Tag Archives: The Infrastructural City

Product Placement and Cargo Cults

“…we have radical abundance propped up by massive debt.  Even though consumption is still rampant, we have passed the point of needing to produce more things as a society…Our growing relationship to our objects, or props, is that of a programmer to bits of code.  As programmers we assemble these pieces of code into a […]

Games and Spaces of Negotiation

[Counting on Change, by Roger Sherman  -- Chapter 9 of The Infrastructural City Blogiscussion] [A learned coexistence: Curley's Cafe, Shell's Oil Rigs, and US bank together in Signal Hill, Los Angeles.  Source] “Emphasize change-based thinking. Embrace risk. Understand successional dynamics and settle upon an equilibrium enforced by each [urban] player’s self interest. Stage and creatively […]

A Corporate Landscape Urbanism

“Hiding its presence from public view, the cell tower camouflaged as a palm tree becomes an appropriate icon for the private infrastructural network of our day” [image source] In Varnelis’ Infrastructural City, Ted Kane and Rick Miller’s chapter “Cell Structure” provides a systemic view of corporate urbanism.  The authors explore this urbanism by mapping the […]

Constructed Forests and Contested Ecologies

[Clouds passing through San Fransisco's Mt. Sutro forest] (Note:  this post is part of the Infrastructural City Blogiscussion.  Click here for mammoth’s introduction to this chapter) In addition to Los Angeles’ Palm trees, Warren Techentin’s Tree Huggers Chapter briefly mentions that the most widely planted non-native trees in California were varieties of the Australian Eucalyptus, […]

More Views of Emergent Urban Forests

(Note:  this post is part of the Infrastructural City Blogiscussion.  Click here for mammoth’s introduction to this chapter) Warren Techentin’s Tree Huggers (chapter seven of Varnelis’ Infrastructural City) explores the impending fate of Los Angeles’ iconic, yet water-consumptive palm trees.   As the city seeks to create a more multi-functional urban forest, the nearly shadeless […]

What is Traffic?

The Infrastructural City Blogiscussion: Reading Sean Dockray, Fiona Whitton, and Steve Rowell’s Blocking All Lanes,  (introduced by mammoth here) [Flickr user Zsolti/NYM] Blocking All Lanes begins by asking a very basic question — what is traffic?   As the authors point out, we typically emphasize the vehicular steel container rather than its contents when referring to traffic.  […]

Fluid Topographies

The Infrastructural City: Reading Matthew Coolidge’s Margins in our Midst: Gravel (introduced by mammoth here) [Gravel barges, from Flickr user mistert2) Sites of resource extraction and mining are perhaps the best locations to demonstrate the networked ecology of urbanism.  The massive voids and distorted terrains created by the borrowing of material from one landscape for […]

Remediating Crude City

[The Infrastructural City blogiscussion - Chapter 3: Crude City] [Removal of a leaking storage tank from a Superfund site.  Image via Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection photostream] “But infrastructures, when outmoded, do not just disappear.  Forced underground, they undergo metamorphic transformations, the resulting strata propping up the world above” -Ruchala, Crude City In reading Frank […]

Minimalism and Infrastructure

“We need to develop new narratives to understand and appreciate urban watersheds and how they function”  -David Fletcher, Flood Control Freakologies, The Infrastructural City [Army Corps of Engineer's channel flow model, circa 1940] Minimalism, as an artistic movement,  is characterized by a particular set of aesthetics and sculptural works.  ‘Minimalism’ refers to the idea of […]

Visual Histories of the Los Angeles River: the Past and Envisioned Futures

[This post is part of The Infrastructural City blogiscussion - Chapter 2: Flood Control Freakology] [An aerial view of Los Angeles and its River taken from a balloon around 1887.] “Historically, as the river flooded and meandered across the floodplain, the watershed boundary redefined itself.  Originally the river ran through a broad alluvial floodplain, the […]

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