Cyberspace as a locus for urban collective memory
Özcan, Burcu Şenyapılı
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However salient the concept of cyberspace is, this study is an exploration of the relationship of people with their places. With a socio-spatial approach, this work sets forth a theoretical plexus between collective memory, cyberspace and urban space. This construction intrinsically relies on a conflation of associations and dynamics of memory, technology and place. Accordingly, the study explores analogies between cyberspace and memory, and between cyberspace and urban space. Merging qualities of the given concepts reveal that the cyberspace presents contemporary formations both of memory and of place. In the light of this premise, the study argues that cyberspace potentially constitutes an external urban collective memory and that it should be utilized to invent cyberplaces in this context. To understand the extent to which such potential is realized, a sample of the websites of existing location-based digital storytelling or oral history projects are investigated. To illustrate the means of projecting a cyberplace as a locus of urban collective memory, a model is established and a pilot website is created. Depending on the theoretical construction and the following propositions, a guideline for possible future implementations is generated. The intention is to bring cyberspace – the indispensible component of contemporary everyday life – to the light as a media that can be used to strengthen people’s relationship with cities rather than submitting our thought to the unavailing dystopia of digital culture.
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