Imaginary Apparatus
New York City and Its Mediated Representation
McLain Clutter


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How did media policy and media aesthetic influence architecture and urban design in New York City in the 1960s and 1970s? A unique analysis of the relationship between media policy and urban design; a groundbreaking exploration of a key moment in New York history, Imaginary Apparatus reveals fascinating hidden linkages between representations of the city and the actual built environment.

Landscape / Urbanism, Popular Culture
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the John Lindsay administration in New York City created innovative policies to try to draw on-location media production to the city. At the same time, the New York City Planning Commission was producing a wealth of documents that clearly reflect the influence of various media depictions of New York. Imaginary Apparatus reveals the links between those two efforts, showing how they fed each other. As more and more films and TV shows were shot on location in New York, mediated images of the city and its buildings proliferated—and those same images exerted a powerful influence on the imaginations of the planners who were generating ideas for future development. It is included a DVD that has never before been publicly available: the movie What Is the City but the People?, the film version of the 1969 “Plan for New York City”.

Mclain Clutter is an architect and Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. He has also contributed to numerous books and journals.


65 color, 70 b/w, 1 DVD

200 pages, 135 illustrations
Hardback, 15.5x23.5 cm
Park Books, 1st edition 2015
ISBN 9783906027852