MediaCity 4: Call for Abstracts

The fourth MediaCity reflects on pluralities and globalities, on MediaCities everywhere.
What new lines of inquiry and emergent relations between urbanity and digital media are found in non-Western cities, in post-Capitalist cities, in cities hosting civic turbulence or crossing international boundaries? What urban-medial relations are taking shape differently in urban milieux that may have been heretofore overlooked? These cities are deserving of more attention than ever before, as sites of population growth, of new cultural and social formations, of new entanglements between urban life and contemporary media, communications and information technologies, and more. MediaCities promises to expand our understanding of both media and the city today, and to articulate new sites of practice and working methods for an expanding field.
This fourth MediaCity conference inaugurates its transition to a roving event taking place every two years in different cities around the world. Additional calls will follow for proposals to host the next event as well as for media art and architecture projects to be exhibited during the conference.


Areas of interest may fall broadly into several themes, with the assumption that others will appear in the process of proposals and discussion leading up to the event, always expanding our lexicon and mental maps of MediaCities globally. These themes are: Other Urbans, Uncommons, Zero Growth Cities, Media Geographies and Bordervilles.

Other Urbans

MediaCities are typically associated with post-industrial societies, Western and Asian cultures, and urban centers whose economic bases are rooted in technology. But many nonwestern cities around the world are rapidly evolving under the aegis of ubiquitous computing, and urban living in these places appears differently as well. Now is the time to recognize and identify the new models, problems and lives of nonwestern and other MediaCities as relevant to all cities. Other Urbans concerns the non-Western MediaCity, but also the marginalized Western (Detroit, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Belfast, Leipzig) as well as the experimental (Songdo, Masdar).


What novel shifts are found now at the nexus of protest and public space in cities, and what roles are digital media playing? How are we to understand the enduring implications for events of 2010-2011 and after, from the Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street to whatever unfolds up until the conference itself, as each suggest diverse mutations in urban, medial and participatory formations? Lately we are seeing new catalytic reactions between these three elements. While the cases are familiar (WikiLeaks, Tahrir Square’s life on Twitter, OWS’s “human microphones”), their potentials to intertwine matters of economic, cultural and other representation suggest the start of enduring changes to how public space and public discourse appear within and between global cities. Each holds potential to recognize and reform our thinking of public space and public discourse irrevocably as an “uncommons.” No longer modeled on a rural pasture and no longer only a problematic of shared resources and individual interests, uncommons describe novel formations located in contested shared urban events.

Zero Growth Cities

This theme regards relations between growth, economy and MediaCities in diverse cases where urban landscapes and populations once considered dead or dying are rejuvenating themselves: an urban afterlife of sorts, often with clever mixtures of new and old technologies. How are MediaCities being newly inhabited and opportunistically developed in response to market conditions, and what creative and theoretical responses can we make to these developments? And what of those cities experiencing no growth (or even shrinkage)? Do wireless networks perform similarly in these cities as elsewhere? How do sensate and sentient landscapes affect life in cities whose populations don’t otherwise change? What vibrant new urban events and situations are appearing in these sometimes overlooked places?

Media Geographies

Today we recognize terms like "landscape" and "urban" to be non-oppositional - instead, we embrace the view that environment, social relations and even human subjectivity must be seen as interrelated ecologies. What roles do digital media play in this shift, and what new practices under a rubric of “Media Geographies” can it all suggest? For example, how are we to operate across scales, as critics, scholars, artists, designers? From bodies to landscapes that are at once local and global in scale, media geographies ask how this trans-scalar subject constitutes a form of urbanism. This theme critically engages spatial, social, ecological and philosophical implications as it mines the media cities we know for urbanities that we have overlooked.


How are urban conditions around national borders inflected by ubiquitous computing? What mediated forms of citizenship are emerging at these border zones, and how do they differ around the world? Bordervilles are often unofficially twinned cities that share common conditions (ecological, micro-economic, climatic) but not others (lingual, macro-economic), all of which can be affected by digital media that transcend physical boundaries and sometimes skirt national regulation. What new mediated bordervilles are to be seen, and what urban conditions do they propose? These MediaCities are diverse and ripe for study. Some include an expanded border region, (San Diego/Tijuana, Buffalo/Toronto) while others are cities divided across nations (Istanbul, Jerusalem, Shenhzhen / Hong Kong).


