“PPS: PublicPrivateSpace” presented by Dekker


Session Title:

  • Technologies of Place 1

Presentation Title:

  • PPS: PublicPrivateSpace




  • Where the public space turns into private space and the private space opens up to the public.

    What happens when our private life becomes public and we use the public space for our private concerns? What happens with the way we communicate, socialise and relate to each other and to the space around us? What happens when technology becomes invisible and disappears from our awareness? What happens to our autonomy, who still has agency?

    These questions come up when we think about our relationship and the changes that have occurred over the past years where our environment has increasingly shifted towards the intangible: from mobile devices such as telephones, game controllers and gps to CCTV systems and electronic tags (RFID) for travel and products. These changes have affected our experience of location, space and geographical positioning on a personal and global level in both a digital and physical way. Moreover it poses questions regarding the relation between our private and our public space. The Web2.0 opts for a public space in a private domain. The new tools that came out of this structure of self-publication and -promotion changed not only our view of what is private but also affect our relationship within the public sphere. With the emergence of the new public life, the meaning of both the private and public space changes. Artists like Jonathan Harris, Michelle Teran or groups like MediaShed are exploring into the consequences of this shift from that what is private is now being made public.

    At the same time where the private has become public, the public space is used as a private space. Electronic devices like mobile phones, GPS and other tracking devices personalise and privatise the public space by either giving the opportunity to start a personal conversation at any time and place or showing personalised routes through a city. Wireless and ubiquitous media are affecting the constitution of the public space. New projects by artists like Karen Lancel & Hermen Maat, Intimate Burka, Yolande Harris, Sun-Run-Sun and Valentina Nisi, Trading Mercatorstories are focal points of the shifting conceptions of private and public space. The projects address the social dimension of human environments and possess qualities that make the communication of interaction visible in the realm of the public/private sphere. Moreover they reflect the essence of what is meant by ‘ubiquitous computing’ and its effect on the changing relation of the public and the private space. By analysing these artworks it will become possible to formulate and discuss our understanding of the specificities of location, which is mediated along political, aesthetic, social and scientific lines.

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