Nell Breyer

Motion Perception: Interactive Video and Spatial Awareness

1. Introduction

This project presents an example of ongoing artistic research exploring movement perception and its influence on our experience of our surroundings. The theoretical framework for this research is drawn from the emerging research on embodied cognition being explored across many fields including philosophy of mind, cognitive neuroscience, AI and developmental psychology. I do not attempt to detail the history of this discourse or describe its tenets in this exposition. Rather, I frame a basic proposition of embodied cognition theory within the context of new media and video art practices in public space.

The assumption of embodied cognition theorists that ‘thought grows from action and that activity is the engine of change (Thelen 1995, p. 69), is the premise for the interactive installation I describe below. In addition, neuroscience research now suggests that action comprehension consists of a vast library of representations — motor and sensorimotor, visual, and semantic — that connect to build our full understanding of movement (Damasio and Mayer 2008, p. 168). In other words, motor imagery, visual imagery and motor production are discrete neurological functions that contribute to diverse facets of our understanding of movement.

Further neuroscientific research has led to speculation about a new class of neurons, termed ‘mirror neurons’ presenting the possibility that ‘action understanding’ is facilitated by internal simulation enlisting both motor and sensory systems in the brain (Rizzolatti and Craighero 2005, 108-9). This research supports the idea that the neural description of an action includes motor and visual components, in other words both a participant’s view and an observer’s view (Ibid. p. 109). Mounting evidence for the theory that motor-imagery is not only function-specific but also body-specific (Willelms, Hagoort and Casasanto 2009), furthers the argument of embodied cognition that:

[An] organism’s sensorimotor capacities, body and environment not only play an important role in cognition, but the manner in which these elements interact enables particular cognitive capacities to develop and determines the precise nature of those capacities. (Cowart 2010)

[…] people who interact with their physical environments in systematically different ways should form correspondingly different mental representations. (Casasanto 2009)

This project offers an analysis of interactive video installation by focusing specifically on the concept of dynamic feedback, a concept that underlies the emerging theories of Embodied Cognition. From a practical standpoint, my analysis aims to identify and describe significant ways that interactive video can alter a viewer’s attention to body movements and, by simultaneously eliciting body movements in order to see, alter overall understanding of spatial experience by creating a dual objective-subjective role in the viewer.

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2. Theoretical Framework


2.1. Origins

At its origin, my artistic research is a phenomenological study of movement and how it impacts our experience of space. It is a study of mind that considers aspects of our experience that include perception, thought, memory, imagination, intention, kinaesthesia, embodied action, social awareness and semantic or linguistic expression. This phenomenological line of inquiry proposes a notion of time-space that I link to Bakhtin's use of the word chronotope (Bakhtin 1981) in reference to language analysis in which neither time nor space is privileged. I appropriate the term and apply it to a dynamic view of space in which body movements continually churn and evolve our experience of space over time. Space is only experienced through time, and time through space.

Here, the suggestion of time’s inscribed spatial intuition and description, is not predicated on any one single sensation of time itself e.g. the viewer may experience multiple varied senses of time passing: from Aristotelean notions of objective time in discrete ‘now’ increments or non-objective sensations of time passing, to Keirkegaard's ‘moment of insight’ (Augenblick), to Heidegger's proposal of a ‘proper moment’ as in, the right time (Kairos). For example, in the discussion section of this paper, I describe one specific shift in the viewer's sensation of time due to a particular visualization, which produces an attenuation of attention to discrete moments passing and an amplification of absorption in a continuum of moments, that flow slowly and steadily, due to an iterative loop of visual feedback on the viewer's physical inputs.

The discussion presented here, does not limit which notion of time one might be attending. Rather, it approaches interactive video in public space as an example of one genre of artwork that capitalizes on the body and its movement in order to fundamentally interconnect spatial and temporal experience — temporal experiences of many kinds. In the sections to follow, I use this genre of artwork to delve more deeply into mechanisms that direct our attention, consciousness and experience of time-space in the context of dynamic public spaces that respond to the viewer in real time.

2.2. Definitions

2.2.1. Interactive Video

Interactive video and public space are broadly used and evolving terms.  I will classify each term in relation to how I use them for the purposes of this research.

Video: the visible part of a television transmission. (Princeton University 2011a)

Video recording: a recording of both the visual and audible components. (Princeton University 2011b)

Video is the technology of electronically capturing, recording, processing, storing, transmitting, and reconstructing a sequence of still images representing scenes in motion. (Wikipedia 2011d)

Video is neither an autonomous medium, free of all links with other forms of communication, nor entirely dependant on any one of them. (Cubitt 1993, p. xv)

An interdisciplinary and heterogeneous character is also inherent to video art. (Schreuder 2010, p. 6)

From the time Sony introduced the first portapak [1] in 1965, video art developed independently and in the context of other art forms (documentation, live performance) encompassing hugely varied formats and technologies. A significant portion of early video art explored interactivity, for example Dan Graham, Video piece for Showcase Windows in a Shopping Arcade (1976); Nam June Paik, Button Happening (1965); Bruce Nauman, Performance Corridor Series (1969).

These early video works drew from a foundation of art, engineering and psychology exploring how we perceive time and experience the present. Such ideas about sensation of the present, time and movement, were central to the Futurists (1909-1916), in turn strongly influenced by early industrialization, early film experimentation (Muybridge, Marey 1870s - 1890s) and turn of the century thinkers such as Bergson (Matter and Memory 1896) and William James (The Principles of Psychology 1890) [2].

More than one hundred years later, today's computer-driven experiences are continually modifying our sense of ‘real time’, ‘specious time’ and the present.  What portion of the present is actually accessible to our consciousness, when current scientific instruments enable distinction between infinitesimally small points of time (a second, a millisecond, a microsecond, a nanosecond, etc.)? Our corporeal limbs feel present to us, as the body, filled with nerve endings, provides sensory feedback to the mind: ‘I am here, now’. Through movement our limbs enable us to feel the present change into the past: ‘I clench my fingers, I throw a punch, my fist hurts’ all feel like discrete increments of now. The body, when active, often demands our full attention. Thus, our own body's movement, demands a continual update of our attention to it now and now and now again. This extended present conducted through the body is like the internet’s eternal present (Picon 2008b, p. 41) which is ever-absorbing because it acts like a sea of minute, micro changes that shift instantaneously with every input, just like the body. It creates a subjective lens for Aristotle's proposal of ‘objective time’.

Of course, micro moments are ongoing within large bodily changes, but our conscious experience of or comprehension of now relies upon a cluster of those micro moments to build and collect. For example, it takes only 100 milliseconds for the visual cortex to process the visual stimuli: NOW.  However, it takes up to three or four hundred milliseconds to not simply process the word's visual attributes but to understand its semantic content:  the intersecting black lines in the word NOW mean ‘at this moment in time’ (Breyer and Nobre 1996). I argue that interactive video, involving the physical body, taps into this ability for the corporeal body to anchor us to a parse-able and comprehensible moment. This is a moment that is digest-able and understandable, because it is a collection of smaller moments that build into a resulting action completed, or sensation felt.

