Journal Article

The Future Gaze: City Panoramas as Politico-Emotive Geographies


André Jansson, Amanda Lagerkvist


In this article, we show how the abstract city — media representations of city panoramas and the factual physical silhouette standing in for the city itself in the distance — is constituted as an emotive geography and how the production of such vistas is a political project, whose aim is to activate a future gaze . Through analysing two cities — Montreal in 1967 and contemporary Shanghai — we demonstrate how the mediatized production of urban panoramas sustains a sense of futurity through two (overlapping) forms: the conjunctional and the hyper-representational. We argue that together these panoramas invite an emotive future gaze which, through the combination of practical enactment, haptic movement in the city and political vision, constitutes an ideological force of modern urbanism. By introducing the conceptual framework of encapsulation/decapsulation, we propose a way of deepening the understanding of the symbolic and emotional negotiations involved in the production of spectacular city landscapes.

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  • Type:
    Journal Article (peer reviewed)
  • Journal:
    Journal of Visual Culture, Vol 8, Issue 1.
  • Pages:
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About the Author

Amanda Lagerkvist

Amanda Lagerkvist is an Associate Professor of Media and Communication Studies and Wallenberg Academy Fellow in the Department of Media Studies at Stockholm University. . With a PhD from Stockholm University in 2005, she had a two-year postdoc the... Read more


Jansson, A. and Lagerkvist, A. (2009). The Future Gaze: City Panoramas as Politico-Emotive Geographies. Journal of Visual Culture, 8(1), pp. 25-53. doi: 10.1177/1470412908100902.