University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
Disciplines: Architecture, Art, Computer Science, Interaction Design, Geography, Media, Sociology, Urban Planning
Conference Chairs: Jordan Geiger, Omar Khan, Mark Shepard

Submission Requirements: Abstracts Due 12 November, 2012 by 11:59pm GMT, uploaded as a PDF file to the conference’s EasyChair website (see MediaCity2013_Call.pdf).

Paper abstracts should address global pluralities of MediaCities as the focus in this year's conference, whether that corresponds to one of the sample topics described herein or one of your own interest. The proposed presentation may relate academic research, a creative project or other subject matter but should not exceed 500 words. Abstracts will be double blind peer-reviewed by representatives of a wide range of expertise in relations between media and urban issues today.

Important Dates:

October 8, 2012 Call for Paper Abstracts

November 12, 2012 Abstracts Due

Dec 31, 2012 Acceptances Issued

March 1, 2013 Final Papers Due

May 3-5 2013 MediaCity 4: MediaCities




The Media of the Metapolis - Call for Papers

Institut Français d'Urbanisme
Institut für Europäische Urbanistik


The Media of the Metapolis
Reflecting the knowledge base of urban research

Rencontre Francois Ascher 2

Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, 24.-26 May 2012 
The emergence of the new information and communication technologies has had an enormous impact on urban life. The wide spread mobile phone and internet communication are just the spear head of more exciting technological innovations which are apparently lying ahead. While we are witnessing this information revolution, a more substantial analysis of the changes implied is obviously a practical and intellectual endeavour.

This conference will attempt in bringing together different perspectives, projects, and ideas on the recent and future development of urban development, local politics, architectural and planning practices and theoretical interpretations of the media city. The main assumption of the conference is that in the light of the work of Francois Ascher and his understanding of the predominating construction of the so-called metapolis, understood as a description of contemporary cities.

The conference invites scholars from all relevant disciplines to send in abstracts related to the four main field of interest:

1. Communicating the city
How do we understand the impact of the new technologies on the perception, reproduction, marketing, and identity? This workshop will enable a deeper discussion on what has changed with regard to the communication about the city and its political and societal understanding.

2. The New Public of the City
How has the appearance of social media changes the way of planning and political perspectives on the city? This workshop is dedicated to the discussion of urban planning as a communicative process where the role of the media needs to be reviewed under the conditions of the new opportunities of the internet.

3. Projecting Urban Future
The main question of this workshop is related to the new concepts developed with regard future urban development on the basis of technological innovations. The focus will lie on the subject of political, social and planning concepts that are looking on the emerging opportunities deriving from the information revolution for addressing the most important urban problems.

4. Enhancing The Urban
This workshop seeks projects which are practice based or related reflections on ongoing projects trying to translate the new urban themes into artistic, architectural and planning experiments. It is especially calling for artists and media experimentalists to present recent projects.

Please send your abstract (max. 500 words) to:

Prof. Dr. Frank Eckardt
Bauhaus-Universität Weimar Applications close: 25th January 2012

Invited scholars are freed oft he conference fee and can apply for travel support.

Further information:
Call for Papers: metapolis-cfp.pdf

The conference will be sponsored by the German Scientific Community.

MediaCity Conference 2010

MediaArchitecture, Urban Context and Social Practices
3rd international conference on the interaction of architecture, media and social phenomena

Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Germany
29 to 31 October 2010

The 3rd MediaCity conference will investigate how new media re-define social settings and urban spaces and how they influence architecture as well as media art & design in urban contexts, thus constituting new social and cultural practices.

Today, media create opportunities for diverse forms of connections between people and spaces, enabling and forming flows of information. New digital places for information and communication emerge, and the context of existing spaces is transformed by the joint impact of media and architecture, thus leading to new forms of social and cultural practices. The public sphere, the communication in ubiquitous networks, and the interaction with digital content will be a thematic focus. The conference addresses different approaches and methods of research. It will consist of three sessions and a workshop, exploring these themes in a focused way.



