The figure of the nomad can be regarded as the materialization of the continuous flows that define the Global City. The city is no longer a tangible place of inhabited elements, but a continuous entity, reminiscent of the “smooth” space of Deleuze. Koolhaas expresses this sentiment in his essay “Generic City”, showing the almost unrecognisable city from the point of view of the nomad.


“And so the city inhabited by these new nomads is not only one of physical presence, but also one defined by the continuous circulation of invisible flows, information and economic flows that have given rise to a drastic change of scale: The city in which the post-humanist subject lives is the whole world, the global city or the “generic city,” if you like; an entity intrinsically linked to scientific developments and to the market economy, one which involves understanding the territory as an infrastructure of the circulation of surplus value, organized not so much through a geographical concentration of surplus value – the industrial city – but through an economic integration which utilizes the dichotomy of development / underdevelopment.” Abalos, “The Good Life”, p. 186


“Generic City” from S, M, L, XL (1994) by Rem Koolhaas

“They don’t truly inhabit it, they occupy it provisionally. It is in their mobility, their being en route, that these subjects can register; in their spatial conception there isn’t a word of figures and grounds, but fluidity, fugues, continuities and vortices. This is the perception of the nomad, a space made up of continuities and singularities, the “smooth” space that Deluze contrasts with the “striated” space of the sedentary perception, of the institutional city and house.” Abalos, “The Good Life”, p.187-188


“Generic City” from S, M, L, XL (1994) by Rem Koolhaas

“Something that is present in the text and especially in the deliberately blurry images of the Generic City, a blurriness that equalizes everything at the same time as it points to the instability that constitutes it; which refers once again to the anonymity and imprecision of the subject who appears in it.” Abalos, “The Good Life”, p. 187