research

Efraín Foglia researches into the development of digital networks and their political and social implications.

His lines of research include:

  • - The concept of “contemporary mobility” as fiction of progress.
  • - Citizens’ empowerment of the technologies.
  • - Open design as a tool for social improvement.
  • - The design of systems of experimental and alternative communication for the citizens.

Doctoral research developed at the Universitat de Barcelona:

Art in the MediaCity.

The evolution of the contemporary city, a critical vision from the artistic sphere.

Key words: Contemporary Art, Contemporary City, New Technologies, Online Mobile Society, Communication, Open Networks.

Abstract:

This doctoral research concentrates on contemporary artistic practices which take place in the scenario designated as MediaCity. This study focuses on the first decade of the twenty-first century, when the dissemination of portable digital technologies is taking place (micro-processors, mobile phones, etc.). To some extent, such technologies have led to the configuration of the concept of MediaCity.

The research proposes a historical analysis of the transformation of the contemporary city. In the last decades techno-social systems have gone through a corporatisation process leading to the reconfiguration of the relationship between citizens and city. The analysis revolves around case studies of those artistic practices whose focal point lies on the problematics introduced by this new socio-technological context. The artists selected work from different analytical perspectives, and yet they share the fact that they all work in the city, and therefore their communication processes and their proximity to the problematics derived from urban changes.

This hybrid contemporary city has inherited great advancements of the industrial period –such as the lift–, responsible to a large extent for the current structure of the cities. MediaCity has also received the advancements of the postindustrial era –such as the digital networks–. This term explores the relationship between urban aspects and the media development of the cities from a multidisciplinary viewpoint. “In fact, by taking possession of public and private spaces, electronic media transform the city into a MediaCity.”[1] (Berruti, 2008).

From a techno-social perspective, recent urban transformations have also been studied under labels such as City of Bits (Mitchel, 1999, 1995, 2003). However, the concept MediaCity analyses the city, and while doing so it takes into account its hybrid nature (analogue-physical) and not its digital character exclusively. It also incorporates different approaches and practices related to the European context of the twenty-first century.

Part of this research can be accessed at libros + ensayos


[1] This quote has been translated from Spanish into English by the translator of this text.