“Entr’acte” by Geiger

  • ©Jordon Geiger







    Looking at new public-space formations today, the roles of new technologies grow not only prominent but also noticeably time-sensitive. Due in part to the rapidly changing nature of communications media and the diverse stakeholders, the theatrical “entr’acte” appears to be an apt model for forms and durations of public space with diverse performers (both human and material elements) of different sorts: entr’acteurs. How is public space as physical construct changing with new embedded forms of computing? How is a public formed? What new material sensibilities emerge? And what role does their essentially fleeting or transitional character play?


    1. The field of urban computing is already being vigorously studied, and its history and theory are being written as they evolve. Refer for example to the annual UbiComp, Pervasive, and MediaCity conferences around the world and to recent books such as M. Shepard, ed., Sentient City: Ubiquitous Computing, Architecture, and the Future of Urban Space (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2011) for more.

    2. M. Weiser, “The Computer for the 21st Century,” Scientific American, Vol. 3, Issue 3, 94–104 (September 1991).

    3. G. Hardin, “The Tragedy of the Commons,” Science, Vol. 162, 1243–1248 (December 1968).

    4. A. Bouchard, La Langue Théatrale, Vocabulaire (Paris: Arnaud et Labat, Libraires-Editeurs,1878).

    5. E. Canetti, Masse und Macht (Hamburg: Claassen Verlag, 1960). www.google.com/url? q=http%3A%2F%2Fopenlibrary.org%2Fsearch%3Fpublisher_facet%3DClaassen&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNFavVRy62zoHaouVOCjSST7c3SPeQ

    6. H. Rheingold, Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution (New York: Basic Books, 2003).

    7. W.H. Whyte, The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces (New York: Municipal Art Society of New York, 1979).

    8. A. Boal, Theatre of the Oppressed (New York: Theatre Communications Group, 1993).

    9. This dialogue of sorts plays out in text, first proposed in A. Artaud, “Le Théâtre et son Double,” Collection Métamorphoses No. IV (Paris: Gallimard, 1938), and continued in B. Brecht, 1948–1956: Antigonemodell 1948: Couragemodell 1949. Über die Benutzung von Modellen (Berlin: AufbauVerlag, 1964).

    10. The show is presented online at www.continuouscity.org.

    11. Super Vision, a collaboration with the design firm dbox, is documented online at www.google.com/url? q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.superv.org&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNFzwr4qSQ8wmJsGCPSpGrTRHc7xQ.org/.

    12. A precursor to this sort of event construct that has received a fair bit of interpretation of late is Ant Farm’s 1975 Media Burn, in which the group created an elaborate Independence Day faux-reportage at the launch and crash of a souped-up Cadillac into a pyramid of flaming televisions at San Francisco’s Cow Palace parking lot.

    13. This work and its history are recounted thoughtfully and with quotes from the artist on the web site of the Dia Center for the Arts, at www.diaart.org/sites/page/51/1295.

    14. The project was produced in my 2010 graduate level “Entr’acte” studio, taught for the Situated Technologies Research Group at the University at Buffalo.

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