Instantaneous media flows offer a growing range of interactive experience, as yet, difficult to theoretically categorize. The leading new media cultural theorist, Lev Manovich, writes about the ‘myth of interactivity’ [3]

In relation to computer-based media, the concept of interactivity is a tautology. Modern HCI is by definition interactive [… w]hile it is relatively easy to specify different interactive structures used in new media object, it is much more difficult to theoretically deal with user experiences of these structures. This remains to be one of the most difficult theoretical questions raised by new media. [4]

For the purposes of this research, I adopt a broad understanding of interactive video projection. The artworks I refer to under this heading are not televised images but rather pre-recorded or live stream visual images created by the artist in varied (real or recorded) time configurations. I have adopted a more localized definition of the term ‘interactivity’: meaning a reciprocal action or influence. This reciprocal action begins between viewer, artwork and location, but can extend to include reciprocity between viewer and other observers, artwork and location.

2.2.2. Public Space 

A public place is generally an indoor or outdoor area, whether privately or publicly owned, to which the public have access by right or by invitation, expressed or implied, whether by payment of money or not […] (USLegal 2011, Public place).

We define ‘public domain’ as those places where an exchange between different social groups is possible and also actually occurs […] public space is in essence a space that is freely accessible for everyone: public is the opposite of private. (Hajer and Reijndorp 2002, p. 11)

Although the reduction of public space to collective environments and atmospheres has been explored by artists and architects since the 1950s, it could be argued that the contemporary development of electronic networks has privileged the opposite interpretation: public space as a sphere of interaction. (Picon 2008b, p. 40)

Despite idealized notions of the commons as a place of meeting and sharing, public space has in fact, always been a location of discord and conflict, ‘characterized by a history of violence just as frequently as it has by more serene activities and civil conduct’ (Picon 2008a) according to architectural historian, Antoine Picon. Physical public spaces uphold a strong tradition of voicing dissent, protest, opposition or general discomfort [5].

While dissent can still be heard, public space experience is increasingly mediated. In democracies, the public has equal access to city streets, plazas and building facades, government buildings, public transport and natural locations (parks, woods) where public rules apply (Schreuder 2010, p. 6). Whether publicly or privately-owned, our city squares, trains, buses, cafes, shopping malls and business districts are likely to be saturated with visual marketing and surveillance technologies. As a result of ubiquitous surveillance and commercial advertisement, our sensation of free choice and unique experience within many of these types of public-access spaces is significantly reduced, even if our overall access to them (virtually and physically) has increased.

The myth of peace has pervaded discussion of virtual, mediated public domains as well [6]. Yet, virtual spaces in the public domain (the internet, news broadcasting, blogs etc.) also offer well-trafficked locations for all types of exchange, conversation, disagreement and dissent [7]. While these virtual public discourses are, in some cases, more easily individualized and accessible than physical public space equivalents — they are also, to date, more likely to spread without regulation or verification (virally).

As global culture’s electronic web has spread, several conflicting arguments have been made about the impact of digital media and culture on the city, and by extension, on urban public spaces. Some argue mediated exchange has dematerialized [8], decentralized, and de-localized urban life; others argue that urban density has increased today, that interactions have become more intense and networks more complex (social networks, virtual communication etc.) because of our digital culture (Picon 2008b, pp. 32-3). Picon argues that what digital culture appears to value are ‘occurrences, events and situations rather than objects, arrangements and organizations’ [9]. Interactive public video is inherently ephemeral and instantaneous, it transforms space into event space and, in the specific body-centric aspects of this work that I will analyze below, capitalizes on the physical body’s visceral connection to situations and time-locked instances of space.

There are, of course, many theoretical classifications of public experience that cover all types of social exchange and public behaviors. For example, the public sphere [10]; the public realm [11]; the commons [12] and the public domain [13]; are just a few of the many terms uses to describe what happens when we interact with other human beings in a common territory. Likewise, there is a broad range of topics addressed by the activist art of urban interventionism that encourages the public’s participation in social, political or community issues [14]. I will not explore these discourses in detail in this thesis. However, I do return repeatedly to a key idea that emerges from them: namely, the power of collective spaces is that they help us see, confront and define, if not understand, human difference.

In this exposition, I adopt a rough legalistic use of the term public space that does not for the most part address the power of the public domain. The public spaces I describe with interactive video works include highly liminal locations such as walkways, bridges, and lobbies to which the public has un-encumbered access. I focus on the impact of interactive video works on our understanding of non-virtual transit spaces. This impact appears to reinforce the discordant and individuated experience of the public commons as places for expression of unique and often contradictory experiences rather than civil harmony. In this sense, the interactive urban works described below seem to facilitate a sharing of difference.

Four intersecting fields provide important context for the way interactive video is influencing public spaces today. Developments in projection, video installation, digital architecture and urban screens help explain the emergence of real-time body-based projected visualizations in urban public spaces and shed light on how they are impacting us.

2.2.3. Projection

Critics and cultural historians have described a progression for the projected image over the past several decades: out of the cinema onto the gallery wall; off the gallery wall into perceptual space; out of perceptual space and into urban public space. In Steve Dietz’s essay Into The Streets about the evolution of projection-based works, Dietz cites observations by curator Chrissie Iles (film and video, the Whitney Museum of American Art) and Lev Manovich, who identify a transformation in the perceptual features and participatory nature of light-based works (Dietz 2006).

Iles describes ‘ephemeral projection events’, such as the solid light film by Anthony McCall Line Describing a Cone (1973), an early precursor combining “the phenomenological reductiveness of Minimalism with the participatory inclusiveness of Happenings” (Iles 2006, p. 33). In addition to this sculptural and participatory direction, large-scale projections in public spaces introduce a shift in our perceptual and semantic experience according to Manovich [15].

However, as Grid infrastructure becomes available to the art and entertainment industries, the new visual qualities of super-large images (such as the 78,797x 31,565 image of Delft shown at iGrid), coupled with large wall-sized displays and the ability to receive such images instantly from remote locations will impact how we see the world and the kinds of stories we tell about it. In short, scaling up — in this case, scaling the resolution, the size, and connectivity — will have all kinds of effects on future culture, most of which we still can’t envision today. (Manovich 2005, p. 13).

Two important phenomenological concepts emerge from the growing practice of large-scale public projected (video) image. First, as projections move away from the gallery wall and into public spaces they become object-events, that is, time-based perceptual experience. As an immersive and shifting environment, this format for projection blends what is inside and outside of us: our internal sensations, our perceptions and the objective content and form of the image. More than a blurring of the ‘boundary between the artificial and the natural’ (Picon 2008b, p. 38), we see a convergence of experience whereby the object-event is internalized, individualized and ‘made by me’. My actions make the artifice real”or at least real and decipherable to me. Combining this self-authorship with the vast scale, immense resolution and hyper-focus that is available through advanced display technologies, suggests the potential for this work to create a new ethical-perceptual facet of mediated public space.

