“Practicing the Generic (City): Reconfiguring Life through Digital Media” presented by Hansen


Session Title:

  • Algorithmic Topology

Presentation Title:

  • Practicing the Generic (City): Reconfiguring Life through Digital Media



  • The key issue to examine with locative media and pervasive games is that many of these new, mediated experiences refer to and appropriate space while divorcing it from its meaning, history, and significance. (Flanagan 2007; 5)

    All Generic Cities issue from the tabula rasa; if there was nothing, now they are there; if there was something, they have replaced it. They must, otherwise they would be historic. (Koolhaas 1995; 1253)

    Discussing locative media projects Flanagan (2007) argues that digital urban games often demonstrate a striking lack of reflection on the particular urban space they are designed for. Many claim to be psychogeographic, but hardly any of them actually are, Flanagan argues, as they neglect the historical and political aspects that were essential to the Situationists’ investigations. With the Situationists and Lefebvre as analytical tool, she thus presents a critique of those games where the game ‘engine’ and not the context itself defines the game play. Concluding that most games understand the urban landscape simply as an advanced game board where the actual location is only superficially explored, Flanagan calls for designers to understand that locative media projects “must begin to reflect the contested nature of the lived reality of such spaces” (Flanagan 2007).

PDF Document: