Re: [-empyre-] media architecture and cross-cultural influence
Stimulating questions and observations, Johannes.
What happened in the instances of PED where the external conditions
for participation became unanticipated didn't affect the capacity for
public broadcast. In Chongqing, because we utilized battery-operated
megaphones (the kind used by the bus operators to solicit riders in
Chongqing, and the same kind used by Hong Kong pro-democracy rally
organizers during protest marches) that were connected to players that
were powered by the pedaling action, we were able to broadcast loudly
over a generous geography. Despite the fact that we were hemmed into a
'safe' zone (i.e. the campus), we were able to bend the ears of
numerous people on the street by pausing the machines at strategic
points facing the streets and pointing our megaphones their way.
This situation foregrounded the impetus behind PED's use of low-tech
public broadcasting devices: at the core is a do-it-yourself spirit of
not only generating one's own motion but also empowering the rider to
intrude upon passersby and smear the landscape with the probing
My experimentations are not always geared specifically toward social
interaction - as I stated early on, social interaction is just one of
the mechanisms I explore and not applied wholesale to every work I
generate. The potential to become disrupted or at least challenged in
one's perceptual habits or cultural assumptions is equally strong in
situations of private, individual experiencing as they are in the
larger public gestures.
Although I agree that there is a lot of "a-political (i.e. useless)
... interactive audio-visual digital media" work being generated that
have more bells and whistles than socially-conscious substance, I
believe it's misleading to define relevance based on media.
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