Overwhelmed by images

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Hong Kong apartment buildings

Despite the visual acuity found in Boyer's writing and in her image-filled lecture presentations, she gives little credit to our ability to find new kinds of order in the discontinuous places of the new city. She feels that we are numbed by overstimulation.

Speaking of the much-imitated cityscapes found in the film Blade Runner, she says:

As is typical in postmodernism, no sense of place nor unity of urban space is ever developed in Blade Runner. When spectators travel through the space in the film they are assaulted by a flood of imagery, as if they were standing on an escalator or seated behind the windshield of a moving vehicle. The movie replicates and exaggerates a common postmodern experience in which images traveling at top speed flash briefly in front of our eyes and constantly interrupt our view." Boyer 1996, 114

Amid the flood of images there is little significant order, because of the unlimited possibilities of substitution. "Any sign, word, or place is susceptible to being converted into something else, for in these artifices there is no center, there are no spatial coordinates to tie down the shifting 'zones' and meanings of urban reality." (145)