Past Future Cityscapes: Narratives of the Post-Human in Post-Urban Environments

in Cityscapes of the Future
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Abstract

Neon Genesis Evangelion (Hideaki Anno), a Japanese anime series, presents a post-apocalyptic space that is exposed to continuous attacks by external mechanical devices. This space shows a bipolar identity defined by the permanent possibility of destruction and an obsession about the defence of the city (Tokyo-3). Evangelion looks at urban spaces as places for production of post-human subjectivities, as it identifies human beings with robotic evolutions of their minds in the same way as it portrays the unstable plasticity of the city. This plasticity is represented by an inversion of traditional urban patterns, which results in a mind-challenging post-urban space. This chapter focuses on the analysis of how these representations originate the paradigms of post-human spatialities in a post-urban space.

The same problematic relation is also discussed in Paul Auster’s Man in the Dark, where the urban settings appears again as a destructed cluster of spaces whose recreation is taken up by an imaginary yet tangible place. In both instances (Auster’s novel and Anno’s manga) the alternate city is created as a referent for spatialities. It is presented as a disorganised object, as a body without organs, either as a retractable city (Evangelion), or as a space in permanent deconstruction (Man in the Dark). This chapter analyses how space and spatialities perform and are performed by reconstructions of new urbanities, and how they are related to the dialogue between post-human identifications and the affective visualities of place and urban territory.

Cityscapes of the Future

Urban Spaces in Science Fiction

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