Marcos P. Dias
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The introduction describes the concept of the machine-city as representative of the ideal of an efficient city controlled by technical machines. It argues for the importance of aesthetic machines to generate spaces of deliberation on our role as participants in the contemporary mediated city. It provides an example of an aesthetic machine in the form of a performative art intervention in urban space – Graffiti Research Lab’s Laser Bombing – to symbolise the role of media, performance and participation as key factors in how we interact with urban space. Furthermore, it conceptualises the machinic city as a model that represents the current state of urban affairs and the relational nature of the actants that constitute it, comparing it against the vision of the machine-city based on the uncritical acceptance of the effects of technical machines on the city and on social interactions. The concept of the aesthetic machine is briefly discussed by referring to Guattari’s key argument that the aesthetic paradigm is capable of traversing other ‘Universes of value’ and enabling emerging modes of subjectivity. This is followed by a brief outline of the chapter structure of the book.

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The machinic city

Media, performance and participation


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