The city as a construction site — a visual record of a multisensory experience


  • Marianna Michałowska


visual essay, vision, visuality, architectural photography, computer‑generated images


In this article, I consider the reception of images that are present in a city space. I focus on the juxtaposition of computer-generated images covering fences surrounding construction sites and the real spaces which they screen from view. I postulate that a visual experience is dependent on input from the other human senses. While looking at objects, we are not only standing in front of them but are being influenced by them. Seeing does not leave a physical trace on the object; instead the interference is more subtle — it influences the way in which we perceive space. Following in the footsteps of Sarah Pink, Michael Taussig and William J. T. Mitchell, I show that seeing (to paraphrase the title of an article by the last of the above mentioned scholars) is a cultural practice. The last part of the article presents a visual essay as a method that can contribute to cultural urban studies. I give as an example of such a method a photo-essay about chosen construction sites in Poznań, which I photographed between December 2014 and June 2015.






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