Local Real(i)ties: A Contemporary Image of Thought

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Hélène Frichot


Noopolitics is a neologism that designates how minds (nous) come to think collaboratively at the scale of populations, a phenomenon facilitated by increasingly sophisticated information societies and their capacity for instantaneous electronic communications. Noopolitics complements the already well-established term biopolitics, which designates how the lives and deaths, and general health and well-being of individuals are managed at the scale of populations through practices of governance. What happens when a noopolitics rigidifies, what kinds of effects does it produce? A dogmatic Image of Thought understood as an ossified status quo takes hold, over-determining how people think together and about themselves, and about their worlds, including their local environment-worlds. In relation to an expanded understanding of the spatialities of feeling that architecture contributes to, this essay will focus in particular on the noopolitics at work in the production of architectural imagery where it becomes indistinguishable from real-estate imagery. The compelling case this essay will address is the emergence of the styled real-estate image in the Stockholm context where a large proportion of rental properties have been quite abruptly released onto the real-estate market place over just the last ten years. What is remarkable about the flood of images that have been made available for consumption is their consistency, even their homogeneity, and while Stockholm, with a focus on the inner city island of Södermalm, may prove to be a special case, what is aptly demonstrated through a noourbanography that attempts to map these images is how a dogmatic Image of Thought has taken hold that drives what a local population comes to expect in terms of the curation of their homes and local neighbourhoods.


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