Deep Mapping the Media City

Deep Mapping the Media City (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press [Forerunners Series], March 2015) [pdf]

Going beyond current scholarship on the “media city” and the “smart city,” Shannon Mattern argues that our global cities have been mediated and intelligent for millennia. Deep Mapping the Media City advocates for urban media archaeology, a multisensory approach to investigating the material history of networked cities. Mattern explores the material assemblages and infrastructures that have shaped the media city by taking archaeology literally—using techniques like excavation and mapping to discover the modern city’s roots in time.


Conceptual Units: How Our Knowledge Institutions Materialize Intellectual and Cultural Values (2014)

I spoke about “Intellectual Furnishings” at the March 7, 2014, “Media, Materiality, Infrastructure” workshop organized by Nicole Starosielski and Arjun Appadurai at NYU. You can find my slides and talk here.

This one-day workshop in NYU’s Department of Media, Culture, and Communication will consider emergent approaches to media, materiality, and infrastructure. It is inspired by the recent expansion in research on the materiality of media and communication, undertaken in diverse scholarly lineages ranging from material culture, to urban studies, to German media-theory inspired media archaeology. The workshop will explore questions such as: how are new forms of material assemblage affecting mediation? What new forms of agency, sociality, and connectivity are at play? What kinds of materialist approaches are necessary to come to grips with the shifts in media infrastructure? It is our hope that the session will serve as a forum to foreground critical questions on media and materiality, and to connect and advance projects on these topics.