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Large Screens and the Transnational Public Sphere

LP0989302: 2009-2013. Co-funded by the Australian Research Council, Art Center Nabi, the Australia Council for the Arts, and Fed Square PL.

This project aims to test the use of large video screens as a communication platform for an experimental transnational public sphere. The project involves linking major public screens located in Melbourne and Seoul for three ‘urban media events’ involving specifically commissioned content. Because these cities share a near synchronous time zone, the events will utilise live and interactive components to engage publics in both places simultaneously. Initiation of original content will be complemented by longitudinal analysis of both the process of artistic production and the effects of public dissemination. The five-year time frame facilitates a research methodology based on a series of feedback loops allowing insights from different strands of research to inform the development of future phases. By drawing upon the specific expertise and resources of the research partners, and enabling leading academics to work collaboratively with key large screen operators in Australia (Fed Square P/L, Melbourne) and Korea (Art Center Nabi, Seoul), and peak cultural institutions (Australia Council for the Arts), the project will be uniquely placed to offer critical insights into the process of cultural exchange, the impact of media technologies on public space and the transformation of the ‘public sphere’ in the global era.

The project has five key aims:

  1. To deepen regional cultural links through the development of technical infrastructure for cultural exchange between Art Center Nabi and Federation Square;

  2. To develop, commission and curate innovative interactive content, and document and evaluate the collaborative production process;

  3. To undertake empirical investigation of public interaction with large screens in distinct urban situations and cultural contexts;

  4. To test theoretical frameworks for understanding cultural exchange in the global context;

  5. To establish more comprehensive grounds for the regulation and use of large screens in urban planning and design policy.

Image courtesy of Meredith Martin.