The East Paris Emotion Map or Ruled by the Invisible

Thursday, 13. September 2012


Madeleine Imbeck / Arpad Hetey

What is reality? A profound philosophical question that cannot be answered. Antoine Picon showed in his presentation “Digital Technologies and contemporary Urbanization: Between Utopia and Reality” that today it has become even more difficult to answer this question. Fiction and reality are in a much more complex interaction than they used to be.

Unlike presumed, digital technologies do not have a direct impact on space. Cities have not drastically changed in their appearance, but they affect our understanding of cities. For the first time one can know what is going on in the city in real time. We can measure the activity. The city is transforming itself into a collection of events.

In the past we had the concept of “city of crowds” which is no transformed into “city of individuals”. Most of our societies are becoming individual and technology is playing an important role in this context. Surveillance has become part of our life and social interactions; as for example social networks serve to watch everyone’s life.

There is the challenge of visibility and representation. Invisible “objects” define our living space and our social life. Software is today part of a city’s infrastructure and platforms rule society. Christian Nord, artist, takes up the question of visual representation and individual cities in some of his artworks, e.g. the Emotion Map East Paris:
about Christian Nord:

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