Re: [-empyre-] media architecture and cross-cultural influence

johannes raises the important question of the political - important not
just for the usual reasons but because the metaphors of 'architecture',
'structure' , 'geography', 'space' raise questions about the polis, and
about the nature and future of public space.

A group of us in melbourne (nikos papastergiadis, scott mcquire, myself)
are working on large scale public screens, now a feature of many public
spaces, often with a rejuvenation of the "public" brief rather than just
commercial. A feature that fascinates me is the notorious difficulty
(notorious among people who run or curate for these screens) of securing
more than a distracted gaze (with the exception of events like world cup

What we learn from architecture is not so much about imersion but aout a
specific order of interaction, one that is not about individual experience
but about distracted inhabiting. People don't often contemplate the built
environment as they walk about (and even less if they're driving, but
that's another story). Architecture is a modification - often quite small
- of the behaviour of large groups. This is nothing like the traditional
artwork, which asks us to have a deep but individual experience. Instead,
the capabilty of the architectural is to encourage superficial but mass

Thi is at least one of the senses in which we could take the notion of
politics as the beginning of a biopolitical aesthetic.


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