Global Media – Urban Images

10. International Bauhaus-Colloquium • Weimar 2007

Call for Papers

Workshop 3

Prof. Dr. Kurt W. Forster (Yale University)
Assistant Mag. Arch. Eva Maria Froschauer

Spaces and images are always embedded in as well as generated from a social context. Thus spaces and images participate in the constitution of a society. These processes can be understood as historical processes which are condensed in the city. In recent time it can be observed how the all-embracing global mediatization on the one hand and the urbanization of societies on the other hand accelerate the interaction of spatial and image phenomena. Beyond their function of recognition these urban images (emblems, icons, street images, ensembles, schema, grids, and planning programs) show the tendency to become independent models of cognition and interpretation inside the global media systems. What does it mean, if today only those images of urbanity can be mediated that are subjected to the regime of the new internet communication and its codes of transmission? The workshop is dedicated to discuss the transformation processes of the urban reality through the mediated images and its migration processes inside the network of the global communication system.

The boundless digital reproduction procedures call for a critical questioning of the genesis, proliferation and function of the mediated, stereotypical urban image (e.g. the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Colosseum in Rom, and the Tiananmen Square in Beijing). They contribute to the homogenization of global standards, though at the same time to the improvement in the quality of cities. Ironically it is the universal laws of the media that enter into competition with the more static ideas of urbanity (Piazza Navona, Times Square, Piccadilly Circus, etc.). On the other hand the heterogeneous stream of media images offer themselves as a place for the repressed urban image (i.e. the tanks in Baghdad, the bridge of Mostar, 9/11 etc.).

How do the observable phenomena of convergence and synchronisation between the real urban situations and their media presence actually function? Finally, what is the nature of change from the modern (Bauhaus) to the post-modern global image practices? What does it mean, if today some architects rise to become global players and transform cities into mere recipients of their mediated image practice?


For further information please contact: eva.froschauer[at]