Urban landscape perspectives
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Giovanni Maciocco (Ed.) Springer, Heidelberg, 2008, hardback, 160pp., £79.00, ISBN: 978-3540767985
In Sofia Coppola's 2003 film Lost in Translation, Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson's characters find themselves culturally stranded and oddly mismatched as an improvised tourist couple in contemporary Tokyo. This is an urban landscape that they cannot comprehend but only temporarily experience, in a fragmented and surreptitious way that allows no possible understanding and categorizations, but offers physical inclusion, emotional participation and momentary embeddedness.
Urban Landscape Perspectives, edited by Giovanni Maciocco, attempts to do just that, assembling a series of scenes (essays) that in different ways aim to dismiss the visual dimension of the ‘landscape’ to produce oriented views (‘perspectives’) and operative redefinitions of it. The book offers ways to understand the dynamics of the contemporary city – a space and concept that has long and widely overflown its old...