For Jean Baudrillard, contemporary architectural forms appear as alien spacecraft, crash-landed on to their sites in the urban wasteland of post-industrial cities. They are the products of science fiction, residues of an imagined future, projected onto derelict space in the hope of enlivening it through cultural consumption rather than industrial production. City spaces are irrevocably transformed by these invasions, which appear as such since they pay no heed to the context or history of the surrounding cityscape. They are chimerical, monster-like structures from another planet. To read these spaces with Baudrillard, then, is to enter into a science-fiction story: a narrative of quantum physics, stellar activity, chaos theory, image technologies, and other theoretical parameters unfamiliar to conventional social and cultural analysis. For Walter Benjamin, writing about urban spaces in Paris exiled, as another kind of alien, from his home city of Berlin, cities beg another type of narrative: not a science fiction story but, rather, a ghost story. For him, cities are haunted: by their pasts, by the personal associations we map within

1 Reproduced by permission of the publisher from The Mass Ornament: Weimar Essays by Siegfried Kracauer, translated and edited by Thomas Y. Levin, pp. 43-44. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press. Copyright © 1995 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College.