The Assemblages of (Counter) Spectacle – Mega-Retail in Post-Dictatorship Chile and Beyond

Jacob Miller*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Spectacle, once a key term for critical theories, has had limited theoretical development in recent decades. To make sure the concept remains relevant today, this paper turns to actor-network theory (ANT) and assemblage theories to reconceptualize what the spectacle is and how it operates today. Working with a case study of a controversial urban spectacle in southern Chile – a new shopping mall, the “Mall Paseo Chiloé” – this paper explores a set of findings that illustrate what these approaches have to offer. First, in viewing the spectacle as a hybrid entity, we uncover vital forces inside what might at first appear to be irrelevant features of the building's architectural design. At the same time, this approach includes the forces of ambivalent desire and fluidity that reveal the dynamics of resistance inside that same design. As such, this paper focuses on a specific aspect of this building that makes it a unique form of counter-spectacle.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1631-1648
Number of pages18
JournalEnvironment and Planning A
Issue number7
Early online date12 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2023


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