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Unitary Urbanism: wandering the city « Previous | |Next »
November 26, 2007

By taking the Situationists advice to wander the city and to feel the emotional flow on the street, I'm starting to uncover lots of hidden treasures in the back alleys and little side streets in the CBD of Adelaide:

Gary Sauer-Thompson, Shopfront, Peel Street, Adelaide CBD, 2007

It's as if I'm getting to know the city I've lived for a couple of decades; coming across the historical cultural layers of yesteryear in the humble and prosaic world of everyday life. This is beneath the gaze of the social sciences and what is disclosed is the historicity of the everyday.

Steward Home in his The Assault on Culture: Utopian Currents from Lettrism to Class War has a chapter on the founding congress of the Situationist International and its declaration. He refers to a:

signed resolution declaring the "necessity of an integral construction of the environment by a unitary urbanism that must utilize all arts and modem techniques"; the "inevitable outrnodedness of any renovation of an art within its traditional limits"; the "recognition of an essential interdependence between unitary urbanism and a future style of life" which must be situated "in the perspective of a greater real freedom and a greater domination of nature"; and "unity of action among the signers on the basis of this to programme".

Unitary Urbanism, which was largely abandoned for the Debordian theory of the spectacle by the Situationist International, rejected the standard Euclidean, almost wholly functional approach to urban architectural design, and the compartmentalized way in which "art" is typically detached from its surroundings.

Gary Sauer-Thompson, Peel Street mural, CBD Adelaide, 2007

Unitary Urbanism connects up with Lefebvre's theory of 'everyday life'. Lefebvre argued that every society - and therefore every mode of production - produces a certain space, its own space. The city in the world of capitalist modernity cannot be understood as a simple agglomeration of people and things in space - it has its own spatial practice, making its own space.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 05:48 AM | | Comments (2)


have you seen Utata that has spun off from Flickr. Here's their blurb:

We love flickr. Madly even. And it's the greatest photo storage and management tool ever invented. And it has a pretty cool community interface. The basic theory is that the web is like an organic thing and the best results happen when technologies and platforms can merge - like symbiotic creatures - and create better services for users. So. Flickr stores our photos and offers us a place to hold tribe meetings and, to their great credit, has a wonderful open interface so that we can use the data stored there, in our own format on Utata. Flickr is the great community hall and Utata is one of its boutiques, so to speak. To be a member of Utata you must be a member of flickr.

Utata was built so that we could do things with our photography. Give ourselves goals and inspire our own creativity and present things to the general public which are fun and interesting. What we're really trying to do is make the concept of photography on the internet more of an active endeavor than a passive one.


thanks. you are right. Utata is an interesting outgrowth from Flickr. It's an interesting response to the digital photography's staggering growth rate, and the photographic community on the internet rapid growth.

I've become a member of the group on Flickr. Not sure about taking the step to have a members page

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