Texts that operate at the intersection of media and urban studies; that consider the city as a total, media environment. Or, from the other direction, texts that consider the manner in which media technologies begin to bleed outside of their representational spaces and become worldly.

  • Banham, Reyner.
    Megastructure: Urban Futures of the Recent Past. New York: Harper & Row, 1976.
    Figures Montreal 1967 (both in regards to Expo and to the city at large) as key year for the jump of “megastructures” from architects’ fantasy to reality.
  • Clasen, Wolfgang.
    Expositions, Exhibits, Industrial and Trade Fairs. New York: Praeger, 1968.
    Excellent documentary source of trends within exhibition practices in the 1960s—particularly in regards to the incorporation of screen technologies into architectural structures. Introductory essay complemented by short summaries and invaluable photographs of numerous cutting edge examples from expos, exhibits, industrial and trade fairs (hence the title).
  • Friedberg, Anne.
    The Virtual Window: From Alberti to Microsoft. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2006.
    Considers changes (occasioned by technology) in perceptual framing. In chapter five (“The Multiple”) she includes Expo ‘67 within advances in multiscreen cinema which prefigured digital screens and windows (and their effect on consciousness/perception).
  • Friedberg, Anne.
    “The Virtual Window,” in Thorburn, David and Jenkins, Henry, Rethinking Media Change: The Aesthetics of Transition. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2003.
    In a condensed version of her argument in The Virtual Window, Friedberg begins with a quote from Valery regarding the transformation of images into utilities (through their “fenestration”).
  • Jansson, Andre.
    “Encapsulations: The Production of a Future Gaze at Montreal’s Expo 67,” in (2007) Space and Culture 10.
    “This article outlines how the visual and spatial structure of Montreal’s Expo 67, its texture, encapsulated a ‘future gaze’ and how this encapsulation project was related to the overarching transformations of Montreal. Expo 67 was a sight, an experience-scape, and a mediator of Montreal as a future world metropolis. This article discusses how different ‘means of encapsulation,’ such as transit systems, multiscreen cinema, and surveillance systems, promoted new ways of seeing, which in different ways were to translate Montreal into a city of the future.”
  • Kittler, Friedrich.
    “The City is a Medium,” in (1996) New Literary History 27.4.
    Taking leave of Mumford’s humanism (whilst maintaining his analogical insight that the city resembles technology), Kittler argues that the city is a medium (i.e. a computer) and needs to be understood as such. In the process, he re-translates urban landmarks and concepts into computer language.
  • Lefebvre, Henri.
    The Urban Revolution. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press, 2003. (Especially chapter six, “Urban Form”).
    While not about the “media-city” per se, Lefebvre here distinguishes the urban form of the city (vs. agrarian and industrial forms) through the (one might say “medial”) characteristics of simultaneity, encounter, and assembly. He closes off the chapter with a (brief) reference to Expo ’67 as a concrete manifestation of the urban form’s total mobilization of space.
  • McQuire, Scott.
    The Media City: Media, Architecture, and Urban Space. London: Sage, 2008.
    Explores hypothesis of a “media-architecture complex” (as alternative to traditional analyses of media representations of cities) and, consequently, the city as the space in which technological transitions are lived.
  • Olalquiaga, Celeste.
    Megalopolis: Contemporary Cultural Sensibilities. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1992.
    Author’s own blurb: Arguing that contemporary experience is mainly vicarious, that is, mediated by images and events, the book discusses the impact of high technology on daily life, the fears underlying the retro fashion of the 50’s and 60’s, the meaning and modes of perception of religious kitsch, the different expressions of urban decadence, and the nuances of the integration of American culture in Latin America and of “latin” culture in the US.
  • van Wesemael, Pieter.
    Architecture of Instruction and Delight: A socio-historical analysis of World Exhibitions as a didactic phenomenon (1798 – 1851 – 1970). Rotterdam: 0I0 Publishers, 2001.
    In Chapter 7 [“Expo ‘70 in Osaka, or ‘Progress and Harmony for Mankind’ (1964-1970-1972): From Citizen Education to Image-building”], van Wesemael argues that Osaka was more of a media-city than Montreal, without using that concept per se (but, instead, discussing the shift in Exposition ethos from citizen education to image-building). He places great emphasis on the “plug-in” ideas of the Japanese megastructuralists.
  • Wigley, Mark.
    “Network Fever,” in (2001) Grey Room 4.
    Fascinating (but long-ish) essay on origins of “network” theories in architecture (and, by implication, urban theory), in which McLuhan, Fuller, Tyrwhitt, and Doxiadis play integral roles.
  • Youngblood, Gene.
    Expanded Cinema. New York: Dutton, 1970. (Especially part six: “Intermedia”).
    In this chapter, Youngblood discusses the artist as ecologist and World Exhibitions as opportunities to craft nonrealities.