Second, as projections become increasingly vast in scale and resolution [16], they drive a hyper-awareness, a sudden absorption in the image itself. The viewer becomes more attentive to the content and form of the image than to the rest of his/her actions or surroundings. This offers the possibility to investigate whether the physical place anchors or frames the flux within it, and whether, through increased attention to movement, we arrive at increased awareness of the underlying constants and fundamental structures in a given location over a given period of time.

This brings us to the content of the video image and its influence. A non-comprehensive overview of three different categories of video will help provide illustration of how large, small, temporary and permanent public video work impacts the viewer and surroundings.

2.3. Video Installation

2.3.1. From 1960 to 1990

In Video Art: Old Wine in a New Bottle, Allan Kaprow (author of the Happenings in the 1960s) identified three early trends in how video art was being used:  recordings, socio-political commentary and installation art/performance — the last genre being the most experimental, according to Kaprow [17].

Through early video installation developed by Paik, Nauman, Graham and others, ideas about ‘self-investigation’, the expansion and compression of speed and real-time as well as the daily life art developed keen interest (Schreuder 2010, pp. 15-16). In the next three decades, as video art became increasingly accepted into the art world, artists such as Bill Viola, Tony Oursler and Jenny Holzer explored projection with dramatic scale shifts, onto non-standard object surfaces and large-scale architectural surfaces. Holzer, for example, moved from posters pasted on building exteriors in her Truisms (1978) to electronic billboards, LED signage and large-scale xenon projectors, for example, the progression: The Living Series (1980-2), Child Text (1990) For The City (2005). all formats for the work elicited active responses from her viewers through strongly provocative text. Schreuder attributes the proliferation of public video art, at least in part, to the rapid increase in projector lumens and the introduction of the LED display [18].

Emerging in the 1980s, public interventions seemed to extend and transform the idea of Happenings through video communication technology. Works such as Good Morning Mr Orwell (1984) directed by Nam June Paik [19], explored the idea of a global public telecast for art. Another seminal work was Hole in Space (1980) by Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz, which transformed a small corner of Lincoln Center into a public communication sculpture or ‘telematic projection portal’ between Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City and the Broadway department store located in Century City's open-air shopping centre over three nights. Full-scale, life-sized images of people from the opposite coast suddenly appeared on each of these public facades, enabling passers-by to see, hear and communicate with each other, just as if they had passed them on the street.  No credits, labels or explanations were posted beside these portals.  No video monitors for self-viewing were made available. According to Steve Dietz, Hole in Space created a ‘pedestrian crossing’ (Dietz 2006) traversing East and West costs of North America.

Another example is Dara Birnbaum’s Rio Videowall (1989), cited as the first large-scale permanent video installation in public space in the USA (Schreuder 2010). It was created for the Rio Shopping Mall in Atlanta Georgia. Rio Videowall was an interactive installation of twenty-five linked monitors using security camera feeds to intersperse live shots of the shopping public whose silhouettes would function as travel mattes, keying in news broadcasts of CNN and Turner Broadcast (both based in Atlanta). Rio Videowall was eventually modified to combine commercial and artwork presentation [20].

Contemporaneous with this monumentalization and externalization of video, Myron Krueger, one of the original pioneers of virtual reality and computer-based screen art, began developing the prototypes for what would eventually be called Virtual Reality (1969). These ‘responsive environments’ (Krueger 1977) incorporated the movement and gesture of the viewer through an elaborate system of sensing floors, graphic tables and video cameras. Audience members could directly interact with the video projections of others, interacting with a shared environment. Krueger also pioneered the development of unencumbered, full-body participation in computer-created telecommunication experiences and coined the term ‘Artificial Reality’ (1973) to describe the ultimate expression of this concept [21].

2.3.2. From 1990 to 2010 

In the past two decades an explosion of projection-based art has occurred in public space. I will not offer a comprehensive listing of these works here. Instead, I want to point to a few large-scale [22] works that suggest three different approaches, if not theoretical frameworks, for how these interventions operate in our public spaces.

The first approach is an aesthetization of the commercial image. Works like Doug Aitken's SleepWalkers (2007) at MOMA, Pipilotti Rist's Open My Glade (Flatten) (2000), at Cineboards or David Michalek's Slow Dancing (2007) at Lincoln Center, New York, play with questions of what is glamorous and what is ugly, what image has a fast, slick, commercial feel or a personal, accidental or individual feel. These works raise issues around aesthetics, commerce and the gallery of the outside world, providing valuable counter weight to the seductive and eye-popping projections of such commercial enterprises as the 3D building projections of Nuformer ( The second approach focuses on the social potential of public space. Lozanno-Hemmer's ‘relational architecture’ explores exactly this, as does Daniel Canogar's interactive works or grass roots initiatives as Project Blinkenlights (2001) by the Chaos Computer Club. The third approach uses public large-scale projection as both theater and protest. The large body of projection works since the 1980s by Krzysztof Wodiczko illustrate this approach, such as Projection on South Africa House, in Trafalgar Square, London (1985); Bunker Hill Monument Projection (1998); Hiroshima Projection (1999); CECUT (2000-2001) etc.  As described by Art historian Patricia Phillips:

He applies the immediate force of performance to social and political problems. The rhythms of extenuating events and the brevity of each installation give his projected episodes the intensity of public, political demonstrations. (Phillips 1992, p. 44).

I offer closer analysis of this type of artwork elsewhere (Breyer 2011). An approach to large-scale projection/display as theatre/performance is not uncommon. This visible tendency is found in works by artists like William Kentridge's Shadow Processing, The 59th Minute in Times Square (2001); or Kimsooja's Conditions of Anonymity (2005) that personalize the human body. This approach encompasses a large collection of projection work that do not use the body or visualizations of the body to create a strong political message, such as Nuage Vert by HeHe (Helen Evans and Heiko Hansen), a high powered green laser animation and a thermographic camera capturing pollution from a large power plant in Saint-Ouen (, and the Graffiti Research Lab (

In summary, from existing large-scale interactive projection works that present or respond to the human body, we see three kinds of impact on public space: 1) anesthetization, 2) socialization, 3) theatricalization-politicization. These three types of transformation suggest three overarching ways in which interactive urban video can personalize and democratize public space, generating visceral, immediate feedback for the individual viewer.

While individual artworks introduce this personalization of public space, there is a growing design trend in this same direction, emerging from the buildings and spaces themselves. That is, digital aspects of the city are being designed into structures, curated or usurped for curation, as architects and designers are now assuming mediated surfaces in and on their buildings and design projects. I will cite just a few examples from architecture and the urban screen movement that help illustrate the shape of this trend.

2.4. Architecture: The Facade as Video Display

For more than a century, a number of critics have decried the demise of public space, citing pervasive surveillance, civil indifference and industrialization as forces that undermine active engagement and interaction by individual members of the public in common spaces [23]. Physical movement through public space has been viewed as part of the problem inherent in this decline [24].

As commerce and transnational exchange create ever more homogeneous culture, commodities, and cityscapes that reflect this, architects and designers have adopted a language to describe the resulting loss of distinctive identity or sense of place that results (‘ageographical city’, ‘postmetropolis’, ‘junk space’) [25]. However, I would argue that the emerging use of interactive screens and body-based visualizations in public facades, plazas and streets can counteract this loss of individualized identity.

