Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts


Theory and Criticism


Dr. Mark Franke


A renewed interest in ontology and the ontological station of erstwhile considered humans and nonhumans has provoked interest in the implications that such station might hold for the built, metabolized, and governed environment. It is the contention of this work that the contemporary manifestation of hydro-social assemblages, water distribution networks, reflects and is produced by a totalizing spectacular ideology that relies on such networks being imbricated in such a manner as to de-emphasize or deny their ontological standing. Perceiving in the Unitary Urbanism articulated by the situationists of the 1960s an anticipation and critique of such spectacular ideology, and its vested stake in the ontological debasement of the constitutive elements of the urban ecological whole, the particular and particularly isolated disciplines which maintain such debasement, namely architecture and politics, are found wanting in their inability to transcend the separations that such spectacular ideology entails. It is contended moreover that an understanding of how the contemporary western urban environment is premised upon an ideologically ossified episteme, of what is or is not possible to know of the constitution of everyday life, might open up the possibility of different compositional and aesthetic arrangements more amenable to an ontological respect for the erstwhile considered humans and nonhumans that comprise such urban environments, and compositional and aesthetic arrangements that democratically account for the participation of those erstwhile considered humans and nonhumans as they asymmetrically participate in a newly conceived of commons.