Urban Screens 2009: The City as Interface took place at Trouw Amsterdam on 4 December 2009.
The event was organized by the Institute of Network Cultures in collaboration with Trouw|De Verdieping, MediaLAB Amsterdam and the International Urban Screens Association. At the venue there were installations by MediaLab Amsterdam and visuals by Visual Foreign Correspondents
Concept and Program: Sabine Niederer
Research and productional support: Elena Tiis
Thanks to: Matthijs ten Berge, Gijs Gootjes, Margreet Riphagen and Juha van ‘t Zelfde.
Below please find the program and video registrations of all presentations.
10.00-11.30. Session 1: Urban Screens as Architecture
Moderator: Merijn Oudenampsen (NL)
Merijn Oudenampsen is a freelance researcher, specializing in political and urban issues. He studied urban sociology and political science at the UvA in Amsterdam. His interests range from urban megaprojects, citybranding, the creative city, to utopian architecture, social engineering and the postpoliticalness of it all. He is momentarily engaged in a research project at the Jan van Eyck Academy on the populist imaginary in the Netherlands. You can find his articles off- and online, in places such as de Groene Amsterdammer, Waterland, Open Cahiers, Mute Magazine, Metropolis M, and Archined. He is part of the platform Flexmens.org and intermittently organises conferences and debates.
Matthijs ten Berge, Illuminate (NL)
Matthijs ten Berge (1975) studied Urban Planning at the University of Amsterdam before wandering off into film production. The introduction of Urban Screens in the public domain caught his attention, leading to him starting Illuminate, a company specialised in the development and production of outdoor media. Since 2004 Matthijs has worked on various projects, amongst them ”LED Landmark Cruquius”, ”LedTex” at the Textile Museum in Tilburg, the ”New Museumlightline” and the award winning ”Moodwall” in Amsterdam. Interaction and the integration of media in the urban fabric (in design and content) are key elements in Matthijs’ work. For more information go to www.illuminate.nl/outdoor
* Media Architecture: Integrate. Interact.
Matthijs ten Berge (Illuminate) will share his experience in creating media projects for the built environment. From the ”LED Landmark” in Cruquius aimed at marketing an ING Real Estate shopping area to the ”Moodwall”, developed to enhance the feeling of safety in a pedestrian tunnel in the Amsterdam Bijlmer: the success of media architecture projects can be measured by the level of integration in the public space and the level of interaction with the people using this space.
Mettina Veenstra, Novay Research (NL)
Mettina Veenstra is a principal researcher at Novay. She is the coordinator of the theme Public Screens. Novay explores how public screens can contribute to creating more comfortable and interesting public spaces. Mettina is working on several projects about public screens including projects on how to make public screens smarter (with sensors) and on how to use public screens to stimulate contact between people in public space. Before she started working on public screens she was head of the Media Interaction expertise group at Novay. This group collaborates with partners from industry and academia on solutions for improving the access to and interaction with large quantities of multimedia content. During the five years Mettina was head of this group the focus of the group was on recommender systems, user interaction, social tagging and automatic extraction of metadata. Mettina holds a PhD in computational linguistics from the University of Groningen.
* Public Screens and Social Capital
Connections between people have great societal and economic value. In this presentation we address the question whether public screens could help to build social capital, for instance in public space in residential areas or in libraries.
Paul Klotz (1975) is an applied art engineer and light designer, specialised in manufacturing interactive light installations. In 2006 he founded LED-Art and is collaborating with specialists from different areas. His interactive work involves the visitor/ inhabitant and creates feedback between man and installation. The actions and presence of the visitors, environmental conditions and emotional input steer the conceptual approach.
11.45 – 13.15. Session 2: The Mobile Screen
Moderator: Jan Simons, UvA (NL)
Dr. Jan Simons is Associate Professor in New Media at the Media Studies Department of the University of Amsterdam. His research focuses on the relationships between old and new audiovisual media, in particular cinema, games, and interfaces. His latest book is Playing The Waves: Lars von Trier’s Game Cinema (Amsterdam: AUP, 2007). He acted as the project director of the Mobile Learning Game Kit project, a collaboration between UvA, Waag Society, and MediaLab Hva from 2005-2008.
