I’ve just had a really weird experience. I’ve spent all day working on a paper about the computer generated images created to picture a not-yet-built urban redevelopment project. I’ve been working hard to theorise these images not as screens obscuring an entirely different reality, but as interfaces that should be seen as carrying their complex networks of production, reiteration, modifiability, intermediality etc etc etc with them…
With my head full of Latour and Law on networks, Galloway on interfaces, Brighenti on prolongations, Kitchin and Dodge on code/space and Sheller and Graham on splintered urban software spatialities, I sit down earlier this evening to watch a film with my teenage son. The film is called Cockneys versus Zombies.
But what does the film open with? I’m sitting there as the opening credits finish thinking, that east London skyline looks very much like a CGI to me… but no it can’t be… I need to switch off and forget about my work stuff… when what does the camera do but pan up, revealing that the skyline is indeed a computer generated image, on a billboard, advertising a new urban development, behind which there’s a massive building site in which a zombie burial chamber is about to be unearthed.
Is this the revenge of the CGIs (actants that they are), telling me that they are in fact just screens?
As for the film, the title sums up pretty much everything you need to know about it. Quite funny, in the course of leaving just a few of the stereotypes about Cockneys and zombies unturned.