Text: Bill Psarras © 2015
Everything is urban
I am urbanized. Possibly lots of us and numerous layers of our experience seem to have been urbanized. By this, I mean an entangled set of practices, situations and encounters that are not only characterized by the city but they also inform what we know as the urban condition. In other words, I am not referring on the the city as geographical/locative entity but as a way of understanding things – an urban way of perception. We use the term city to speak of cities but the scale, size and character of the city has already created conceptual stratifications defined by numbers of population: the city, the metropolis and the megalopolis.
Towards an Urban Romanticism
Going on the top of buildings, passing some time on the rooftops of city, the urban panorama seems to be similar to what the Romantic Caspar David Friedrich depicted on his famous painting ‘The Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog‘ (1818). A man stands on a rocky corner of a mountain; starring towards a foggy horizon and landscape. In the same way, standing on the top of rooftops concrete and antennas and observing on the pulsating city of hopes and fears, reveals an emerging romanticism. Bringing together and entering this web of spatial formations, traffic rhythms, the surrounding concrete surfaces and the antennas and the changing sonic waves – reveals a resembling Situationist ‘situation’ on rooftops. However, by merging imagination, action and reality on the very core of now (the moment) gives us the opportunity to use as letters and sentences of our emotional vocabulary all these mundane, everyday but strange objects.
The Antenna and the Observer
In this way, antenna becomes a silent company for the observer – in front of the city. Antenna is part of his situation illustrating both the distant and the attentive – in other words: the artist. It is there as a receptor of signals from out of the urban, yet an indicator of existence with a metaphorical courage to stand our there in the name of the potential message, in the name of communication. Antenna seems melancholic, but this is not true – on the contrary, it is a strong indicator of life. Even within the multimedia city and the overstimulating everyday life – city panorama entails an urban romanticism – a condition that someone’s acknowledgement of it, is not distanced from reality but strongly political, poetic and active. [to be continued in future post]