Martijn de Waal, The Mobile City (NL)
Martijn de Waal (www.martijndewaal.nl) is a writer and researcher, who has specialized in the relation between technology, media and (public) culture. Together with Michiel de Lange he founded The Mobile City (www.themobilecity.nl), a think tank and knowledge network on digital media and urban culture. He is also a PhD candidate in the New Media, Public Sphere and Urban Culture research project, supervised by prof. Rene Boomkens at the department of practical philosophy at the University of Groningen and a guest researcher at the department of media studies at the University of Amsterdam. In the spring of 2009 he was a visiting scholar at MIT’s Center for Future Civic Media, a collaboration between MIT’s Medialab and Comparative Mediastudies.
* Urban Culture and Urban Media. The ideas and ideals of the urban and the mobile screen.
In the research, design, regulation and appropriation of urban media technologies, expectations about the future and particular normative ideas about what a city is, play an important role. What ideas and ideals of urban culture do we see at work in the process in which urban media such as the mobile phone and mediafacades are shaped?
Nanna Verhoeff is associate professor at the department of media and culture studies at Utrecht University, The Netherlands, where she specializes in comparative media studies and (new) media archeology. In 2006 she published The West in Early Cinema: After the Beginning (Amsterdam University Press), focusing on the appeal of (virtual) travel in cinema when it was still a new medium (1895-1915). She is currently working on a comparative study of screen media in transition, mobility and spatial practices, ranging from highway panorama’s (NAi Publishers, 2007), media facades and urban screens, to mobile game consoles and interactive, hand-held navigation devices.
* Creative cartographies: mobile screens and the interactive navigation of urban space
A wide range of innovative navigation software is being developed for mobile screens. These applications utilize the possibilities for integrating GPS, digital photography, interactive image manipulation, online connectivity, and other specifications of state-of the art hybrid mobile screen devices for new ways of navigating urban space. Tours, mashups and layars contribute to an expanding and transforming field of cartographic screen practices that do not only read space, but truly make space. In this presentation I will explore how this creative cartography constructs an urban space in which pervasive presence, embedded pasts, and evolving futures intersect.
Annet Dekker, Goldsmiths and Virtueel Platform (NL)
Annet Dekker has been active in the field of media art since the mid 90s. Subjects of interest are the influence of new media, science and pop culture on art and vice versa. She worked eight years as curator, head of exhibitions and the artist in residence program at theNetherlands Media Art Institute in Amsterdam. In 2008 she received an intermediator’s grant from Fonds BKVB to explore the impact of locative media art projects and urban screens on the experience of the city. At the moment she is an independent curator and programme manager at Virtueel Platform. She is also writing her PhD at the Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths College, London: Archeology of the Future,strategies for documenting net art. As well she is involved in Inside Movement Knowledge, an interdisciplinary research project into new methods for the documentation, transmission and preservation of contemporary dance knowledge.
* Synchronising Media
In this talk I will focus on art projects that address the social dimensions of human environments and enable productive interactions across the public/private realms. It is through synchronisation of interactive participants that a new reconsideration or re-appropriation of public space can come about.
Informationlab is a tag that identifies the collaborative efforts of an international group operating at the shifting intersection of art, science, technology & architectural design. Since 2004 Informationlab founders Auke Touwslager (NL) and Ursula Lavrenčič (SLO) have seen their efforts being adopted by different fields and audiences. As a result their Cell Phone Disco (2006) concept found its way to an international art community and to museums and galleries around the world. Most of the group collaboration is based on curiosity driven research which subsequently lead to a variety of publications, workshops and lectures. In addition to being members of Informationlab both Lavrenčič, an architect, and Touwslager, an information architect, run their own design studios in Amsterdam.
* Cell Phone Disco
Cell Phone Disco is a surface that visualizes the electromagnetic field of an active mobile phone. Architect Ursula Lavrenčič and information designer Auke Touwslager created an installation which transforms a part of the electromagnetic spectrum into another frequency range – the range of visible light. Several thousand lights illuminate when you make or receive a phone call in the vicinity of the installation. Cell Phone Disco makes an invisible property of the environment perceptible to our senses.
