Spectacular / Ordinary / Contested Media City Conference, Finland, May 2013

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I’m one of the keynote speakers for this conference in May. The conference organizers have just released their CFP; I encourage everyone with interest in the “media city” — and anyone eager for a trip to Finland — to apply! CALL FOR PAPERS

The Spectacular/Ordinary/Contested Media City

May 15‚Äď17, 2013 Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki, Finland In contemporary cities, the effects of advanced telecommunications and ¬†commodified media exist everywhere around us. In both eye-catching and ¬†oblique ways, mass and personalised media forms reshape our spatial ¬†practices and perceptions of specific milieus and the city as a whole. We invite presentations that deal particularly with the following issues:

  • role of media and surveillance technologies in the ¬†spectacularisation of urban public spaces and events
  • the ways in which media technologies and representations become part of the taken-for-granted perceptions and routinised practices and rhythms of urban life
  • the actual and potential contributions of mass and personalised ¬†media forms to the contestation of economic, political and cultural ¬†hegemonies in cities

Throughout the interdisciplinary symposium, the spectacular, ordinary ¬†and contested aspects of the media city will be brainstormed through ¬†questions such as: What is the relationship of materiality of media ¬†and symbolic media representations in the construction of densely ¬†digitalised urban milieus? To what extent and how is media-saturation ¬†steering people‚Äôs urban activities towards automated and un-reflected ¬†modes? Or do the ‚Äúurban media affordances‚ÄĚ open room for creative ¬†place-making practices, new amalgamations of technology and ¬†corporeality, and even chances for alternative decoding and political ¬†resistance? In which ways do different forms of art and popular ¬†culture (cinema, literature, theatre, digital games etc.) articulate ¬†and intervene in the media city? What ethical and political issues ¬†lurk behind the pecuniary motifs of the ongoing mediatisation of space? Invited keynote speakers:

  • Anne Cronin, Lancaster University, UK
  • Stephen Graham, Newcastle University, UK
  • Scott McQuire, Melbourne University, Australia
  • Shannon Mattern, The New School, USA

If you would like to present a paper at the  Spectacular/Ordinary/Contested Media City symposium, please send an  abstract (max. 300 words) to by 14 January  2013. A narrative bio (max. 100 words) describing the author’s  background and research interests should also accompany the proposal. For more information, visit: The organising committee: Jani Vuolteenaho & Outi Hakola, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies Seija Ridell & Sami Kolamo, University of Tampere. Contacts / conference secretary: Kirsi L. Reyes-Anastacio / Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies Email:

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