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Art & Culture Asides

Manchester Urban Screens

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This week, the Manchester Urban Screens two-day conference and four-day programme of events kicks off.

The omnipresence of public displays such as LED, LCD, plasma screens, large scale projections and media facades demands a critical reflection of their impact on cities and on our perceptions of them. At the same time, they offer new and exciting possibilities for artistic and non-commercial use as well as for community development and play. Urban Screens Manchester looks specifically at the creation of content, commissioning / funding issues, curatorship and the architectural possibilities of urban screens in the 21st century.

The schedule is packed and looks as though it will present the possibilities of urban screens from as many angles as possible, with a range of speakers from academia, industry, and arts. I’m speaking with Dooeun Choi and Sylvia Kouvali on a panel moderated by Mike Stubbs. The panel takes place on Friday Oct 12 at 17.00 and is entitled: “Curating Screen Art for an Urban and Architectural Context”. The panel is described the programme notes thusly:

Until now it is rare that a curator or other new media expert is consulted on the conception of media facades and other urban screens. Consequently, lots of existing urban screens lack the comprehensive sophistication that would explore spatial, architectural or medial potentials. Which curatorial criteria should be applied to the creation and curation of urban screens? How important is site-specifity and the local context? Which economic and content-related restrains do curators have to face? Do urban screens suit a presentation of elaborate artistic content or will entertainment win over art?

I’m also pleased to announce that both of the recent video programmes that I’ve curated for urban screens will also be presented as part of the art programme: Otherworldly and Best of Transmedia. The complete listings (including times and locations) for the art events is on the Manchester Urban Screens website. This is the world premiere for Best of Transmedia and only the second run (the premiere took place in Melbourne, Australia) of Otherworldly. I can’t wait to see both programmes on the screens, both permanent and temporary, throughout Manchester’s city centre!

I’m very excited to be in Manchester this week chatting with experts in this growing field and hope to see many old friends and colleagues there – do get in touch if you will be attending!

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