Session Title:

  • The Art of Software Cities

Presentation Title:

  • Untitled



  • Chair Per­sons: Chris­t­ian Ulrik An­der­sen & Søren Pold
    Pre­sen­ters:  Saul Al­bert, Seda Gürses & Cre­tien van Campen

    The pur­pose of the panel is to in­ves­ti­gate the aes­thetic and cul­tural im­pli­ca­tions of a sit­u­a­tion where new in­ter­faces ap­pear in pub­lic urban space (net­worked, mo­bile, ubiq­ui­tous, etc.). The urban media the­o­rist Scott Mc­Quire ar­gues that with this de­vel­op­ment, ‘the media event’ is in the process of re­turn­ing to the pub­lic urban do­main. The main ques­tion is in what way? Does dig­i­tal media merely pro­vide new forms and new pub­lic spec­ta­cles in the city, or does it also prop­a­gate pub­lic ac­tiv­ity? If so, what kinds of ac­tiv­ity?  In the panel we pro­pose to see this de­vel­op­ment of pub­lic in­ter­faces as an in­tro­duc­tion of not just media but also soft­ware into the city. Today’s media cities are soft­ware cities. A dis­tinct char­ac­ter­is­tic is that the rep­re­sen­ta­tions of media do not just imply new aes­thetic forms and rep­re­sen­ta­tions but are al­ways con­nected to un­der­ly­ing com­pu­ta­tional processes that change the com­plex life forms of the city. With a focus on new forms of cre­ative pro­duc­tion pan­elists will pre­sent their take on how re­la­tions be­tween pub­lic and pri­vate realms are af­fected and how al­ter­na­tive uses and re­la­tions around pub­lic in­ter­faces ap­pear in soft­ware cities. The fol­low­ing state­ments op­er­ate as points of de­par­ture:

    1. Whilst ex­per­i­men­ta­tion and de­vel­op­ments in the cul­ture of free soft­ware re­flects emer­gent and self-or­ga­niz­ing pub­lic ac­tions, how can we ex­tend free soft­ware prin­ci­ples into soft­ware cities?
    2. Does the con­cept of a ‘soft­ware city’ offer a way of fur­ther ex­am­in­ing the cul­tural re­gen­er­a­tion agenda and pub­lic art?
    3. What is the in­ter­re­la­tion­ship be­tween soft­ware and sur­veil­lance in soft­ware cities?
    4. Does the soft­ware city pro­vide new un­der­stand­ings of the re­la­tion­ship be­tween cre­ative pro­duc­tion and the econ­omy?
    5. How does the pos­si­ble dis­so­lu­tion of the pub­lic and pri­vate spheres re­late to bio pol­i­tics and con­tem­po­rary forms of power?

    The panel emerges from on­go­ing re­search around in­ter­face crit­i­cism at Dig­i­tal Aes­thet­ics Re­search Cen­ter and Cen­ter for Dig­i­tal Urban Liv­ing, Aarhus Uni­ver­sity, Den­mark.