Reading Response #4 – Rush, Abbie

In Anne Friedberg’s article, Urban Mobility and Cinematic Visuality, she discusses the architectural and metaphorical idea of the window and its relation to a framed visuality. She goes on to address the relation of media screens to architecture and how film screens, TV screens, and computer screens are all components of architecture, referring to them as “virtual windows.” she explains this through car analogy, which describes a windshield as a screen, or a piece of media in which we see things through in a completely different way than we would see them if we were to be looking through a different ‘frame’. This can also be explained through the post-war history of L.A. and the car, where life in L.A. originally was lived within a 4 mile radius until the car came around. The addition of the car and then eventually highways created a major cultural shift in L.A. and caused what is known as a commuter’s existence. Friedberg describes the car as a form of visual interface and augmented reality just like Google Maps is for us today. She also goes on to say that the car also became a tool for flaneurism, as people would roam around in their cars just because they could, which changed peoples perception of the world. This was a really interesting concept to me given that we discussed cyber flaneurism so in depth in class, but it did not occur to me the the idea of flaneurism could go beyond just cyber. Of all the things discussed in Friedberg’s article, I was most intrigued by her writings on drive-in culture and how it made cars both a public and a private space at the same time. It was interesting to think about how although you are sitting in your own car which we would consider a private space, you are actually surrounded by public space all around your car and the windows of that car frame the outside space. I thought it was interesting to learn that concept of private and public space while drive-ins were known to be such a social activity made for the public. Although this may not actually fit the concept, this made me think about the web, and how people all around the world surf the web in the privacy of their own homes, but they are participating in an activity that is completely public and open for all to see. I included an image that illustrates my thoughts on this.