course

This course explores the ways in which urban experience is imagined and produced through the myriad visual and aesthetic forms of the urban environment, including the relevant visual regimes with their constitutive (in)visibilities and corresponding modes of seeing and being seen. The practices and mobilities through which the city is experienced, engaged with, and known along with the multiple spaces of public life like neighborhoods, streets, slums and parks that structure myriad forms and modalities of urban encounter and dwelling will also be considered. Additionally, we will look at the key figures and collectivities 'the stranger, the flaneur, the crowd, the neighbor, the Muslim television preacher, the motorcycle-taxi driver' associated with urban modernity from fin-de-siècle Europe to contemporary life in the Global South in cities like Jakarta and Johannesburg, among others. Questions of materiality and media specificity will inform our approach to a wide range of visual and aesthetic forms central to the creative and artistic representation and construction of urban life---design and architecture, advertising and graffiti, photography, film, public art and performance art, ruination and sprawl. A concern throughout will be the aesthetic-political character of appearance and the visual politics of urban existence and their implications for the heterogeneous habitation and sensate experience of city dwellers.