The Urban Exploration Imaginary: Mediatization, Commodification, and Affect

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Using George E. Marcus’ concept of the “activist imaginary” this article focuses on the imaginary of urban exploration (UE), an alternative form of organized action. The UE imaginary is investigated through visual material, produced and shared on social media by the Copenhagen-based UE duo CphCph. Grasping UE as an assemblage, the article suggests that the imaginary undergoes a dual process of mediatization and commodification. Through a discourse analytical and aesthetic-affective approach, it is argued that CphCph strategically uses the visually mediated explorer body as an effective tool on social media to both commodify the imaginary and create “spreadability” as well as to channel followers’ engagement in urban space. In keeping with Roopali Mukherjee and Sarah Banet-Weiser’s approach to contemporary, neoliberal modes of resistance the UE imaginary is understood both as a commodity produced by entrepreneurial explorers and as an imagined geography sparking participation and enabling practices of urban citizenship.
TidsskriftSpace & Culture
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)372-384
StatusUdgivet - 2017
Udgivet eksterntJa