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- The car can be seen as an instrument of hypermodernism which affirms the relationship between individuals and the physical space in which they engage in daily life. The terrain of the car thus becomes a terrain of control where citizens are able to maintain an ever-elusive, personal connection to the city. This new hypermodernism is accompanied by a growing proliferation of product options and the commodification of urban space. Spectaculars of cars such as the Camry, Hummer, and Mercedes can be seen as showcasing through representations the hyper modernist, hypercapitalist experience, in which the dominant culture allows the individual to experience a living city for the first time.
- Keywords: cars, techno consumerism, hypermodernism, urbanism, public space, privacy, mistrust
- The typical paradigm of public space is the street. The image of a street as a symbol of the active, outdoor, unruly, partisan, real, civil and anti-authoritarian realms of life has carried us forward in history. Each day, cars consume significant amounts of pavement space, distributing a surprising amount of images to people around the world that travel around the world.
- In the course of the last decade, the relationships between cars and the streets have changed significantly. Public transportation, public parks, and vast urban lots have become important, congested spaces that become the breeding ground for the creation of the type of public street that is needed for car traffic, as well as the hectic body language that accompany drivers staring at the road ahead, assailed by their own fears about unsafe driving. Technological developments regarding the cost of living, allowing people to live in spacious cities, as well as the capitalist nature of consumption, have created the conditions for hypermodernist consumerism. The car thus becomes a symbol of hyperconsumerism, a symbol of urbanism, a spatializing agent of globalising forces that has brought about a profound shift in the dynamics of cities worldwide.
- Through this notion of hypermodernism, the focus is placed on cars and their promotion and implementation as global public spaces. This changes public space and its representation as a politicized and politicized public space, being re-appropriated by political and commercial interests in ways that are both in need of critique and valorisation in pursuit of financial gain and profit. We undertake a journey to the heart of globalisation by investigating the dynamic effects of cars on the spatial representation of the public. This mapping approach aims to highlight how the creation of a certain image of the public – post-modernist, high-tech urbanism and hyperconsumerism – has contributed to the image of cities as desirable places for capitalist development.
- Our study aims to reveal how the construction of the dominant public space is colonized by certain types of images, notably cars, that fundamentally re-invests in the dominant image of urban space.
- To our knowledge, this paper is the first study to address the representation of urban space in terms of vehicles as a symbol of the city. By looking at automobile images – representing the “best” architectural and automotive companies – we investigate how cars are actually used as a symbol. As a digital tracking technique, this mapping approach allows us to watch the red flags of hyper modernism being consumed by the white flags of hyperconsumerism. We investigate the circulation of different types of vehicles and they interaction with different uses of public space, such as transport, parks, and vehicles that provide light, shelter and security.
- We map cars – the technological and structural “best” buildings – and map the production of a multitude of vehicles (cars, trucks, motorcycles, motorcycles, and transport) by comparison to how different types of vehicles are related to car access. We explore the circulation of the new architectural image of city space and demonstrate how car imagery can be shown as a panorama of systematic active urbanism, accessible to people who can now purchase a mobility more convenient than it used to be in past eras.
- We also look at the social and material effects of cars, in which we see the emergence of hyperconsumerism, in which technology provides people with a “universal” public space. The urban picture is repackaged for both consumers and workers, as hypermodernism, and effectively created as a symbolic, commodified, branding strategy. Specifically, this is all done in a thoroughly neoliberal, neo-liberal way and sets a new pattern of urban consumption and residential, economic and industrial development which is in need of investigation, at least in the areas known as the Third World.
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