Satellite Lifelines

Satellite Lifelines: Media, Art, Migration and the Crisis of Hospitality in Divided Cities, Theory on Demand #38, Institute of Network Cultures, 2020, 312p.
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Isabel Löfgren takes us to the Stockholm high-rise suburbs to show us how art projects and transnational media intermingle with the multicultural urban reality. In this book, she discusses the architecture of her project Satellitstaden, where her artistic interventions with the satellite dishes on façades highlight the voices of its inhabitants through participatory and co-generative artistic processes. In these peripheries, satellite subjects emerge, orbiting around multiple identifications, foregrounding the notion of spatial justice, the subaltern and the importance of grassroots movements.

The book outlines a philosophy of hospitality in response to the turn in Europe against refugees, which Löfgren considers to be a crisis of hospitality, not a crisis of migration. Löfgren discusses the ethics that govern the relationship between guest and host, the self and Other. Who has the right to belong and on what terms? She argues for a hospitable turn in art, urban planning and media, in which guest-host relationships are performed, mediated and problematized.

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