Metropolis here refers not just to urban spaces and the social stratigraphies that comprise them. Rather, we hope to evoke an older connotation buried within the word: the home territories of empire. The Metropolis Project participates at the nexus of European cities. In these places, the urban experience of historic landscape and contested artefact can be unearthed.

The landscapes and artefacts of Europe are products of a cacophony of frontiers, nation building, histories, languages and religions. Throughout the continentís history revolutions, reformations, genocides, and institutionalizations have modified landscapes, arbitrating new policies and conceptions of lands. Artefacts in the forms of monuments have been continually erected to signify the invention of a new state or cross-cognitive concept toward landscapes. In some situations these monuments performed as herms, boundary stones, literally marking the limits of the landscape dominion of ideology. Portable artefacts such as religions icons and the masterpieces of the plastic arts also serve to delimit and mobilize the breadth and meaning of cognoscapes. The trialogue between landscape, artefact and human consciousness reaches fever pitch in Europe.

Nowhere else in the world have landscapes been so imagined, and artefacts so utilized in their imagining, as in Europe. Borders are clearly permeable; religion is evermore untenable as language and politics affirm identity. Adding to the complexity of the research question is the issue of urbanity and the built environment.


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