Urban Instincts:improvisation in the nocturnal city

Dunn, Nicholas Simon (2017) Urban Instincts:improvisation in the nocturnal city. In: Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting 2017, 2017-04-052017-04-09, Hynes Convention Center. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The nocturnal city may be understood as a place and time wherein escape from the measures and restrictions of the daytime is possible. More specifically, it is a state of being, wherein improvisation as a tactic to the urban environment and for its appropriation is vital. To go nightwalking is a decisive act that is constantly in negotiation with the city and its contingent and fleeting features. Attempts to organise and control the nighttime city concern multiple actors in order to strongly encourage us to 'conform' (Edensor, 2013) in the urban landscape. Yet gestures of refusal against the banality, structures, rules and regulations that encompass the contemporary urban realm and lead to its 'tactile sterility' (Sennett, 1994) may be found in various spatial practices including nightwalking. Indeed the improvisational methods required when confronted with uncanny or unfamiliar places, encounters and behaviours necessarily raise issues of how to document such experiences on the move. This has led to experimentation with various methods of mapmaking and recording including: creative nonfiction, notations, photographs and sketches in an attempt to capture the itinerant and elusive nature of nightwalking. Combining both improvisational performance and creative endeavour, this paper will draw on extensive empirical data and personal experience in order to elucidate on the ongoing entanglement that occurs at the boundaries of body and urban landscape; day and night; space and materiality. Nightwalking is thus positioned as an improvisational strategy of coping with the pressures and confines of the daylight hours, its roles and responsibilities.

Item Type: Contribution to Conference (Paper)
Journal or Publication Title: Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting 2017
Subjects:
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts
ID Code: 85931
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 20 Apr 2017 10:52
Refereed?: No
Published?: Unpublished
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2020 06:30
URI: https://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/85931

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