Over the past three decades, designers have begun to direct the visual electronic display capacities of their designs. I will cite just a few examples that illustrate an effort to engage the viewer in an active and physical translation of their surroundings
[26]. In 1989, Rem Koolhaas proposed a design for the Center of Art and Media (ZKM) in Karlsruhe, Germany (Schreuder 2010, p. 95). The building project, launched in 1992, integrates user-controlled projection into many aspects of the structure. Light projections in the workspaces are visible through the glass façade as semi-transparent images and a laser projection simultaneously projects directly onto the front of the façade.

In 1990, The Groniger Museum Pavillion commissioned five separate pavilion designs by Rem Koolhaas, Peter Eisenman, Zaha Hadid and Bernard Tschumi to house an exhibit on video entitled What a Wonderful World, which explored the influence of the video clip on new building structures (Schreuder 2010, p. 95). While each design provided an original video viewing solution, the pavilions shared an experience of architecture that focused on ‘a fragmented experience of reality
[...] (where) the idea of the spectator as part of the pavilion determines the look of the architecture.’ (Schreuder 2010, p. 96).

Rene Van Engelenburg's Pleinmuseum Foundation has launched several initiatives in this vein, to integrate new media into public space. The Pleinmuseum (created in 2005) is a mobile exhibition pavilion programming video art in public space. It has travelled to central plazas in several cities proposing a flexible, accessible museum model. It is ‘an open and flexible museum that is approachable and accessible, placed on a square in the city centre, forming a natural part of urban life’ ( In the day, the pavilion folds into a white cube. At night, it unfolds hydraulically, into a seven-screen pavilion without interior space, a large-scale projection surface for a single (linked projection) image to span (Schreuder 2010, p. 98).

Van Engelenburg describes the work as a ‘communicative act.
[...] creating the conditions that make a specific interaction with the public’.( His projects provide many different approaches to this end: the inflatable Rietveld pavilion, Inflate the Rietveld! (2002), a ten meter high temporary extension to Gerrit Rietveld's Academiegebouw (Academy Building) in Amsterdam; Limes@Flumina (2005), a forty-meter long video installation; the Pleinmuseum Foundation (2005) and (2008) a mobile hangout and soundboard for youth and e-culture.

Jean Nouvel’s Concert Hall in Copenhagen, Denmark (2009), includes a similar day/night transformation for the central hall that is bounded by a semi-transparent façade reflecting its surroundings during the daytime (cityscape and park greenery) and transforming into a ‘gigantic projection surface’ after sunset (Schreuder 2010, p. 97).

Besides transparent video facades, there are many examples of designed communicative surfaces from the past decade. The Graz Art Museum, in Austria by Peter Cook and Colin Fournier (2003) is all one large, low-resolution media façade. Their design relies on abstract patterns with pixelated text or graphics, treating the media component as yet another building skin and augmenting it with a textural reading (Zarzycki 2010). The D-Tower (also 2003) by Lars Spuybroek / NOX-Architekten, changes color based on the mood of local residents in and around Doetinchem in the Netherlands. Local residents can go online to fill out a questionnaire about emotions like hate, love, happiness and fear, the website includes a visual representation of the inhabitants' responses, designed and written by the Rotterdam based artist Q.S. Serafijn and their responses, in turn, trigger the light color changes illuminating the twelve meter high D-Tower. ‘D-Tower is a coherent hybrid of different media, where architecture is only part of a larger interactive system of relationships’ ( It is an external visualization of, and conversation with, people's emotional states.

Diller, Scofidio and Renfro's 2004 design for the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco used a five by eight meter screen traversing the transparent facade of the building to act as an unreliable (half true, half false) magnifying glass of the inside. Facsimile, as the work is titled, uses a video camera fixed behind the screen to record live events from inside the building. These images, interspersed with staged narratives, plays with the notion of ‘reveal’, drawing the viewer into real and unreal narratives unfolding throughout the conference centre. ‘An ironic but not undesired effect of the installation was that several of the renters of the conference rooms used the screen to place advertising copy in front of the camera, so that the image on the screen on the facade a commercial function after all. The title of the work, Facsimile, refers to the ‘falsification’ of the spatial experience evoked by the new media’ (Schreuder 2010, p. 91).

Jan and Tim Edler's firm realties: united specifically designs the surface display capacity of their projects to ‘generate a transitional joint between the realms of art, architecture and advertising’ (,140,1). Projects like AAMP (2008), a permanent generative media installation in Singapore; Spots (2005), a temporary light and media installation in Berlin, and BIX (2003) in Austria; merge media display and facade comprehensively. The Edlers have helped make ultra low resolution displays in the public domain tenable art formats (Jim Campbell, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and Carsten Nicolai all displayed their work on Spots), while also exploring the cross-over between commercial and non-commercial displays. In each instance, the viewer must discern and attend to complex shifting fields, and variable focus points as the facades transform according to each moment of the day and the public’s location and point of view.

As mobile museum units and transparent facades, and flexible surface structures integrate video into city structures, two things happen. First, they draw the public back out into the street. The urban place becomes once again, a place of entertainment, exchange, reflection, a place where collective experience and individual experience co-exist in a state of what one could call ‘dissensus’. Second, the public is expected to take on an active role in interpreting, responding to and mastering the new narratives, artistic ideas, architectural forms and dynamics on display.

2.5. Urban Screens / Festivals

In addition to the media-skins designed for/in individual buildings, a large number of citywide and international festivals (Boston Cyberarts, O1SJ Biennial in San Jose, Media Facades Festival Europe) as well as urban video programming initiatives have sprung up over the last several decades (see appendix A.5). Commercial and government programming of video artworks is not uncommon.  Initiatives such as Times Square’s 59th Minute (since 2001), Cineboards (since 2002) in Rotterdam, BBC Big Screens Project (sixty screens across several locations in England by 2012) have been working for the last decade, to inject large, highly commercial public spaces with cultural programming.

Numerous conferences and publications have attempted to gauge the growing phenomenon of urban screens (Urban Screens 2005, Urban Screens Melbourne 2008, Media Facades Festival Berlin 2008, Media Architecture Conference London 2007). New publications like The Urban Picture — The moving image in the public environment 2006 and the special issue in First Monday on Urban Screens, have given it a critical platform. Yet, there is still little theoretical consensus on this growing movement.

As Scott McQuire notes in his study on the ‘Public Space Broadcasting’ initiative in the UK, despite significant literature on ‘screen culture and public art (Friedberg 1993; Kester 1998; McCarthy 2001; Burnett 2004) and on the impact of networked and mobile media (Castells 1989; Mitchell 2003; Beaton and Wajcman 2004) there is little literature specifically addressing the emergent phenomenon of public screens (see Boeder et al 2006)’ (McQuire, Papastergiadis and Cubitt 2008). Among several other recent publications, Catrien Schreuder’s Pixels and Places (2010) addresses the role of video's art historic development on public space, but does not provide a specific visual-kinetic vocabulary to probe or understand how this work operates on our conscious awareness.

