Large Screens and the Transnational Public Sphere


Session Title:

  • Mapping the City and Urban Identity

Presentation Title:

  • Large Screens and the Transnational Public Sphere




  • The Large Screens and the Transnational Public Sphere research project explores the exchange of information and interactive content between cities identified as media ‘hubs’, and the impact on the formation of a regional public sphere. This project currently links screens between Federation Square, Melbourne and those managed by Art Center Nabi, Seoul.

    Artists’ investigations, the changing role of the curator, interaction with audiences, the overcoming of technological differences and financial imperatives, will be described in the context of the issues faced in trying to generate a ‘sense of belonging’ in many contemporary civic public spaces.

    Public screens could be sites that incubate innovative artistic and communication modes, revitalizing public space and public interaction. Networked public screens may also function as a nexus for new forms of cross-cultural exchange.  This potential to transmit artwork on a large screen in two cities with public interactive dimensions involves an innovative approach to curatorial techniques and artistic content, as well as a social and cultural valuing over commercialization of the screens and sites.

    The research explores the capabilities of different art practices to inspire and bridge communities across these cities. The curator becomes a participant in the creative production and public interaction processes, requiring an awareness of the cultural and technical parameters of both sites so as to provoke a new transnational civic consciousness.

    Research for Large Screens and the Transnational Public Sphere began in mid 2009 and will continue until mid 2013, developing interactive real-time artistic events between Melbourne and Seoul.  While our questions continue apace, this paper will describe the projects and some of our findings since 2009, and point to our future directions.

    Our program of cross-cultural exchange (involving theorists, administrators, technicians, artists and curators) and empirical analysis of public interactions around large screens, aims to inform media, cultural and urban planning policy.

    Our culturally and organisationally diverse team members are from the Art Center Nabi, Seoul, South Korea, Australia Council for the Arts, Federation Square PL, University of Melbourne and the University of Sydney.

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