In this essay we resist claims that neoliberal capitalism is all-encompassing and inescapably flat by attending the materiality of a specific site of globalization: Denver's 16th Street Mall. Taking vector and velocity as critical terms that demand attention to materiality and temporality, we suggest that globalization is rough rather than flat. Using vector and velocity, our critical engagement with The Mall demonstrates complex interplays of global and local, systemic and transgressive, and highlights an intriguing range of tactical, embodied negotiations that suggest potential lines of flight. We argue that careful attention to spatial rhetorics provides intellectuals with powerful critical tools for interrupting and intervening in the spatial politics of the 21st century.
- spatial rhetoric