Above all, there is a uniform cry from curators, academics, designers and critics (Struppek 2006, p. 110) that more curation and analysis of these artworks, their impact and potential, is needed.

Furthermore, we need to understand how the growing infrastructure of digital displays influences the perception of our public spaces' visual sphere […] It is time to develop more creative visions for alternative, socially oriented content for various types of Urban Screens and to avoid a focus on technology. (Struppek 2006, p. 110)

As digital media, and especially media façades, assume a more prominent role in contemporary architecture, there is a growing need for research and for creative models that demonstrate enriching and meaningful integration of this technology into the urban environment. A number of questions emerge for architects and designers. How can the integration of new technologies with architecture and landscape create spaces that evoke new experiences, touch us emotionally, and help us feel at home? How can media-rich architecture and landscapes provide new answers for the needs of a mobile and globally connected society? These are the issues we need to address in the next decade, or life — in the form of commercial enterprise — will answer them for us. The question is not whether we like or dislike the extension of media content into architecture and landscape; the digital media landscape, in the form of advertisement and corporate identity, is already here. Instead, the challenge is to direct its development toward the aesthetic benefit of our urban environments and the cultural and political benefit of our society. (Zarzycki 2010)

The capacity of large screens to contribute to a robust and inclusive public culture needs to be evaluated. [27]

The question posed by the Groniger Museum of 1990 is in fact still topical. What influence does the medium of video have on our experience of architecture? What happens to a façade when it changes into a media façade? With the increasing number of screens in the street, this question is becoming more and more relevant for the architectural world. (Schreuder 2010, p. 98)

To this end, my analysis aims to link theoretical inquiry on the role of action in cognition, to the impact of interactive video on our experience of public architectural spaces. The proposed visual lexicon is applicable to body-centric public interactive video works. The practice exemplifies a line of artistic research that follows a non-scientific format for knowledge acquisition. Namely, I define the experience of interest, then design and implement the method for exploring that experience.

My artistic intervention is described and observed. A set of terms is proposed in order to offer something more than an art historical recounting of each event. The terms are intended to distil underlying mechanisms that apply to other works in this field. The terms suggest axes along which interactive video can be manipulated to delineate and make conscious, our experience of space. The visual-kinetic terms are intended to help architects, artists, designers and critiques articulate how computation, video, projection and interaction can direct modern public spaces and our physical experience and comprehension of these places. They are also offered as thinking grounds, from which new creative works could spawn.

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3. Context

The i:move series 2 at Dance Theater Workshop is one of a series of public Interactive Installations I have created. Many of these are collaborations with other artists and scientists. As a whole, these interactive installations investigate motion perception from the first person and second person perspective. The works explore how moving one's own body can generate an experience of place that is acutely personal, by heightening awareness of both continual flux and temporal specificity in our connection to and discernment of meaning, or sense in our surroundings.

Despite being public, the sites I work in are not necessarily monumental, central, or historic political arenas [28]. The performance situations I have selected are often quite the opposite. Namely, they are passage zones, tunnels, walkways, lobby areas interlinking destination locations, but not a destination themselves. These settings often lack dominant architectural features and are organized to accelerate the flow of human movement rather than its arrest.

Further details of earlier projects that influenced The i:move series 2 can be found at

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4. Method

The work presented here is a collaboration I completed with Jonathan Bachrach, Goran Bogdanovski and Dejan Srhoj (Fico Balet) in 2004. The project, a dual screen, interactive video and performance, was supported by Dance Theater Workshop (DTW) where it was installed in the DTW gallery during my digital ARM fellowship. The work, its description and analysis are intended to illustrate artistic research that has both applied and phenomenological aspects to it.

The installation at DTW was designed to encourage an easy flow into and out of the building so that all types of pedestrian motion might be considered and reflected back by the space. The foyer and sidewalk acted as a formalizing arena, with adoption of a fluxus-style objective of re-envisioning any movement, even the most quotidian, as one of potential aesthetic, expressive meaning.

I collaborated with Jonathan Bachrach, an MIT computer scientist at the time, and Fico Balet, to build a work that layered live interactive video with live and pre-recorded, structured improvisation sequences. We designed the installation to transform movement in real time, using a series of changing, processed images that responded to behaviors outside the theatre and transformed them into a second, shadow, performance of real life. Viewers had two, simultaneous and reflexive roles: that of viewer and performer. Our installation relied on a replicable overall system architecture (computer, fire wire cameras, two projectors, proprietary software and people) and a unique software design and display configuration, to respond to site-specific features and points of view.

The whole video program ran from 10am to 10pm, except Sundays. The live stream processing relied on a single visual transformation of movement that changed each day of the week, Monday through Saturday. In addition, we created a score for each of the camera view points (outside, inside and pre-recorded) so there was a progression from the outside world, to the inside lobby, to the viewer/performer's imaginations and memories of the piece over the course of a single day. Practically, this meant a daily schedule which was divided into morning, afternoon and evening sections. Camera input in the morning, ran from the outside cameras with street views. In the afternoon, the lobby camera was visible across both projection screens. In the evening, the outside cameras' streams were mixed with pre-recorded and pre-processed video footage of dancers, who performed live on the street for a week during the installation period.

Goran Bogdanovski and Dejan Shroj performed outside DTW on the sidewalk from 6.30 to 7pm daily for one week of the installation. The dancers improvised towards the street-facing cameras and viewers who were waiting for the inside performance. Viewers would split their focus between the live dance outside on the street and the real-time processed imagery inside.

As the lobby/café would fill with expectant audience goers for the main stage performance, a captive audience would observe our fringe performance going on outside on the sidewalk and inside on the wall in front of them. These captive viewers would tend to split their focus. They would watch the live dance outside, then the processed imagery inside, then the live movement outside again. So heads and attention would switch, back and forth.

It was impossible to achieve the same frontal vantage point on the performance and the processed video from any location. There was always both a spatial and temporal remove between the live stream and the live performance. This physical distance and separate orientation was intentional, forcing the viewer to make a choice about which to prioritize and which to respond to first. In this way the audience became sandwiched between two live movement performances, which presented two vantage points on the same set of actions to the viewer. The duet would end as informally as it had begun, dissolving into the street as audiences were spurred into the theatre just before curtain time.

5. Results

The installation at DTW transformed a lobby area into a mirror through which the viewer negotiated between two views of himself both visually and physically. A call and response dynamic was created, where the interior became retractable and, even when people stayed inside, they were often compelled to go between looking at the inside and the outside wall. In certain cases, after observing how the camera and processing was transforming the inside wall, viewers who were sitting quietly at the café would move outside the building to explore what they could create on the wall.

Repeated viewers began to learn and improvise with the technology, experimenting with a large range of movement qualities to explore the images they might produce. Some viewers simply watched. Other got up and participated in creating the images.

