[-empyre-] July on empyre: Screens

Simone Arcagni simonearcagni at gmail.com
Mon Jul 9 20:08:39 EST 2012

Thank you Simon,
I am following this very interesting discussion and I am very happy to  

I would like to present the most important topics of my research.

The "core" topic is urban screen. Urban screen means (1) big public  
screen, (2) media architecture and media facade and (3) portable device.

I study tecnhologies and experience, public space and interaction, new  
media, ICT and the contemporary concept (and vision) of the city.

Contemporary urban space is no longer an “informational city”, a place  
where flows and devices are located, it is also a space that embeds  
computers and informational flows. Mitchell, Sassen, Catsells and  
Harvey describe the “informational city” as a place where comunication  
in real and virtual space coexist. Now something different is happening.

Last week Martin Rieser wrote:

Given the growth of mobile and pervasive media forms, all dependent to  
some degree on screens, this changed condition really forms a new  
paradigm, variously described by  researchers who now tend to regard  
the screen as a window into an extended  “Hertzian” space,  ‘hybrid  
space’, ‘augmented reality’, ‘mixed reality’, ‘pervasive space’; or  
from the user behaviour end as forming  ‘trajectories’ (Benford) , and  
even as ‘sculpture’ ( Calderwood) .

Objects, architecture, comunication, devices and virtual space are  
hybrydizing . An in-depth hybrid city, with a new digital DNA (the  
definitions I’m using are those that Lev Manovich used to describe the  
new post-media or macro-media system and the augmented space)

This vision goes beyond even the “media city” or the city as medium  
Kittler envisioned. More than a place where media combine and coexist,  
it is instead a post-medial augmented macro-medium.

Mark Shepard calls this in depth hybrid city, “computer city”. A city  
charachterized by “computerization of all things”. And, in particular,  
characterized by 2 technologies: Ubiquitous computing and Locative media

The city that Mark Shepard also calls “Sentient City”. In Shepard’s  

Today, as computing leaves the desktop and spills out onto the  
sidewalks, streets and public spaces of the city, we increasingly find  
information processing capacity embedded within and distributed  
throughout the material fabric of everyday urban space

He then goes on to say...

Ubiquitous computing evengelists,   herald a coming age of urban  
infrastructures capable of sensing and responding to these events and  
activities transpiring within the city

Internet of things is the system and Augmented Reality is the  
technology... and the question is: what technologies are  
charachteristic of this new augmented space?

1-Sensors (Simon Biggs wrote: “Kinect literally works like that,  
turning everything into a screen” and we can also think about the  
large use of microsoft Kinect for new screens like the Ubi’s 3d screen)
2-Microchips (toward the computerization of all things and Internet of  
3-New connections (with the development of RFID and WIFI, but also the  
low-fi digital radio waves)
4-Clouding computing
5-Geolocalization (with the development of GPS systems and Location- 
based Services - LBS)
6-New screens

New screens are computer screens... we are definitively in a  
postmedial era (someone cited Rosalind Krauss) so they are windows,  
mirrors and cameras, tv and computer screens... interfaces, doors for  
a space of comunication where – according to Bruce Sterling – objects  
and people are “intermediate”. Doors for communication, information,  
advertisement, entertainment...

These screens are interactive and connected, they are interfaces of a  
new augmented communication that is a new expanded urban space that I  
call “Citynet”.

They embeds tv broadcasting, cinema projection, computer trasmission.  
They are the result of what Bolter and Grusin (developping a McLuhan  
theory) call “Remediation” and what Francesco Casetti calls “Re- 
location” and the raise of convergent screens)...

Analyzing new screens means describe and understand the new  
technological horizon, the new dimension of the communication (in my  
opinion the most important contribute is the study about the Internet  
and complexity by Albert-Lászlo Barabási), the new users experiences.

