Liquid modernity

Theories of a `liquid modernity’ (Bauman, 2000) usefully redirect research away from static structures of the modern world to see how social entities comprise people, machines, and information/images in systems of movement. There is a shift from modernity seen as heavy and solid to one that is light and liquid and in whichspeed of movement of people, money, images, and information is paramount (Bauman, 2000).

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6 theoretical resources for mobility research – Sheller and Urry

the authors identify 6 bodies of theories that can be enrolled within mobilities research:
  1. humans have a ‘will to connection’, with the pulse of the city
  2. hybrid geographies of humans and nonhumans that enable people to move and to hold shape, bringing things close (incl surveillance)
  3. material stuff makes up places, requiring assemblage (assembling/re-assembling)
  4. recentring of corporeal body, a vehicle through which we sense place and movement
  5. topology of social networks (here it shows this paper was written in 2005)
  6. the analysis of complex system  (the example of foot and mouth is given, but the horse meat scandal is another one today)
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aesthetics and the new mobilities paradigm – Sheller and Urry

Is it possible to move away from a ‘sedentarist’ aesthetics (based on fixed artworks, such as on walls in galleries, or projected, displayed, staged in theaters  cinemas, musea)  to a mobility (liquid? nomadic? fluid? )  aesthetics, which reflects situated space, place and in networks? An aesthetics beyond boundaries and disciplines with meanings and narratives assembled and reassembled? The exchange of material and immaterial cultures.

In this paper, there are some suggestions that link to the above

(p. 7) the new mobilities paradigm posits that activities occur while on the move, that being on the move can involve sets of `occasioned’ activities (Lyons and Urry, 2005).

and thus moving applies to both networked and physical moves:

(p. 8) Not only does a mobilities perspective lead us to discard our usual notions of spatiality and scale, but it also undermines existing linear assumptions about temporality and timing, which often assume that actors are able to do only one thing at a time, and that events follow each other in a linear order [see Callon et al (2004) on how the apparently absent can yet in effect be present].

(p. 8) The new mobility paradigm argues against this ontology of distinct `places’ and `people’. Rather, there is a complex relationality of places and persons connected through performances. (…) Places are indeed dynamic  - `places of movement’ (…)   Places are about relationships, about the placing of peoples, materials, images, and the systems of difference that they perform

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