Many DTW visitors are trained movers especially knowledgeable about body motion in performance. This background could have predisposed people to the jumping, running, marching, tai chi and other martial arts-like gestures that unfolded. Partnering, lifts, grand jeté, grand battement appeared at different moments as a range of formal dance vocabulary was spontaneously incorporated into the foyer. Viewers seemed to feel that they were inscribing their movements onto the space.

Most striking, a visible slow down and exaggeration of movements emerged as people began to respond to the artwork’s responsiveness. People acted in ‘slow time’ using sustained, controlled and persistent gestures in front of the camera. The slower-than-normal actions also created an absorption in the viewers, where they lost consciousness of their own bodies and gained a hyper consciousness of the visualizations generated across the lobby.

Viewers hyper-attended this external view and lost physical inhibition. A feedback loop began to occur that reinforced 1) externalizing attention to the space, 2) decreasing self-consciousness and 3) increasing non-conventional behaviors. When viewers realized they controlled the projections along the foyer wall, they tried to direct these walls. With this new effort, they lost self-consciousness and so the uninhibited actions appeared: jumps, drags, falls, lifts, large-scale arm and leg gestures. The more viewers tried to see, the more their physical actions changed.

As viewers became absorbed in their transformative role, they slowed down, exploring ways to both prolong and exaggerate body movements in order to create a range of imprints on the wall, sustaining otherwise fleeting and ephemeral impressions. Actions appeared deliberate, measured, lengthened, purposeful.

Because both spectating and performing were happening inside and outside the foyer, the wall between the theatre and the street became porous. Viewers began to manipulate the look and feel of their surroundings and their own image within this.

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6. Discussion

At DTW, our effort to transform daily movement patterns into formal, choreographic visualizations affected the feeling of the foyer space. The intervention appeared to expand the physical vocabulary and general attentiveness of visitors, eliciting a playful and physical experimentation from them as well as an effortful act of interpretation.

I propose a set of visual kinetic terms to help delineate several of the distinctive shifts in viewer attention that could be seen during the i:move series 2 installation. The terms attempt to derive a more precise understanding of the impact of interactive video projection on our understanding of public space.

The first change, as described in the results section above, was a sense of exaggerated, ‘slow time’ where participants used concerted effort to drag their movements out and sustain their physical marks on the space. The slowest, most redundant visualization (see videos labelled ‘time’) provoked the strongest changes in behavior and retained people's attention the longest. The visual and multiplied feedback of the initial movement input encouraged a slowing down and intensification of live gestures. As viewers became increasingly engrossed in their visual impact, they also lost self-consciousness of their body in action.

The lack of inhibition I describe as a sense of ‘dissociative body’: a viewer would lose inhibition about his specific gestures while focusing attention on the visual impact of his movements. The bodily dissociation was prompted in part, by ‘parallel processing’ of different sensory inputs: a visitor while in motion, would see the visual impact of his motion and shift this motion accordingly. The viewer literally would not see until he moved. Thus creating a sense of ‘action sight’: a viewer would traverse the space and use his movements to see or perceive what was happening in it — dynamically, rather than passively taking in his surroundings. The final change in attention was the physical sensation of ‘inertial force’. As viewers moved, they felt the effort it takes to change path or body position. This internal, physical awareness interlocked with attention to the visual changes in the external surroundings triggered by ongoing movements.




Slow Time

Concentration deepens, movements slow as visual feedback is unpredictable

Action sight

Perceiving space through bodily movement

Parallel processing

Multiple simultaneous inputs (time, space and senses)

Dissociative body

Loss of inhibition

Inertial force

Feeling change physically and visually

Through these shifts in viewer attention, the space itself appeared to gain new functionality, becoming increasingly permeable, reflexive and fractal-like. The augmented mirror design for this liminal foyer space revealed concentric relationships between self and self; self and location; self and other and self; self and other and location and self; etc. Reconfigurations of this simple design construct have potential to explore an array of psychological, physiological, phenomenological, social, cultural and political dimensions within these relationships.

I argue that interactive video can alter our experience and understanding of urban public space through dynamic, physical feedback. Through the use of human movement, these works can create an experience of transitional spaces that responds specifically, immediately and viscerally to the individual. Such movement-centric, body-centric interactive artworks offer the potential for individual's to experience personal, evolving viewpoints within urban environments where commercial media heavily saturate the urban landscape and global communications often homogenize design influences.

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7. Conclusion

The visual-kinetic phenomena that I distil from observations of viewers engaged with the i:move series 2, suggest that our perceptions of location can be heightened and distributed through interactive body-centric works. We retain awareness of our singular body while also becoming attuned to the relationships we have with many other bodies passing through the same place. We adopt a dual objective-subjective perspective on the space. Likewise, our experience of time is flexible and scale-able. We can switch immediately from taking in one instant of time discretely to many instants of time layered or merged together. We may jump between vantage points, seeing our own bodies and other bodies occupying space from multiple points in time and space. In this sense, led by interactive designs, our understanding evolves through individual, empathetic translation and physical engagement.

The installation, software and system design described above, as well as the visual-kinetic analysis, provides one methodological approach to articulating how computation, video, projection and interaction can direct and more fully explain our physical experience and comprehension of contemporary public spaces.

With this analysis, I aim to provide information to designers, artists and architects about the meaningful integration of dynamic visualization technologies in the urban environment. This information could help underpin the development of more clearly defined aesthetic, cultural interventions in our image-driven, information-overloaded society. This essay provides a partial model for how artistic research might be conducted within an academic context. It provides a sample methodology for experiential knowledge production and analysis that could be relevant to both academic researchers and artists who are interested in exploring the role of artistic research within theoretical and applied frameworks.

The increasingly ephemeral and responsive nature of our surroundings and the digital communication systems we use to navigate through them, give particular fluency to interactive video embedded in liminal public spaces. Interactive public video becomes a tangible means for directing our urban dynamic experience.

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[1] ‘[B]attery powered self-contained video recording system that can be carried by one person.’ (Wikipedia 2011a).

[2] ‘[T]he prototype of all conceived times is the specious present, the short duration of which we are immediately and incessantly sensible […] We are constantly aware of a certain duration — the specious present — varying from a few seconds to probably not more than a minute, and this duration (with its content perceived as having one part earlier and another part later) is the original intuition of time.’ (James 1890).  See also: Berghaus 2000, p. 23; Braun 1992, p. 278.

[3] ‘All classical, and even more so modern art, was already ‘interactive’ in a number of ways. Ellipses in literary narration, missing details of objects in visual art and other representational ‘shortcuts’ required the user to fill-in the missing information. Theatre, painting and cinema also relied on the techniques of staging, composition and cinematography to orchestrate viewer's attention over time, requiring her to focus on different parts of the display. With sculpture and architecture, the viewer had to move her whole body to experience the spatial structure.
Modern media and art pushed each of these techniques further, putting new cognitive and physical demands on the viewer. Beginning in the 1920s new narrative techniques such as film montage forced the audiences to quickly bridge mental gaps between unrelated images. New representational style of semi- abstraction which, along with photography, became the “international style” of modern visual culture, required the viewer to reconstruct the represented objects from the bare minimum — a contour, few patches of colour, shadows cast by the objects not represented directly. Finally, in the 1960s, continuing where Futurism and Dada left of, new forms of art such as happenings, performance and installation made participation an explicit artistic study. This, according to some new media theorists, prepared the ground for interactive computer installations which appeared in the 1980s.’ (Manovich 2001, pp. 71-72).

