The project produces theorization of the effects of the technoscientific framing of urban life for the formation of young people’s political agency. New conceptualizations are built by probing the limits and possibilities for enchantment in young people’s everyday encounters. Fundamentally different from the ‘wow’ effect of entertainment, enchantment is an ontological re-ordering of the world by affective force. Enchantment brings with it a strong sense that things could be different: it opens space for politics. In the study, young people are understood as post-social beings who live their lives in the complex geographies of the ‘smart city’. Computer screens and other interfaces are active agents in this system, which has radically changed young people’s existential conditions, bodies and subjectivities. The project asks if the speed and continual quest for the novel linked to commercial interfaces allows for the ‘moment of hesitation’ that lies at the heart of enchantment.
Research in the project is conducted in Helsinki (as part of our research group of Spatial Policy, Politics and Planning) and in San Diego (in collaboration with Prof. Stuart Aitken from the Young people’s environments, society and space research center (YESS), San Diego State University).