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Mediators

Aesthetics, Politics, and the City

2015
Author:

Reinhold Martin

Mediators

Toward a theory of the city at the crossroads of aesthetics and politics

Reinhold Martin’s Mediators is a series of linked meditations on the globalized city. Focusing on infrastructural, technical, and social systems, Martin explores how the aesthetics and the political economy of cities overlap and interact. He discusses a range of subjects, including the architecture of finance written into urban policy, regimes of enumeration that remix city and country, fictional ecologies that rewrite biopolitics, the ruins of socialism strewn amid the transnational commons, and memories of revolution stored in everyday urban hardware. For Martin, these mediators—the objects, processes, and imaginaries from which these phenomena emerge—serve to explain disparate fragments of a global urbanity.

Reinhold Martin’s Mediators is a series of linked meditations on the globalized city. Focusing on infrastructural, technical, and social systems, Martin explores how the aesthetics and the political economy of cities overlap and interact. He discusses a range of subjects, including the architecture of finance written into urban policy, regimes of enumeration that remix city and country, fictional ecologies that rewrite biopolitics, the ruins of socialism strewn amid the transnational commons, and memories of revolution stored in everyday urban hardware. For Martin, these mediators—the objects, processes, and imaginaries from which these phenomena emerge—serve to explain disparate fragments of a global urbanity.

Forerunners is a thought-in-process series of breakthrough digital works. Written between fresh ideas and finished books, Forerunners draws on scholarly work initiated in notable blogs, social media, conference plenaries, journal articles, and the synergy of academic exchange. This is gray literature publishing: where intense thinking, change, and speculation take place in scholarship.

Mediators

Reinhold Martin is professor of architecture in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University, where he directs the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture and is a member of the Committee on Global Thought.

Mediators

Contents

Preface
1. City, Country, World
2. Financial Imaginaries
3. The Thing about Cities
4. Public and Common(s)
5. Horizons of Thought

Acknowledgments
Notes