The “Space of Flows” as Social Imaginary: Interpretation and Representation in Digital Artistic Practices

By M. Luisa Gómez Martínez.

Published by Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

Since the development of telecommunication technologies, and above all since the emergence of the Internet, the traditional concept of space has radically changed.
The characteristic “Space of Place” (A. Giddens) of modernity has been replaced with the “Space of Flows” (M. Castells), a dynamic space shaped by the mobility of information, people and resources.
This “Space of Flows” means a new spatial imaginary based on concepts such as ubiquity or de-territorialization, where the physical space seems to disappear or to “compress” (D. Harvey) in favour of the virtual space of communication, Cyberspace.
This paper intends to analyze–from the point of view of social imaginaries–how this new spatial model is reflected and configured, not only through urban or social transformations, but also through its interpretation and representation in artistic practices.

So, the aim of this paper is to show–by studying different examples of artistic works that use locative media, new cartographies or telepresence systems–how the notion of “Space of Flows” is giving rise to new imaginaries and spatial experiences that reflect these transformations of the space.
Additionally, the aim is to show how artistic practices, through their new ways of expressing spatiality, can be an important means to reflect, question and review from a critical point of view, this spatial model of flows in the Information Era.

Keywords: Space of Flows, Spatial Imaginary, Cyberspace, Urban Space, Digital Art, De-Territorialization

Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp.21-34. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.129MB).

M. Luisa Gómez Martínez

Research Fellow, Department of History of Art, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

She is PhD student at the University of Barcelona and co-founder of Interartive.org, Platform for contemporary art and thought. Her research interests are focused on social imaginaries, space-time transformations and audiovisual aesthetics in the context of the digital culture.