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Title: Interactive works for urban screens : a practice based study into building new ways of engaging communities in urban space through interactive artworks for urban screens
Author: Gould, C. E.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6347 4553
Awarding Body: University of Salford
Current Institution: University of Salford
Date of Award: 2015
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In our urban environment we are surrounded by strangers, observed via surveillance cameras and connected to millions via the global digital infrastructure. Our media is pervasive and immersive, implicit in everything we do, as the distinction between the real and virtual becomes increasing blurred. Whilst pervasive screens are becoming an essential personal tool, large format public screens form part of the furniture of our urban architecture. This study will ask how we can maximise opportunities for cultural engagement using urban screens and how this can impact on our culture. In the last ten years urban screens have been installed across the world, including in twenty-two cities in the UK funded by the BBC and Local Authorities for the Cultural Olympiad. The aim of the screens was to address local communities in order to reflect something of their respective location and community, “with a full programme of locally run community and sporting events”. ( Urban screens have a huge potential to play a role in changing the way that the public engages in urban space. Lucy Lippard identifies “place” as a hybrid of communal memories (Lippard, L. 1997, p9) and proposes that artist play a key role in offering community a framework from which to tackle issues, and debate. Urban screens are usually located in busy shopping centers and are ideally located to attract a broad demographic to contribute to a memory of place embracing an inclusive multicultural and tolerant approach. Through this thesis I explore how interactive works for urban screens can offer opportunity for public participation in the urban environment. Kristine Stiles and Ed Shanken propose that a key factor in interactive works is that they offer “agency” which involves freedom to make choices and to be creative in order to make a difference. (Stiles, K. Shanken E. 2011, p32) Through my literature review and current creative practice, including urban screen projects in collaboration with telematics artist Paul Sermon; “Picnic on the Screen” for the Glastonbury Festival BBC Village Screen 2009 and “Occupy the Screen” for Connecting Cities Berlin/Riga 2014, I explore how interactive artists can optimise agency, opportunities for play, creativity and self-representation to a diverse audience in order to change the way that we engage in the urban environment. Through this PhD I have developed a framework for engagement with public audiences through play.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Media, Digital Technology and the Creative Economy