The Machinic City – Part 1 – Brasilia: A Machine For Living In (video – 5 min)

I shot this short film to promote my forthcoming book—The Machinic City: Media, Performance and Participation (Manchester University Press – Materialising the Digital Series). Referring to one of the iconic cities of Modernist Urban Planning—Brasilia—where I lived as a child, I describe how modernist cities were conceived as ‘machines for living’.

Furthermore, I offer an alternative interpretation for contemporary cities that envisions them as an assemblage of machines that includes the ‘abstract machine’ as an actant with inherent potential for change.

This film is divided in two parts. The first examines Brasilia as a ‘machine for living’ and the second part offers an alternative interpretation of the machine-city that I will elaborate in more detail in my book.

This film was shot entirely on a mobile phone (at 720p) with the internal microphone and only the odd scene shot with a tripod, so the quality is not great. I hope to eventually be able to produce a broadcast quality series based on this pilot project. Any feedback, comments and suggestions are very welcome!

And here is the link to Part 2:

By Marcos Dias

I am an Assistant Professor at the School of Communications, Dublin City University. I completed a PhD in Media Studies in the University of Melbourne, Australia in 2015 and I also hold a MSc with Distinction in Interactive Digital Media from Trinity College Dublin. My main research investigates the social and spatial impact of digital technologies in the contemporary mediated city.

In my book The Machinic City: Media, Performance and Participation (Manchester University Press, 2021), I investigate the potential of performance art to help us reflect on contemporary urban living and its assemblages of human and machine agency.

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