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Phantasmagoric City: Technologies of Immersion and Settler Histories in Montreal’s CitéMémoire

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This paper focuses on CitéMémoire, a multi-year outdoor exhibit located throughout historic Old Montreal. Organized around the confluence of Montreal’s 375th birthday, Canada’s Sesquicentennial, as well as Expo 67’s 50th anniversary, CitéMémoire uses large-scale interactive projections and augmented reality to tell the city’s history from the time of European contact onward. The exhibit’s technologies of immersion guide audiences through a spectacularized historical landscape, rendering notions of heritage and nation into palpable archives that audiences encounter directly through their bodies. This article demonstrates how archival and cultural technologies, which choreograph audiences’ bodily, imaginational, and affective positionalities, prove central to the ‘dreamwork’ of settler coloniality.
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Keywords: Phantasmagoria; immersion; public art; settler histories; urban space

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Concordia University

Publication date: 01 December 2018

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