Political conflicts, humanitarian disasters, wars and migrations – we live in an age of global unrest and discontinuity. While official reactions consist in the search for means of stabilization and restraint, the dynamics of deregulation are giving rise to a situation characterized by global parallel systems: parallel architectures, parallel societies, parallel lives.

This book offers an insight into the complex spatial and social realities of globalization, from city-like informal markets in Moscow and the post-war self-urbanization in Kosovo to the border economies of the Mediterranean and the parallel worlds of today’s burgeoning megacities.

In this state of uncertainties, networks have become the most powerful tool in how we organize our lives. The emerging struggle between network formations produces a space that is both fragmented and contested, yet testifies to the creativity of its inhabitants. As a result, our cities have become topologies of overlapping realities
and narratives as much as they are geographical entities.

Networked Cultures traces these conflictual negotiations in dialogue with artists, architects, curators and theorists whose work explores possibilities for a multi-inhabitation of territories and narratives across cultural, social or geographic boundaries. Their shared knowledge and accompanying case studies provide stirring insights as well as imaginative encounters with a world of networks – our world.

The enclosed DVD features conversations with the contributors to this book that follow the thematic strands along which the collaborative format of Networked Cultures has evolved: Network Creativity – Contested Spaces – Trading Places – Parallel Worlds.

Peter Mörtenböck and Helge Mooshammer
Networked Cultures: Parallel Architectures and the Politics of Space
Rotterdam: NAi Publishers, 2008
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