The City in the Age of Remix

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Alina Nazmeeva


As a method of cultural production and communication, remix has permeated the way the social space is perceived, conceived of and lived. Physical social space is captured, constructed and mediated with digital tools and by a multitude of users. The explosive use of cultural software and social media is actively shaping the experience of architectural and urban space. Smart city movement proponents advocate for a kind of participatory decision-making in cities that is akin to digital social space dynamics. Within the architectural practice, the space is first produced as a digital remix. The social space, both online or offline, physical or digital, crowdsourced or expert-designed, is socially produced as a collective assemblage of the fragments of digital images. 

This essay aims to outline four trajectories by which physical (architectural and urban) social space is intertwined and remixed with digital (social media and the web) social space, and the broader implications of such cross-hatchings. Additionally, this paper aims to bring this term to architectural and urban discourse. Positing that remix has become the dominant model of spatial production in the contemporary world, what are the implications of it for the social space and for the public? 

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