[4] ‘When we use the concept of ‘interactive media’ exclusively in relation to computer-based media, there is danger that we interpret ‘interaction’ literally, equating it with physical interaction between a user and a media object (pressing a button, choosing a link, moving the body), at the sake of psychological interaction. The psychological processes of filling-in, hypothesis forming, recall and identification, which are required for us to comprehend any text or image at all, are mistakenly identified with an objectively existing structure of interactive links.’ (Manovich 2001, pp. 71-72).

[5] Is there more striking example of the organizing power of public spaces for civil protest, than today's uprisings across the Middle East in Tunis's Casbah Square, Egypt's Tahrir Square, Bahrain's Pearl Square, Syria's Marjeh Square etc?

[6] Picon (2008a, p. 10) cites the following examples: Mitchell 1999; Graham and Marvin 1996.

[7] Again, the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt bear witness to platforms such as Facebook and Twitter providing a public space for civil protest. They also demonstrate the power of the public space where individual expression is not fully regulated or controllable by larger institutions, governments of all types and corporations.

[8] Cultural Theorist and author, Paul Virilio, argues that transmission speed and mutability sap the ‘media building’ of the kind of collective memory that a fresco or stain glass window would harbor. The fast rate of change in the ‘media building’, contributes to a ‘de-materialization’ of architecture pervading 21st century urbanism. ‘Avenues and public venues are from now on eclipsed by the screen, by electronic displays [...]’ (Virilio, 1994, p. 64).

[9] Picon 2008b, p. 35. He notes that this evolution was occurring before widespread use of digital media (e.g. Archigram’s 1963 Living City, the Situationists, etc). He further cautions against the ‘Brownian-like agitation and lack of clear direction’ that come with digital media’s ease and immediacy of change, as it spawns potentially unanchored, undirected and unstable framework for change (Ibid. pp. 41-42).

[10] The ‘place where society is formed’ (newpapers, government, discussion forums). (Hajer and Reijndorp 2002, p. 12).

[11] ‘The sphere of social relations going beyond our own circle of […] in which we encounter the other […] in which we are pushed beyond our comfortable or natural limits.’ (Hajer and Reijndorp 2002, p. 12).

[12] The commons were traditionally shared environment — forests, atmosphere, rivers, fisheries or grazing land. The commons today include shared culture: literature, music, arts, design, film, video, television, radio, information, software and sites of heritage; ‘public goods’ (public space, public education, health, infrastructure) and ‘life commons’ (the human genome). (Wikipedia 2011d)

[13] Hajer and Rejindorp argue that public domain includes a place where you have physical confrontations with people who may have different notions of the same, shared physical space than you have. Through this opposition, they argue, judgment and social intelligence is formed. Not every public space is a public domain, for example there are some ‘privately managed collective spaces that still function as public domain.’ (Hajer and Reijndorp 2002, p. 11-13).

[14] See Yudice 2005. ‘Contemporary artists often associated with urban interventionist practices are Daniel Buren, Gordon Matta-Clark, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Krzysztof Wodiczko, Thomas Hirschhorn, Francis Alÿs, Harrell Fletcher, and the Red Peristyle group among many others.’ (Wikipedia 2011e, Urban interventionism).

[15] Manovich quotes MacLuhan's original observations about the power of new media being precisely this scale shifting of old media. ‘In Marshall McLuhan’s 1964 book Understanding Media – we will discover that the idea of scale is central to McLuhan’s thinking. McLuhan writes: “For the ‘message’ of any medium or technology is the change of scale or pace or pattern that it introduces into human affairs. The railway did not introduce movement or transportation or wheel or road into human society, but it accelerated and enlarged the scale of previous human functions, creating totally new kinds of cities and new kinds of work and leisure. This happened whether the railway functioned in a tropical or a northern environment, and is quite independent of the freight or content of the railway medium.”’ (Manovich 2005, p. 5).

[16] ‘EVL LambdaVision display. The display consists of 55 tiled LCD screens (11 horizontally x 5 vertically), resulting in a total resolution of 17,600 x 6,000 pixels (in total, 105,600,000 pixels, or approximately 100 Megapixels... The resolution of this image: 78,797x 31,565 pixels. Yes, that is correct: seventy-eight thousand by thirty-one thousand pixels, plus some – which adds up to 2.48 Giga-pixels. The size of data that makes up the image: 7.12 GB.’ (Picon 2008a, p. 9).

[17] ‘Kaprow described installations in which artists carried out an extensive self-investigation with video, works in which television broadcasts and telephone connections were used in order to let an unknown audience participate, and large installations with stacked monitors and life-size projections of images. He was referring to multimedia installations that explore the relationship between the space, the experience of time and the viewer.’ Alan Kaprow, ArtForum (June 1974): 46-49. Quoted in: Schreuder 2010, p. 15.

[18] ‘Every year the projection's luminous intensity roughly doubled; by 2007, beamers with 10,000 lumens were being used. With their greater luminous intensity and increasingly bright images, such beamers have not only made projecting from great distances possible, but projecting in daylight has also become more and more beautiful [...] Another important technological development is the LED screen…screens can show ever sharper images and are becoming more and more flexible and environmentally friendly.’ (Schreuder 2010, pp. 20-21).

[19] Described as the first international satellite ‘installation’ linking WNET TV in New York and the Centre Pompidou in Paris live via satellite, as well as hooking up with broadcasters in Germany and South Korea. It aired nationwide in the US on public television, and reached an audience of over 25 million viewers worldwide. (Wikipedia 2011a).

[20] Through negotiations the artwork was eventually modified to run 24 hours over the course of 6 days a week for 7 years. The rest of the time, the installation could be used as the commissioners wished to broadcast anything (Schreuder 2010, p. 18).

[21] Artists such as David Rokeby, Very Nervous System (1986-1990) and Paul Sermons, Telematic Dreaming (1992) later continued this research into digital real-time manipulation of video streaming in gallery and public environments.

[22] A list of small-scale interactive video projection pieces can be found in Appendix 1.

[23] For a Situationist critique of modern urban space, see Debord 1967 and Whyte 1956. For a discussion of surveillance in public urban space cancelling the anonymity of individuals within the crowd, see Deleuze 1990.

[24] ‘Individual bodies moving through urban space gradually became detached from the space in which they moved, and from the people the space contained. As space became devalued through motion, individuals gradually lost a sense of sharing a fate with others […] individuals create something like ghettos in their own bodily experience’. (Sennett 1994, pp. 323-366).

