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co-ordinates 3: signifying dundee

December 3, 2007

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I keep coming back to this image/logo, and its ‘happy’ font, because it seems on the one hand, to acknowledge the need for collective signifiers, and on the other, to utterly fail to meet this need. As if this were a matter of assigning to a city its history by an act of branding (branding for anything other than consumer products is the sham discourse of the 2000’s in the way that hot-desking was the sham discourse of the 1990’s). The city, not even to its tourists, is a consumer product.

What are the signifiers of Dundee? How does the city situate its inhabitants with respect to their signifiers? How does the city orient its inhabitants, so that collective thought and action is possible (what, if I were a Marxist, I might call class consciousness)? How does the form and fabric of Dundee support collective thought; and if antisocial behaviour is simply an inarticulate form of political action, then how does the breaking up of the intelligibility of the fabric of the city, undermine the intelligibility and possibility of collective action.

What are Dundee’s landmarks, its significant places; or rather, what relationship does Dundee have to its own landmarks and place?

This project will – among other things – suggest new avenues for planning and community consultation; and for understanding the urban conditions for civility vs. antisocial behaviour.

Lorens

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