Mike Davis

Urban Scholar, Writer, Activist

Unlike most writers on Southern California, Mike Davis is a native son. He was born in Fontana in 1946 and grew up in Bostonia, a now lost hamlet east of San Diego. A former meatcutter and long distance truckdriver, he now teaches Urban Theory at the Southern California Institute of Architecture.

He is a co-editor of The Year Left: An American Socialist Yearbook and author of Prisoners of the American Dream (Verso 1986) and City of Quartz, Excavating the Future in Los Angeles (Verso 1990), in which he recounts the story of Los Angeles with passion, wit and an acute eye for the absurd, the unjust and the dangerous. Davis' City of Quartz points to a future in which the sublime and the dreadfull are inextricable; a future which does not belong to Southern California alone, but terrifyingly seems to belong to all of us.

His essay Beyond Blade Runner: Urban Control, the Ecology of Fear was first published in 1992 as part of the Open Magazine Pamphlet Series, published by Open Media, Westfield NJ, USA, and is reprinted in Mediamatic 8#2/3 The Home Issue.

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  • Mike Davis