Frame Frame

Nicholas Burman | An Eruption of Fragmentary Impressions: Exploring the Spectral Narrator in Martin Vaughn-James’ The Cage

33.1 Urban Studies
/by
Abstract More than an aesthetic depiction of ruins, Martin Vaughn-James’ 1975 comic The Cage alerts one to the possibility of an urban environment overwhelming a narrative agent. This article draws on The Cage’s narratological tactics as well as hauntology in order to read the narrator as a spectral presence. It posits that what this narrator depicts reflects what Marc Augé describes as “places of memory.” Finally, the article describes how a tear in the spectral narrator’s vision points to a crisis in perception. The Cage’s unnerving quality resides in how it reveals perception itself to be a cage, a frame that limits one’s...

N.F. Hartvelt | The Urban Intersection: Resisting Control in the City of Mirror’s Edge Catalyst

33.1 Urban Studies
/by
Abstract This article examines environmental storytelling in the 2016 video game Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, which is set in an urban control society. The article discusses the link between ‘the urban’ and ‘the control society,’ paying attention to the digital aspect of (urban) control mechanisms and how these (invisible) mechanisms are consequently represented in Catalyst. It argues that through parkour gameplay and emergent narratives—both of which are firmly rooted in the urban setting of the game—Catalyst allows the player both to imagine and enact resisting control, thereby furthering understanding of the representation of (resistance to) control in the smart...

Judith Naeff | Time, Space and Subaltern Phenomenology in the Documentary Film Essay Taste of Cement

33.1 Urban Studies
/by
Abstract This article analyses how the film essay Taste of Cement by Ziad Kalthoum portrays Syrian construction labourers in Lebanon. It shows that the film’s evocation of sensory experience makes two important contributions to the way we conceive of cities in general, and of post-civil war Beirut in particular. First, Taste of Cement succeeds in representing the workers as subaltern subjects without participating in their erasure. Second, the film presents a view that I call “oscillating urbanism,” thus challenging conventional narratives of (post-)conflict...

Floris Paalman | An Ontology of City, Art, and Time: Plotting the Work of Fra Paalman

33.1 Urban Studies
/by
Abstract This article examines the artistic work and practice of Fra Paalman in order to rethink the relationship between art and the urban environment. It attempts to move away from the concept of urban art as capturing a fragment of a certain time and place in a city, given how such theoretical frameworks always imply a sort of ‘ideal city,’ or an imagined wholeness. Instead, Paalman’s art is explored for how the city becomes spatially integrated into, and temporally traversed by, the artwork, and vice versa. Through this, the article uses Paalman’s artwork to demonstrate how urban ontology is temporal, and acts as a composite and integration of various levels of...

Daniela Vicherat Mattar | Public Space as a Border Space: Social Contention and Street Art in Santiago Post-18/O

33.1 Urban Studies
/by
Abstract In October 2019, massive demonstrations took place in the streets of Santiago, Chile. The demands were varied, addressing several aspects of the acute social inequalities that characterise Chilean society. Protests were met with a brutally violent response by the police forces deployed to control them. What was more difficult to regulate was the explosion of graffiti and street art that accompanied the social unrest. These mobilisations speak of the repolitisation of the civil sphere through the occupation of public spaces. In this article, I propose to look at the role public spaces have played in these events not only from the perspective of public spaces as sites of political encounter and counter-hegemonic mobilisations, but mostly as borders. I contend that public spaces act as material and symbolic borders where the struggles over practices of ordering and othering take place. By looking at the history of a square in Santiago’s city center—Plaza de la Dignidad—and a selection of the graffiti in its surroundings, I explore how the square acts as a border and, in doing so, enables an alternative spatial imagination that feeds new possible political and social...

Simon Oxholm Roy and Jeff Diamanti | The Bifurcation of Amsterdam’s Terminals and Tourists: Urgenda and Beyond

33.1 Urban Studies
/by
Abstract This essay provides a visual and historical analysis of Amsterdam City and the terminal landscape of Westpoort in order to detail the aesthetic, discursive, and material entanglements of global logistics to the cultural imaginary of Amsterdam. By taking the recent victory of Stichting Urgenda over the interests of Dutch Petrocapital as a starting point, the essay suggests that while polity is beginning to shape environmental policy, the Port of Amsterdam continues to expand finance fueled fossil futures unabated. To explain why, archival and creative research generation is used to compare the Port of Amsterdam’s visual regime of energy storage and circulation in Westpoort to Amsterdam City’s post-industrial...

Kaixuan Yao and Max Casey | Foreword

33.1 Urban Studies
/by
Abstract Titled “Perspectives of Urban Studies,” this issue of FRAME features articles that share in making apparent what is lying below the surface of urban existence. Through analyzing the spatial-visual-material regime of the city (Vicherat Mattar; Roy and Diamanti; Burman), and the cultural representation and artistic remediation of urban living (Naeff; Paalman; Hartvelt; Burman), these articles each posit a distinct perspective in understanding lived or represented urban...

Exposition: Further Reading

32.2 Feminist Bodies
/by
Recent Publications Barla, Josef The Techno-Apparatus of Bodily Production A New Materialist Theory of Technology and the Body Columbia UP, 2019 ISBN: 978-3-8376-4744-0 What if the terms “technology” and “the body” did not refer to distinct phenomena interacting in one way or another? What if we understood their relationship as far more intimate—technologies as always already embodied, material bodies as always already technologized? What would it mean, then, to understand the relationship between technology and the body as a relation of indeterminacy? Expanding on the concept of the apparatus of bodily production in the work of Donna Haraway and Karen Barad, Josef Barla explores how material bodies along with their boundaries, properties, and mean- ings performatively materialize at sites where technological, biological, technoscientific, (bio-)political, and economic forces intra-act. Fidmer-Oraiz, Natalie Homeland Maternity: US Security Culture and the New Reproductive Regime U of Illinois P, 2019 ISBN: 978-0-252-08414-0 In US security culture, motherhood is a site of intense contestation both a powerful form of cultural currency and a target of unprecedented assault. Linked by an atmosphere of crisis and perceived vulnerability, motherhood and nation have become intimately entwined, dangerously positioning national security as reliant on the control of women’s bodies. Drawing on feminist scholarship and critical studies of security culture, Natalie Fixmer-Oraiz explores homeland maternity by calling our attention to the ways that authorities see both nonreproductive and “overly” reproductive women’s bodies as threats to social norms and thus to security. Homeland maternity culture intensifies motherhood’s requirements and works to discipline those who refuse to adhere. Analyzing the opt-out revolution,...

Anneloek Scholten & Max Casey | “The Singular Falls Continually”: Queer Bodies out of Time in Nightwood

32.2 Feminist Bodies
/by
Abstract This article argues that Djuna Barnes’ Nightwood (1936), despite partly subscribing to a Freudian model of homosexuality based on inversion, simultaneously demonstrates a concept of sexuality and identity that gestures outwards. Nightwood’s characters display excesses of meaning and are located outside of—rather than arrested in—linear heteronormative time. The novel’s sexual and identarian incoherencies create a sense of temporal dislocation and, in Barnes’ dense stylistics, characters that verge on linguistic illegibility. This article analyses the dynamics of (sexual) identity in the novel, and in doing so, attempts to highlight the potentialities of Nightwood for contemporary feminist and queer...