14.00 – 15.30. Session 3: The Mediatized City
Moderator: Shirley Niemans (NL) – Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (HvA)
Shirley Niemans is a researcher and co-editor for the INC Society of the Query conference (November 2009). After graduating from the KABK/ Royal Conservatory of The Hague she worked as a video and sound artist and (co-)produced / curated new media events and art exhibitions in public space. In 2008, she co-organized the Content in Motion: Screen Cultures minor program at Amsterdam University of Applied Science, where she also teaches Trend Analysis and coaches Interactive Media students. She also co-organizes Things To Come, a program on the social, ethical, artistic and philosophical dimensions of new technologies for Impakt Foundation and is finishing her MA in New Media and Digital Culture.
Theodore Watson (UK/NL) – Graffiti Research Lab Rotterdam
Theodore Watson is an artist, designer and experimenter whose work is born out of the curiosity and excitement of designing experiences that come alive and invite people to play. Theodore’s work ranges from creating new tools for artistic expression, experimental musical systems, to immersive, interactive environments with full-body interaction. His recent work includes the Graffiti Research Lab’s Laser Tag, laser graffiti system and Funky Forest, an immersive interactive ecosystem for young children. Theodore works together with Zachary Lieberman on openFrameworks, which is an open source library for writing creative code in C++.
Theodore Watson’s work has been shown at MoMA, Tate Modern, Ars Electronica, The Sundance Film Festival, Res Fest, REMF, Cinekid, Montevideo, OFFF, SHIFT, ICHIM, The Creators Series, Deitch Projects, Eyebeam, Pixel Gallery, Museum N8 Amsterdam.
Juha Van ‘t Zelfde, VURB.eu (NL)
Juha van ‘t Zelfde is co-founder of VURB, a European framework for policy and design research concerning urban computational systems. The VURB foundation, based in Amsterdam, provides direction and resources to a portfolio of projects investigating how our cultures might come to use networked digital resources to change the way we understand, build and inhabit cities. Juha is a founding partner of Non-fiction, an office for cultural innovation and a motor for making things public.
* Urban Intelligence: participatory urbanism and the city as interface
In the age of ubiquitous computing and sensor networks inhabitants and visitors of a city have become users generating content that shape their urban environment. In this presentation Juha van ‘t Zelfde will talk about the idea of the city as an interactive platform.
Gijs Gootjes, MediaLAB Amsterdam (NL)
As a projectmanager of MediaLAB Amsterdam Gijs works with students from various institutes of the Hogeschool van Amsterdam and the University of Amsterdam. MediaLAB Amsterdam is a creative, interdisciplinary workplace where students cooperate with projectpartners on innovative interactive media ideas. They do this in the form of projects for their graduation thesis that address innovative applications for organizational issues in the public sector. Production and distribution are integrated elements of research at MediaLAB Amsterdam.
Urban Screens is one of the research themes of the MediaLAB where we focus on projection and interaction in public spaces. During the production of the urban projection we’re trying to find and test new ways of using content, the use of architectural elements and the way the audience can interact with the urban screen. Gijs will show some work he developed with the students and will show you which steps students have to take when developing a projection in a public space.
Nanette Hoogslag, Visual Foreign Correspondents (NL)
In 2005 Nanette Hoogslag developed the idea for Oog, inviting artists to react to courant affairs in an online environment. This became ‘Oog’, a weekly online page in one of the largest Dutch national newspapers the ‘Volkskrant’. It was also the starting point of the Visual Correspondents Foundation, which organised a succession of projects that continued to question the role of artists as opinion makers and the context in which their work could be placed. The latest two projects were Visual Foreign Correspondents in de Balie, Amsterdam (2007-2008) and Visual Foreign Correspondents Berlin, Amsterdam and Berlin (2009). Next to directing the foundation, Nanette Hoogslag works as an editorial illustrator (for amongst others the NRC), a graphic designer and lectures at various art colleges in The Netherlands.
* Visual Correspondents: Artists as opinion makers, individual expressions on a public platform
This presentation will show the projects of the Visual Correspondents Foundation, illustrated with various examples of the (international) screen-based art works commissioned over the last 5 years. Nanette Hoogslag will focus on the creative possibilities but also the issues of the specific approach and the desire to place the art works on public platforms that is core to the projects.