[25] The ‘ageographical city’ is described in Sorkin, 1992, p. xi; the ‘postmetropolis’ is described in Soja 2000. ‘Junk space’ is described in Koolhaas 2002. Cultural Theorist and author, Paul Virilio, argues that transmission speed and mutability sap the ‘media building’ of the kind of collective memory that a fresco or stain glass window would harbor. The fast rate of change in the ‘media building’, contributes to a ‘de-materialization’ of architecture pervading 21st century urbanism. ‘Avenues and public venues are from now on eclipsed by the screen, by electronic displays.’ (Virilio 1987).

[26] From as early as 1968, Archigram attempted projects that separated the material and immaterial aspects of the city, proposing instant and transportable city elements, [accessed 10 November 2011].

[27] ‘Andreas Broeckmann (2000) has argued that contemporary artists no longer see screens as surfaces that capture attention by means of visual and narrative content, but as sites for the production of new forms of public relationships. From this point of view large screens can play a significant role in generating a new public sphere mediating physical and electronic space [...] However, these are clearly not the only areas worth researching. We would also point to:

• the use of media technologies to create public spaces with differing ambiance

• the capacity of novel interfaces to support new modes of social interaction

• the ability of audiences to actively alter the ambiance of public space

• the formation of artworks in which connections between members of the audience is central to the experience of the work.’ (McQuire, Papastergiadis and Cubitt 2008).

[28] Such as sites selected by early pioneers in the field of interactive public video such as Rafael Lozano Hemmer or Krzysztof Wodiczko. These artists select locations for their works in areas that lend themselves to being heightened political arenas - architectural frameworks that often help dramatize or give voice to marginalized groups, outsiders and/or encourage dialogue around social constructs of us versus them.

Appendix. Selected Examples and Further Resources

A.1. Large Scale Public Interactive Video Installations

Body Movies / Rafael Lozanno-Hemmer


Urban public plazas

Under Scan / Rafael Lozanno-Hemmer


Urban public plazas

Cecut Project / Krzysztof Wodizcko


Omnimax Theater, Centro Cultural Tijuana, Mexico

Hiroshima Projection / Krzysztof Wodizcko.


River embankment. A-bomb Dome, Hiroshima, Japan

Asalto / Daniel Canogar


Alcazar Castle Rampart and front space, Segovia, Spain

Travesias (crossings) / Daniel Canogar


Justus Lipsius Atrium, European Union Council, Brussels, Belgium.

Nuage Vert  / HeHe


Power Plant


A.2. Early Interactive Video / Public Telecommunication

 Art / Artist



Hole in Space / Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz


Lincoln Center, NY

Videoplace / Myron Kreugar


Museum of Natural History, CT

Rio Videowall / Dara Birnbaum


Rio Shopping Mall, Atlanta GA

Telematic Dreaming / Paul Sermon


Gallery locations (various)

Blinkenlights / Chaos Computer Club




A.3. Small Scale Interactive Public Video Installations

Art / Artist



Hand from Above / Chris O’Shea


Various Public Plazas

U-Turm/ Matthisa Oostrik. and Media Lab


Amsterdam, Dormund, Germany

Shifting Time / Camille Utterback


International Airport, San Jose

Bijlmer Moodwall / Mattias Oostrik


Amsterdam South East

From Here / Lincoln Schatz


One Arts’ Plaza, Dallas Art District

Climate on the Wall/Digital Urban Living


Aarhus University Aarhus, Denmark

Living Architecture / Magic Monkey


Brussels, Belgium

Listening Post / Hansen and Rubin


London and San Jose Museums

SM slingshot / by VR/Urban


Liverpool and Berlin (Media Festival)

A.4. Architecture Integrated with Video / Display Technologies

Building / Designer



Popcentrum013 / Gerald Van Der Kapp


Tilburg, Netherlands

D-Tower / Lars Spuybroek / NOX


Doetinchem, Netherlands

Fascimile / Diller, Scofidio and Renfro


San Francisco, California

Spots / Jan and Tim Edler art by Jim Campbell and Rafael Lozano-Hemmer


Berlin, Germany

Pleinmuseum / Rene van Engelenburg


Amsterdam, Netherlands

Groniger Museum video pavilions / Koolhaas, Eisenman, Hadid, Tschumi


Gronigen, Netherlands

ZKM / Rem Koolhaas


Karlsruhe, Germany

Concert Hall / Jean Nouvel


Copenhagen, Denmark

Twists and Turns / Wiermann


Vienna, Austria

Graz Art Museum / Peter Cook and Colin Fournier


Graz, Austria

Instant City project / Archigram




A.5. Urban Screen Initiatives

Public Interfaces Aarhus University, 2010

Urban Screens (2005, 2007, 2008, 2009)

International Urban Screens Assoc.

CASZuidas, Amsterdam


Federation Square, Melbourne


Public Space Broadcasting – UK
Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester, Hull, Rotherham, Bradford and Leeds


Creative Precinct, Brisbane


Rembrand Plein Scherm, Amsterdam


Sony Center, Berlin


Collegium Hungaricum Berlin


ZKMax, Munich


Victory Media Network, Dallas


Spa Urban Screen, Milan


Art Center Nabi, Seoul



A.5. Video Screenings and Festivals

The 59th Minute, Times Square

Video Art on Times Square NBC Astrovision screen. Videos air the last minute of every hour. (Ongoing)

Projected Weekends

A series of outdoor projections in the Dublin, running for the entire weekend Friday 17:00 - Monday 08:30 and each weekend a new piece will be shown. (2006/2007)


For 18 month the media installation SPOTS converts an office block in Berlin into a curated art space. (2006/2007)


"Video in the Built Environment" explores the proliferation of video screens and projections and their impact on urban space. (2005)


Media art a year long on the video billboard at Dundas Square in Toronto. One minute video works broadcast 24/7 every half hour on the 29th and 59th minutes. (2005/2006)


Minimalist video art for public screens. First brought on Screens in London and Birmingham busses. (2004)


An annual outdoor artistic intervention located in an urban space - at unconventional spots for video projections and already existing electronic LED displays
(since 2004)


An annual art festival on the outdoor video screens network of "IgRek Cinema" in Ekaterinburg, Russia (since 2004)

Going Underground

An international short film subway festival on TV screens in tube carriages of Berlins subway. The audience is asked to vote for the best film, using the internet, SMS or phone. (Annual since 2002)


Short films screened in Hamburg on the subway info screens, buses and train stations in Germany (2001/2004)

Makro Video and urban cycles

Art screening in public space at the National Palace of Culture, Sofia organized by interSpace, Bulgaria (2000/2001)

A r t . screen

Videoart on info screens in Subways in NRW, train stations and Airport terminals in Germany, organized among others by [STRICTLY PUBLIC] (2000/2001/2002)



A.6. Online Resources

Archigram - Instant City (1968)

Computer Chaos Club - Blinkenlights (2001)

LAb(au)'s Touch (2006)

Krzysztof Wodiczko – CECUT project (2000)

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer - Body Movies and Vectorial Elevation (1999-2010)  and

Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz - Hole In Space (1980)

Zhang Ga's - The People's Portrait (2004)

Anne-Marie Schleiner's – Operation Urban Terrain (2004)

Nuformer 3-D projection

Ndesign 3-D projection


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