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Outdoor Advertising As Urban Vernacular: Perceiving Change in Manchester and Detroit

Tuesday 23rd February

Venue: 6 pm, Room G07, Pearson Building, Geography Department, UCL 

Speaker: Anne Cronin Sociology Dept, Lancaster University

Discussant: Dr. Scott Rodgers, Department of Media and Cultural Studies, Birkbeck

This paper draws on ethnographic material from a study of the outdoor advertising industry in the UK and its relationship to urban space. It also uses material from photographic case studies of Manchester, UK, and Detroit, USA. I explore how advertising has a spatial relationship to certain sites in cities - areas of dereliction or areas undergoing regeneration - as the industry can most easily secure permission to construct billboards there. This articulates one form of advertising's temporal relationship to cities as these temporary billboards are tied to the duration of the rebuilding work or the time that those areas are left in dereliction. I analyse how these spatio-temporalities provide forms of 'urban vernacular' that articulate in visual and material form capitalist processes and make particular understandings of these processes available to people.

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