Wednesday, February 09, 2005

I'm too tired to think of something witty

In reading the articles for this week I was struck by the role media plays in constructing what da Costa refers to as the "unreal city" of "city of imagination." Whether it be movies, books, music, or the Internet it appears up to the audience/receiver to define representaions of space for themselves, especially when a physical counterpart is nonexistant. Sure, the "auteur" creates a representation of a city or crafts an entirely new city based on bits and pieces of cities gleaned from their experiences but it is up to the audience to truly decipher the message and make meaning of the representation of place. Therefore, I'm curious in spite of this observation whether or not this really matters. In our hypermediated society where audiences are increasingly able to investigate far off locations through the web, movies, etc., does the "unreal city" even exist? If we have such detailed knowledge of places we've never personally experienced in a physical sense how are our interpretaions of these "real cities" any different than interpretations of an auteur's "city of imagination"? Sure, da Costa claims that representations on film can also include objective and faithful representations of real cities (documentaries) as well as "cinematic cities" where fictional events take place in recognizable places but I'm not sure I really believe there's a difference when you consider the wealth of representations of place we store cognitively compared to our actual personal experience. Half of the time I feel I'm living in a "city of imagination" myself! Any thoughts or comments to this incoherent babble?

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