Investigating urban image making: actors, processes and tactics / STREAM B – Images of the city

Title: Investigating urban image making: actors, processes and tactics

Organizers: David Chapin (CUNY Graduate Center, USA); Scott Lizama (CUNY Graduate Center, USA); Lidia K.C. Manzo (Politechnic of Milan, IT)


Public images contribute to define urban reality in many different ways. Social media technologies increasingly allow for the everyday circulation of ideas, discourses, representations and politics and highlight the potential for social action through practices of disordered spatial tactics, the ones that “…make use of the cracks that particular conjunctions open in the surveillance of the proprietary powers” as De Certeau put it (1984: 37). In this session we wish to examine the urban image making as a “process of ownership,” which is complimented by the researchers’ acceptance that visual recording is an entirely immersive experience.

What are the contemporary urban imaging tactics that can be considered proactive, socially motivated, and defiant of the institutional strategies implemented within the urban fabric? What are the ways urban researchers are investigating the visual processes of protest for example? What new technologies allow us to examine the urban tag/graffiti as a subversive act in more complex ways? What is the role social media plays in urban visual tactics? We are interested in attracting papers that explore how social media technology and the power of the visual image come together in specific contexts. Instagram, with its hashtagging and timecoding, for instance, allows us to understand the fluid aspects of a given space. Such images become, in fact, archives of evidence of socially mediated Certeauian tactics to navigate the contemporary urban strategies of what “public” space is and whom this “public” space is designed for.

We are looking for papers where the visual is driving the research, the conceptualization, methodology, and analysis around urban issues, and we encourage the submission of “traditional” papers as well as posters (70x100cm).

B1.1 Surveilling the “proprietary powers”: Investigating urban image making as a process of ownership

Chair: David Chapin (CUNY Graduate Center)

Discussant: Lidia K.C. Manzo (Politecnico Milan)


Giovanni Attili, Rossella Sordilli
Re-imagining Civita di Bagnoregio, the Dying City: a visual experiment in reversing the de-realizing effects of images (11 MB)

Aya Nassar
Public Spaces of Memory: Contested Visualizations of Absence

Sukanya Krishnamurthy
Rituals and the participation of urban form: Informal and formal image making processes (10 MB)

Shahd Dayoub
From Imagining to Imaging Dubai: A transition in urban visual ideologies from an Image of Dubai’s architecture to an Image of its urban experience


B1.2 Surveilling the “proprietary powers”: Investigating urban image making as a process of ownership

Chair: David Chapin (CUNY Graduate Center)

Discussant: Scott Lizama (CUNY Graduate Center)


John D. Boy, Justus Uitermark
Capture and share the city: Mapping Instagram’s uneven geography in Amsterdam

Mariia Gryshchenko
The manifestation of the social attitudes changes in the urban public space – Visual analysis of the protest movement Euromaydan in the Kyiv public space – November 2013 – March 2014

Rania Abdel Galil
Capturing the image of Alexandria; expectations, aspirations and reality

Gilda Catalano
Maps, texts, icons into the European cities. A long way for public ownership

Distributed Paper

Esther Hio-Tong Castillo
Struggling for the Representation of Space via Social Media: Experience from Social and Labor Movements in Macau

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