Post-Internet Cities

The internet has, since its cultural inception, been conceived of as an emancipatory technology. If, according to Walter Benjamin, the invention of iron and glass predicated the nineteenth century paradigm of phantasmagoria through the “emancipation" of forms of construction from art—a historical trajectory that progressed onwards with the intervention of photography, montage, and the like—what, then, has the internet has emancipated from what? Conversely, the "accidents” of the internet—surveillance, fake news, the propagation of ideological evil, doxing, etc.—forces us to critically call into question the value of this emancipation; for who, and at what cost?

All over the world, cities have been, are, and will continue to be modernizing themselves with digital infrastructures, as much as they are able, willing, and feel the need to. Yet digital infrastructures have been, are, and will continue to be modernizing the city itself, as much as they can, on their terms. The temples of commodity that Benjamin identified in the Parisian arcades have long-since moved out of the city and onto the internet, leaving something like a void in the capital of cities that has been quick to be filled in and fought over by start-up ventures. Solutions are the commodity of today, and we know the ones we have to be insufficient in addressing the challenges we face. What is needed is a different way of seeing; a different language for questioning.

Nick Axel
Helena Barranha
Pedro Gadanho
Nikolaus Hirsch
Anton Vidokle

Post-Internet Cities is a collaborative project between e-flux Architecture and MAAT – Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology within the context of the Utopia/Dystopia exhibition and “Post-Internet Cities” conference, produced in association with Institute for Art History, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities – Universidade NOVA de Lisboa and Instituto Superior Técnico – Universidade de Lisboa, and supported by MIT Portugal Program and Millennium bcp Foundation.

Nashin Mahtani
Impressions of Disaster
Morten Søndergaard
On Para-logic Practices
Salvatore Iaconesi and Oriana Persico
Constrained Cities
Fabrizio Ballabio and Tommaso Franzolini
Digital Real Estate
Nick Axel, Helena Barranha, Pedro Gadanho, Nikolaus Hirsch, and Anton Vidokle
Editorial—"Digital Realism"
Fabrizio Ballabio

Fabrizio Ballabio is an architect and writer based in London where he teaches History and Theories at the Architectural Association and at the Royal College of Art. He is a co-founder of åyr, a London based art collective exploring the complex evolution of domesticity in the post-internet city, and a Ph.D. candidate in the University of York’s History of Art department.

Tommaso Franzolini

Tommaso Franzolini is a practicing architect working on the planning and architectural design of corporate & technology projects in cities globally including nuclear energy new build, data centres, urban logistics and advanced manufacturing. He is a participant of the Executive MSc in Cities (EMC) by the London School of Economics and Political Science and has directed Factory Futures, the Architectural Association Visiting School program in Ivrea, Italy.

Salvatore Iaconesi

Salvatore Iaconesi is an interaction designer, robotics engineer, artist, hacker, 2012 TED Fellow 2012, Eisenhower Fellow since 2013, and 2014 Yale World Fellow. He currently teaches Interaction Design and cross-media practices at the Faculty of Architecture of the “La Sapienza” University of Rome, at ISIA Design Florence, at the Rome University of Fine Arts and at the IED Design institute.

Nashin Mahtani

Nashin Mahtani is an architectural theorist and designer, investigating the interplay of software aesthetics, ecological governance, and social behaviours to advocate for environmental justice. She is currently the director of (Disaster Map Indonesia), where she leads a multidisciplinary design research team in developing humanitarian infrastructures for climate adaptation.

Marisa Olson

Marisa Olson is an artist, writer, and media theorist. Her interdisciplinary work combines performance, video, drawing and installation to address the cultural history of technology, the politics of participation in pop culture and the aesthetics of failure.

Oriana Persico

Oriana Persico holds a degree in Communication Sciences, is an expert in participatory policies and digital inclusion. She is an expert on the formal analysis of cultural and social trends, with specific focus on social networks.

Hani Rashid

Hani Rashid, with Lise Anne Couture, is the co-founder of Asymptote Architecture. He is currently the International Dean at the Institute of Architecture, University of Applied Arts in Vienna.

Morten Søndergaard

Morten Søndergaard is Associate Professor and Curator of Interactive Media Art at Aalborg University, Denmark. He is co-founder and AAU-coordinator of Erasmus Master in Media Arts Cultures, co-founder (with Peter Weibel) of ISACS – International Sound Art Curating Conference Series, and (with Laura Beloff) the upcoming EVA-Copenhagen symposium.

Post-Internet Cities 1–7 Contributors
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