The Syllabus is not just about finding overlooked but important items that get lost in the cacophonous calamity that is today’s social media, with its overdose of updates, dark patterns, and listicles. We also seek to recreate the original excitement, the weirdness, the serendipity that were once associated with Web surfing.
Could there be more to the online experience than the uncurable addiction to scrolling and pressing “refresh”, all to get a quick shot of info junk on Facebook or Twitter? Can we escape our involuntary confinement in the digital casinos of platform capitalistm and get to stroll through the exciting intellectual terrains of the unlisted, the unindexed, and the unshared?
We think so. Hence our “Cyberflâneur” series (yes, we do like strange foreign words – we are also currently at work on a “Wunderkammer”). This week, we are lucky to feature the architect Rem Koolhaas, a cyberflâneur par excellence.
As with all our guests, we worked with Rem to identify the themes that he is currently interested in, trawling our extensive archives for any related items. Rem then chose those he liked or found important and provided some brief commentary on his selections. They follow below.
Do not forget to check a remarkable cast of our earlier cberflâneurs: Brian Eno, Hito Steyerl, Adam Tooze, Rana Foroohar, Samuel Moyn…
RK: Caught in a trap between real government and muddle-headed techno thinking the smart city represents a terminal point for the discourse on the city.
RK: After searching for intellectual ways to “resist”, we are suddenly confronted with evidence of very efficient resistance – yellow vests/tractors that are coming from a – for “us” – unexpected side? Do we align or resist resistance?
RK: There are many reasons to look at the “performance” of the Soviet Union again, and to ask to what extent “we” have been blinded by propaganda.
RK: The effects of the World Heritage system – ironically one of the drivers of tourism and even development – remain almost completely unexplored.
RK: The “village” is being rediscovered… as a quasi mini city?
RK: [No comment]
RK: The potential of the rural has been largely overlooked – will it benefit from being rediscovered?
RK: Stumped? I love it…
RK: Whether we like it or not, we all depend on what happens in China.
RK: We need to know more.
RK: Deeply intriguing – deep down we’re all esthetes…