Recently published: "MEDIACITY: Situations, Practices and Encounters"

Frank Eckardt et al. (eds.)

Situations, Practices and Encounters

440 pages, 49,80 €, Paperback, ISBN 978-3-86596-182-2

„MEDIACITY – Situations, Practices and Encounters“ investigates how the social settings and spaces of the city are created, experienced and practiced through the use and presence of new media. It takes the position that new media enables different settings, practices and  behaviours to occur in urban space. Contributions from academics, practitioners and activists from disciplines such as Media Studies, Architecture, Urban Studies, Cultural and Urban Geography and Sociology present a critical reflection on the processes, methods and  impacts of technologies in urban space.

The MEDIACITY Project seeks to facilitate the transfer of outstanding international knowledge at the Bauhaus-University Weimar in order to intensify research within the interdisciplinary fields of Media Studies, Architecture and Urban Sociology. It aims to research solutions for urban development in a knowledge based society.
Posted on January 12, 2009


Future Urban Research in Europe, edited by Frank Eckardt, Vol. 1 

Ulrike Bucher, Maros Finka (eds.):

The Electronic City

256 pages, 25,00 €, Paperback, ISBN 978-3-8305-1452-7 

The topic “The Electronic City” refers to the introduction and the consequences of the new information and communication technologies for urban life. In which way can “E-Europe” for all be realised? How can the digital divide be overcome? What are the consequences for the socially disfavoured groups and how can they participate in the E-City? Is human behaviour different in virtual space? These are the questions which are part of many discourses on this topic and which are addressed in this book.

For further information on the FUTURE Project please visit:
Posted on August 20, 2008.

Post-graduate master's course MediaArchitecture
Application deadline: August 31, 2008!

Master of Science (MSc), 4 semesters.
Offered jointly by the Faculty of Architecture and the Faculty of Media at the Bauhaus-University Weimar..

MediaArchitecture is an interdisciplinary Master's programme that adresses the increasing influence of media on architecture and vice versa. By exploring the growing interrelationship between architectural and medial spaces - between the materiality of life and the immateriality of medial worlds - the programme aims to open new areas of research and instruction and create new professional fields. As the medialisation of public life and everyday culture increases, so does the demand for qualified university graduates with interdisciplinary knowledge of media and architecture. Students have the opportunity to specialize in a theoretical or practical area of personal interest.

For further information please visit:
Posted on July 20, 2008.

MediaArchitecture Workshop at the MEDIACITY Conference 2008
19th January 2008, Bauhaus-University Weimar

For more images and information please visit:
Posted on February 2, 2008.


Frank Eckardt (ed.)

Media and Urban Space
Understanding, Investigating and Approaching Mediacity

354 pages, 39,80 €, Paperback, ISBN 978-3-86596-142-6

New information and communication techniques have significant influences on urban life. In this book, international and interdisciplinary research, projects and considerations about the emerging “Mediacity” are presented. Contributions from scientists, artists, and architects from 14 different countries are analyzing, researching and creatively approaching the cultural, social, political, and economical phenomena of the encounter between media and urban space.
Posted on December 9, 2007.

MEDIACITY - Situations, Practices and Encounters
International Conference, 18-19th January 2008, Bauhaus-University Weimar 

The conference will investigate how the social settings and spaces of the city are created, experienced and practiced through the use and presence of new media. We will take the position that new media enables different settings, practices and behaviours to occur in urban space. These media create opportunities for diverse forms of connections between people and spaces and enable and create flows; of information, of communication and of knowledge.

The conference will consist of three sessions, a workshop and several additional activities, which will explore these themes in a focussed way. We anticipate contributions from academics, practitioners, activists close to disciplines such as media studies, architecture, urban studies, cultural and urban geography and sociology – using in innovative ways and reflecting critically on processes, methods and impacts of public participation and technologies in urban realm, within their theoretical and practical research, teaching, or activism roles.

MEDIACITY Conference 2008
Posted on October 29, 2007.