[The 90’s raw: Eddie Tape #94 – Malls – Grant Kester]

Eddie Tape #94. Malls, Grant Kester. An interview with Grant Kester about malls and the 'edge city.'

00:00Copy video clip URL Videographer starts recording Grant Kester in mid-sentence. He is trying to determine the best way to offer a treaties on edge cities. They are at Rockville Metro Center Mall in Rockville, Maryland. Kester reads from his notes. He talks, then stops, then starts again. He argues that the mall is treated outside the larger context of global economy. He notes that the goods purchased in malls are not locally made. They are imported from all over the world. There is a vast economic system. The notion that you can build an indigenous urban village is problematic.

03:10Copy video clip URL Kester re-reads his treatise again. Repeating what’s just been said in the last take.

05:18Copy video clip URL Kester starts over again, reintroduces himself. He says he edits a magazine called After Image and has written and researched urban planning issues for several years. He investigated the urban renaissance in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor development. He argues that edge cities are connected to the global economy. He says that the idea that urban development intended to look like a quaint village is impossible because we no longer live in an economy in which small towns exist. Villages are self-contained.

07:32Copy video clip URL Kester stops and starts over. He reviews his notes and starts from the beginning.

10:58Copy video clip URL The footage cuts to Kester and the videographer, Eddie Becker, figuring out what to record next. Kester begins his treatise again, arguing that malls and edge cities are part of a global economy.

12:54Copy video clip URL Videographer cuts to the plaza. Kester begins the above treatise again about how it’s impossible to recreate a small town village feel.

16:30Copy video clip URL They finish the first part of his treatise and discuss what to record next.

17:23Copy video clip URL A mural. Kester notes that they are in front of an un-renovated section of Rockville Center in Maryland. He notes the mural signifies the contradiction of the lack of sense of community in an urban village and the need to have that community.

18:57Copy video clip URL Kester begins his second treatise talking about the transition from industrial to post industrial economies. He says the industrial age required less money because the demand for labor lead to the immigration wave. The pool of labor concentrated in city centers which lead to the development of downtowns.

20:53Copy video clip URL Another take of his second treatise. He notes industrial cities grew with low wage workers. City centers grew and produced the conditions in which class consciousness developed.

22:20Copy video clip URL Stop and re-start again. Kester notes that the transition from city centers of the past to edge cities today is a shift from industrial to post industrial base. The classic industrial cities in the US were the product of steel and iron and industry. The economy depended on large low wage groups in close proximity to the factories. It was this concentration that characterized cities: slums, overcrowding, etc. The same density that made it easy for workers to get to the factory simultaneously created adverse conditions.

23:05Copy video clip URL Kester starts over again.

24:30Copy video clip URL Kester stops as tourist walk past. He continues saying that cities depended on low wake workers living near by, because this built up cities.

25:45Copy video clip URL The tourist again interrupt the shoot. They ask what’s being videotaped. The videographer answers “We’re doing a show called The 90’s.”

26:09Copy video clip URL Kester continues his treatise noting that the destructive qualities of the industrial production were over crowding in cities, disease and violence.

26:58Copy video clip URL Another take of Kester’s treatise at another location in the outdoor mall. He adds that the post industrial ages is characterized by fragmentation. One force that lead to this fragmentation in the 1950s and 60s was global competition, automating production, and production an factories moving overseas.

29:21Copy video clip URL Kester tries another take of his treatise.

31:05Copy video clip URL Kester continues at a new location in the mall. He talks about how urban space in a post industrial age affect how people relate to each other.

31:41Copy video clip URL Shot of the deserted mall. Kester reads another take of the above treatise and notes we need to look at how this allows us to see and not see larger aspects of our culture.

33:14Copy video clip URL Kester and the videographer discuss what to shoot next. Kester talks about the issue of visuality. Members of the middle class were forced to examine the social cost of their lifestyle. he argues that by definition the edge city is class specific and bringing in mom and pop shops won’t help it appear accessible for all classes.

35:13Copy video clip URL The videographer and Kester discuss what to read next.

36:35Copy video clip URL A group of teenagers walking past. The videographer asks them if they think this is a good mall. They don’t respond.

36:50Copy video clip URL Kester continues with his treatise. He talks about the affects of special reorganization on visuality and its relationship with class divisions has been to displace the social costs of capitalist economy.

37:40Copy video clip URL A worker at the mall. Kester continues his treatise.

38:32Copy video clip URL Kester and the videographer discuss what to record next. Kester continues on about how the industrial city forced people to look at conditions of the working class. He says that edge cities and overseas production has the effect of insulating the middle class, giving a false impression of capitalist oppression.

40:11Copy video clip URL A walkway sign “Rockville Metro Mall”. People walk through the outdoor shopping mall. Kester records multiple takes of a statement that edge cities aren’t interesting to him because they are a mix of urban and suburban space what’s important about them to him is that edge cities represent the extrapolation of the perceived logic of the shopping mall to a vast urban scale.

44:16Copy video clip URL The mall and people walking around. Kester tries to come up with a finish and struggles through a couple of takes as he finds the words. He says he’s not trying to call for an effort to humanize the sterile efforts of the edge city. He just argues that simply putting in a mom and pop shop is just window dressing. Edge cities and malls by nature are class conscious.

46:43Copy video clip URL The mall interior. Kester rereads his closing remarks from above.

49:03Copy video clip URL Kester redoes his closing remarks from another location. Multiple takes.

55:50Copy video clip URL Several takes of Kester saying that what makes it remarkable to me is that edge cities only represent the middle class.

01:02:49Copy video clip URL END



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