23-24 SEPTEMBER 2005

URBAN SCREENS 2005 is an international conference ranging from critical theory to project experiences by researchers and practitioners in the field of Art, Architecture, Urban Studies and Digital Media. The focus is on understanding how the growing infrastructure of large digital displays influences the visual sphere of our public spaces. How can the commercial use of these screens be broadened and culturally curated to contribute to a lively urban society involving the audience interactively?

In the context of the rapidly evolving commercial information sphere of our cities, developers are bringing new digital display technology into the urban landscape like large daylight compatible LED screens or high-tech plasma screens. Meanwhile there is a growing interest in exploring their potential of a non-commercial use, asking for new strategies and cooperations in content production and management. Besides infiltrating some”artcoockies”, lets look at them more in terms of open “screening platforms” and how that can have a social or cultural impact on our urban society!

Public space has always been a place for human interaction, a unique arena for exchange of rituals and communication in a constant process of renewal, challenging the development of society. Its architectural dimension, being a storytelling medium itself, has played a changing role of importance in providing a stage for this interaction. The way the space is inhabited can be read as a participatory process of its audience. The (vanishing) role as space for social and symbolic discourse has been often discussed in urban sociology. Modernization, the growing independence from place and time and the individualization seem to destroy the city rhythm and its social systems. Besides experiments with social networks and new media tools emerged. Starting with the development of virtual cities with its chat rooms and spaces for production of identity, we now face community experiments like collaborative wikis, blogs or mobile phone networks in the growing field of social computing.

Parallel to this development an “event culture” has evolved in the real urban space among the internationally competing cities, focusing on tourism and consumption. Considering the social sustainability of our cities it is necessary to look closer at the livability and openness of public spaces and start to address the urban users as citizens not as passive consumers.

The experience, made in the new digital communication spheres, might serve as an inspiration for this social enhancement. Could large outdoor displays function as experimental “visualization zone” of the fusing of the virtual public spaces and our real world? Can screens function as a new mirror reflecting the public sphere?

URBAN SCREENS 05 wants to launch a discussion about how digital culture can make use of the existing and future screening infrastructure, in terms of art and social or political practices, generating a higher value for its operators and “users”. We want to address the existing commercial predetermination and explore the nuance between art, interventions and entertainment to stimulate a lively culture. Other key issues are: mediated interaction, content management, participation of the local community, public private cooperation, restrictions due to technical limits, and the incorporation of the screens in the architecture of our urban landscape.

The conference aims at an interdisciplinary audience with the intention to exchange experiences and start a network to initiate future collaborations.

Preparation of the event will include the launch of an online discussion on the urban screens mailinglist.

DAY 1 (23.09.05)

09:30 – 10:00 Doors open

10:00 – 11:40 Introductory Keynote Lectures

Introduction by Jeroen Boomgaard and Mirjam Struppek
Moderator: Geert Lovink

Scott McQuire (Melbourne)
The Politics of Public Space in the Media City

Lev Manovich (San Diego)
Urban Media Surface: First Steps

11:50 – 13:00 Session 1 – Shaping the Urban Media-Scapes
Moderator: Bastiaan Gribling

Infoscape for the International Center of Design, St Etienne, France Giulia Andi in collaboration (Berlin/Paris)

Integration of Screens in Architectural and Urban Design
Peter Lavery (Australia)

Intelligent Skin. Houses that Oikoborg
Vera Bühlmann in collaboration (Basel)

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch

14:00 – 15:30 Session 2 – Addressing the Social Value and Civic Culture through Participation

Moderator: Scott McQuire

Soft Urbanism: Public Urban Media
Elizabeth Sikiaridi in collaboration (Amsterdam)

Urban Video Displays as the New Voice of Public Communications
Louis M. Brill (San Francisco)

The Shape of Content on the Urban Screen
Perry Bard (New York)

Beaming and Streaming: Developing Infrastructure for an Urban Screen through
the Creative Collaborations Project
Frank Abbott in collaboration (Nottingham)

15:30 – 16:00 Tea Break

16:00 – 16:30 Three Project Sketches

Moderator: Mirjam Struppek

‘netropolis’ – Information Space for Izmir Metropolitan City
Koray Tokdemir in collaboration (Ankara)

The Art of Interaction, Love Connection and Global Culture Broadcast
Valentin Tomic in collaboration (Yugoslavia)

Knowledge Spaces for Urban Screens
Studiometis (Saint Germain les Corbeil)

16:30 – 18:00 Session 3 – Opening the Commercial Use of Outdoor Screens

Moderator: Rob van Kranenburg

Art vs. Advertising – Comparative Use of Corporate Screens for Video Art
Raina Kumra (Cambridge, MA)

Commercial versus Public Service Applications
Johan Muijderman, (Eindhoven)

Social and Cultural Aspects of Outdoor Video Technology
Vladimir Krylov (Moscow)

Token Screens or Opportunity for Difference? Art Screens and the
Branding of
the City
Julia Nevárez (New York)

DAY 2 (24.09.05)

10:00 – 10:30 Doors open

10:30 – 11:50 Session 4 – Future Technology of Outdoor Screens

Moderator: Geert Lovink

Media-Facades: Use, Mutation and Technologies
Jürgen Meier (Leipzig)

Future Urban Screens – New Concepts for Urban Screens
Florian Resatsch in collaboration (Berlin)

Cityspeak : From Private Expression to Public Performance
Jason Lewis (Montreal)

12:00 – 13:45 Artists Presentations

Moderator: Jeroen Boomgaard

Architectural Media Space
Linda Wallace (Amsterdam)

(Tele)interventions in Cybrid Public Spaces
Giselle Beiguelman (Sao Paulo)

Stalk Show
Karen Lancel (Amsterdam)

Etre = Réseau: From scenography to planetary network
Franck Ancel (Paris)

Energie_Passagen [Energy_Passages] – Reading and (De)Scribing the City
Wolfgang Strauss in collaboration (Germany)

13:45 – 14:30 Lunch

14:30 – 16:15 Session 5 – Experiences with New Content Creation and Curation
Moderator: Bill Morris

Curating the Zuidas Urban Screen
Jan Schuijren (Amsterdam)

Audiences on the Move – The Bigger Picture
Kate Taylor (Manchester)

Video as Urban Condition
Anthony Auerbach (London)

Outvideo – International Videoart Festival in Public Spaces
Arseny Sergeev, a.o. (Ekaterinburg)

Near Documentary – the Public Screens of the Schaulager
Sabine Gebhardt Fink (Zurich)

16:15 – 17:00 Final Keynote Speech

Two Years Public Space Broadcasting in the United Kingdom
Mike Gibbons (London)