Article

On real and imaginary spaces: Mapping the archive

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Abstract

The radically expanded concept of space, the so-called spatial turn found in the cultural and social sciences since the late 1980s, opens new possibilities for artistic practices that respond to the multilayered spaces of cities: the physical space with its built structures; the archive with its collected and catalogued documents as well as their systems of representation; and the imaginary space of certain cultural and ideological visions. Based on theories that assume these spaces not only determine each other and are mutually dependent, but overlap, and together create the space we experience, the article brings together two projects that map and explore urban settlements in London and Los Angeles by setting out a trail from the database of the archive: the historical records of the interdisciplinary British social research project Mass Observation (on London's housing situation in the early 1940s) and collected data found on the social housing debate in Los Angeles during the early 1950s.

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