The Artefact and the Analogue

McEwan, Cameron orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-0683-1708 (2016) The Artefact and the Analogue. In: The City is a Thinking Machine. University of Dundee, Dundee University, pp. 12-15. ISBN 978-0-9562949-4-4

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Aldo Rossi argued that the city was a formal and political confrontation that crystallised urban dynamics – land ownership, expropriation, relations of production – in architectural form. For Rossi, city and society were analogues of one another and he developed a theory of the city divided between what he called the ‘city as an artefact’ and the ‘analogical city’. The former was put forward in The Architecture of the City (1966). The latter was never fully theorised and instead put across through essays, notebook reflections and drawings. The montage panels compiled here and exhibited as part of The City is a Thinking Machine explore Rossi’s theory of the city. The montages are simultaneously analytical and projective. They analyse Rossi’s ‘city as an artefact’ and ‘analogical city’ by means of images from Rossi’s books, re-drawing his drawings and extrapolating the categories used by him. The drawings reformulate Rossi’s theory, finding new relations between categories and images, projecting an alternative reading. The montage panels are ‘thinking machines’, by which the author thinks through Rossi’s theory of the city with a view to speculating about its productive potential for today.

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