Watching the promo movie by Cornig "A Day Made of Glass" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Cf7IL_eZ38 
) we can observe 4 interesting trends:

glass is the most interesting of the emergent materials (for examle in  
Samsung’s Smart Windows or Zuniga’s Augmented Reality Shop Windows)
Glass means transparency and being able to definitively embed screens  
in architectural structures and everyday objects (the camouflage),  
trasforming mirrors, walls, windows, desktops (at home, in the office,  
in public spaces) into screens

2-Holographic images (Simon cited)
The second trend is the development of images toward 3D holographic,  
solid, images (for example Holorad and its holographic device)

3-Touch screens
Touch screens provide interactivity (whether the glass is actually  
touched, the screen is activated by the movement captured by sensors)

4-Connected and geolacalized screens

In my opinion these trends are drawning a new screens dimension  
(screens without frames, screens without media, micro screens, elastic  
screens, everyhere screens...) and are driving the screens beyond the  
screens, toward the end of the screens...

... to be continued...

Il giorno 09/lug/12, alle ore 11:08, Simon Biggs ha scritto:

> The second week of our discussion on screens begins. I would like to  
> thank our invited discussants Kriss Ravetto-Biagioli and Martin  
> Rieser, and the many other contributors, who have kicked the week  
> off in such dynamic style. I hope that Martin, Kriss and everyone  
> else who has been involved sustain their engagement with a debate  
> that has been wide and vigorous, involving discussants and many list  
> members, even the occasional lurker - which is gratifying. There has  
> been considerable attention paid to how the screen can be defined,  
> both medially and socially. The material and immaterial nature of  
> screens and just what elements of the apparatus should be considered  
> within the scope of the definition of the screen and what shouldn't  
> were recurrent themes. The initial introduction proposed that our  
> historical understanding of the screen is not adequate for dealing  
> with what, in a time of post-convergent and ubiquitous interactive  
> technology, the screen has become. The affect of this upon us, who  
> can be considered as both makers and occupants of what can appear to  
> be spectacle and dispositif, remains to be addressed.
> We would like to welcome this weeks invited discussants. They are:
> Simone Arcagni, Turin; University of Palermo; NABA, Milan, Italy.
> Simone is a researcher in Cinema at the University of Palermo and  
> teaches “Postcinema” at NABA in Milan. He collaborates with "Nòva",  
> “Bravacasa”, “Close-up”, “Oxygen”, “Segnocinema”, “Tutto  Digitale".  
> He maintains the blog Postcinema (http://simonearcagni.nova100.ilsole24ore.com 
> ), advises the publishing house Kaplan and collaborates with the  
> Share Festival, Turin. He has written for “Bianco & Nero”, “Imago”,  
> “Fata Morgana”, “I Quaderni del CSCI”, and has written and edited  
> various books including: Music Video (with Alessandro Amaducci);  
> Oltre il cinema – Metropoli e media; Simone Arcagni, Giovanni  
> Spagnoletti (edited by) Dal Postmoderno al post-cinema and Cinema e  
> web.
> Charlie Gere, Lancaster University Institute of Contemporary Arts, UK.
> Charlie Gere is Professor of Media Theory and History in the  
> Lancaster Institute for Contemporary Arts, Lancaster University. He  
> is the author of Digital Culture (Reaktion Books, 2002), Art, Time  
> and Technology (Berg, 2006), Non-relational Aesthetics (with Michael  
> Corris, Artwords, 2009), and co-editor of White Heat Cold Technology  
> (MIT Press, 2009), and Art Practice in a Digital Culture (Ashgate,  
> 2010), as well as many papers on questions of technology, media and  
> art. In 2007 he co-curated Feedback, a major exhibition on art  
> responsive to instructions, input, or its environment, in Gijon,  
> Northern Spain. He is co-curator of FutureEverybody, the 2012  
> FutureEverything exhibition, in Manchester. His new book, Community  
> without Community in Digital Culture (Palgrave MacMillan, 2012),  
> will be out later this year.
> Simon Biggs
> simon at littlepig.org.uk http://www.littlepig.org.uk/ @SimonBiggsUK  
> skype: simonbiggsuk
> s.biggs at ed.ac.uk Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh
> http://www.eca.ac.uk/circle/  http://www.elmcip.net/  http://www.movingtargets.co.uk/
> MSc by Research in Interdisciplinary Creative Practices
> http://www.ed.ac.uk/studying/postgraduate/degrees?id=656&cw_xml=details.php
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre

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