Lights still on

September 8-9, 2017 It was almost midnight and the air was freezing due to some sporadic showers during the night. I was seated on a black concrete bench in front of an empty spot undergoing remodeling between the pedestrianized Broadway Avenue and W. 47th Street. After midnight, when the area is less transited, a group

Exhibitions

The idea behind exhibitions is simple: an organized collection of stuff composed in order to produced something in the spectator’s eye. They are centers of curiosity, linking a wide variety of semiotic elements as invitations to explore, seek and interact with all kinds of devices and artifacts. I have always been interested in exhibitions, all

Let us face it, you will get lost

Yes, eventually, you will get lost exploring this piece of research, and that is okay. This labyrinth was designed with that intention too. Otherwise, what would be the point of a device like this one? Nevertheless, there is more than just a didactic reading-experience behind the usage of a labyrinthine structure for constructing this piece

Ontological incompleteness

Reality, as Benjamin (2003[1982]) projected Nietzsche’s idea of Eternal return (2001[1882]; 2006[1883]), is a tricky movement of perpetual recurrence. The same concepts of immanence and incompleteness can be found in Deleuze’s difference (1994[1968]) and in Borges’ circularity[1]. The conceptualization of difference in Deleuze —strongly tied to repetition— is inspired, among other things, by Borges’ story

Concomitance and dissimilarity

What can STS learn from Times Square for doing ethnography? Let us begin this section by exploring an ontological complication[1] (OC). This OC was stated in the noun of the sentence above, the main question this research adresses: STS. Is STS a valid subject? That question becomes relevant when brought in line with a couple

Event | STS Congress

On Thursday, and during the meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S), and the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology, I plan to present a paper named “Designing Multimodal Artifacts for Exploring Urban Life. An Experimental proposal between Times Square and I.” My intentions with that talk are to

XXX Times Square with love

Times Square has a collection of fascinating pieces of furniture. Most of those furnishings were designed by well-known designers, architects or artists, so the combinations they projected onto those objects, a mix of usability, symbolism and aesthetic, blended with multiple possible responses to usability by the actors outside, make those elements interesting devices to be

Happy new year!… in September

Walking around Times Square one can see all manner of dressed and costumed people. Some, mostly informal workers, are dressed like Disney characters or other franchised superheroes. There are naked women painted with the colors of the American flag and fake Buddhist monks that, from time to time, walk around the plaza giving away “free”

Seducing and trapping

It does not matter what you may think about Times Square, you cannot deny the place has a strong ability to capture things: bodies, glances, capital, emotions, opinions. The plaza’s attractiveness is revealed in many scenarios: Its screens and media; its history; its many representations in popular culture; its location; its activity, tradition, tensions contradictions

A virtual walk

I want to invite you to participate in a short spatial transmutation exercise. Once you finish reading each paragraph, please close your eyes and imagine you are in the middle of Times Square experiencing all the situations you are reading here. Times Square is a place surrounded by skyscrapers full of intermittent lights and blinking

Reducing the principle of Irreduction

As Graham Harman (2009) pointed out, the second part of “The Pasteurization of France (Latour, 1988), Irreductions, is perhaps the most philosophical work of Bruno Latour: ” ‘Any argument about my “philosophy,”’ Latour writes, ‘has to start with Irreductions, which is a totally orphan book.’” (Harman, 2009: 12). The philosophical content of Irreductions is also

Reductions

As an ontological provocation, the idea of writing this piece of research is to encourage the debate around the linkage between urban studies and STS from an empirical-philosophical viewpoint mostly inspired by Annemarie Mol’s perspective on post[1]-Actor-Network Theory, Viveiros de Castro’s multi-naturalism (2004) and Heidegger’s ontological work on usability (2008[1962]). This research is also an

Tracing and representing an urban[something]

Introduction It could be anything happening outside in a public place. It could be any set of elements temporarily stabilized in Times Square —even if they are not physically there— creating their own spatiality. It could be either a complex structure of continually mounted and unmounted situations or just an effervescent situation that happened once

When infrastructures fail

Since the conception of the original project for the redevelopment of Times Square in 2009, the presence of bollards for separating vehicular areas from pedestrian ones was a priority. The particular geography of the zone and its new spatial recomposition, as well the national and local perspective on security after 9/11, demanded significant improvements in

Hey! Hey! Hey!

Acts 1 and 2 He only appeared at night. I saw him three times, on three different nights, going around Duffy Square. This story happened in September 2017. The specific dates are irrelevant. It could have been a Saturday, a Sunday, or a Wednesday and nothing would have changed. He arrived at a different time

The Nordic device

There is an approximately 15-meter-long black granite bench on the northern side of zone E. The bench is located exactly in front of Nasdaq’s offices, near 43rd Street. Zone E is possibly the least transited space in the whole of Times Square. The apparent lack of popularity of this zone could be attributed to the