and doesn't seem like anything very new to me...)

Back now to his focus on urban geography: an interesting point on the emphasis on visual representations in urban geography, which miss the contributions made by the other senses. Also, the technologisation of urban landscapes complicates this even further because there is increasingly a mix between physical and digital presences (or between presence and absence). Ultimately, Jauhiainen quotes Cresswell, places are neither completely material nor completely mental. Thus, 'post-postmodern geography' must take in both material and mental aspects of the landscape.