Fracking Sociality: Architecture, real estate, and the internet’s new urbanism

Moreno, Louis. 2020. Fracking Sociality: Architecture, real estate, and the internet’s new urbanism. In: Peter Mörtenböck and Helge Mooshammer, eds. Data Publics: Public Plurality in an Era of Data Determinacy. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 147-166. ISBN 9780367184728 [Book Section]

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This chapter explores a set of tendencies that suggest that the internet’s future is linked to a transformation in the technological form of urban real estate. Everything from the spread of sensor-based technology and the impact of technology on property trading through to protests against tech-led gentrification, indicates a new urban threshold in the history of the internet’s expansion: a new urbanism whose ethos of collectivity, connectivity, and conviviality belies a drive to enclose and privatize. But instead of merely assuming that the convergence of gentrification and social media represents the overpowering of internet connectivity by financial capital, this chapter argues that the logic of “urban renewal” was always fundamental to the way the architecture of the internet was conceptualized. Tracking the mid-20th-century theory of New Brutalism through to the recent implosion of WeWork via debates on sensory architectures and Google’s ad-space algorithms, the chapter argues that what modern architecture provided was an environmental ability to cultivate social space in such a way that the capitalization of land and knowledge not only become second nature, but the urban regeneration of this system is taken to be the cultural sign of technological progress.

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Visual Cultures


31 May 2020Published

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15 Mar 2024 16:14

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15 Mar 2024 16:15


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