“The Dual Skins of a Media Façade: Explicit and Implicit Interactions” by Fortin and Hennessy

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Title:

    The Dual Skins of a Media Façade: Explicit and Implicit Interactions

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Abstract:


    In the fall of 2013, Mégaphone, an architectural-scale interactive “Speakers’ Corner,” was deployed outdoors after dusk in downtown Montréal, Canada. This urban art installation included a monumental media façade designed to display a transcription of some of the words uttered into the microphone by end users. Driven by the system’s two temporal modalities—a performative “live mode” and an archival “sleep mode”—the video projections revealed the dual skins of a media façade that spanned almost an entire city block. This article examines how activists appropriated Mégaphone to transform an ordinary building into an urban mausoleum.

References:


    1. Sharon Zukin, The Culture of Cities (Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1995) p. 16 quoted in Eric Gordon, The Urban Spectator: American Concept Cities from Kodak to Google (Hanover, NH: Dartmouth College Press; University Press of New England, 2010) p. 171.

    2. Gordon [1] p. 175.

    3. Liliana Bounegru, “Interactive Media Artworks for Public Space: The Potential of Art to Influence Consciousness and Behavior in Relation to Public Space,” in Kate Brennan, Scott McQuire and Meredith Martin, eds., Urban Screens Reader (pp. 199-215), (Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Institute of Network Cultures, 2009) p. 199.

    4. Scott McQuire, The Media City: Media, Architecture and Urban Space (Los Angeles; London: Sage Publications, 2008) pp. 150-155.

    5. Most of the works in Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Relational Architecture series propose new forms of interaction that challenge traditional conceptions of the public sphere, but some — such as Body Movies (2001) and Voz Alta (2008) — also raise interesting issues around archival politics germane to the case study presented in this article, <www.lozano-hemmer.com/index.php>.

    6. Partenariat du Quartier des spectacles and l’Office national du film du Canada, “Mégaphone de Moment Factory, projet retenu à l’appel d’idées Parti Pris Pluriel, ” Montréal Quartier des Spectacles — Media, 5 September 2012, three-page internal document.

    7. Étienne Paquette, interview conducted by Claude Fortin on 26 August 2014, ~26min.

    8. Étienne Paquette, interview conducted by Claude Fortin on 26 August 2014, ~60min.

    9. Alexandre Lupien, interview conducted by Claude Fortin on 4 September 2014, ~38min.

    10. For a detailed description of Mégaphone’s interfaces and system architecture, see Claude Fortin, “Harvesting the Interactive Potential of Digital Displays in Public Space: The Poetics of Public Interaction,” (PhD dissertation, Simon Fraser University, Canada, forthcoming) chapter 5.

    11. Detailed accounts, interviews and video evidence of both these cases are broadcast in the French-language news report by Alain Abel and Sylvie Fournier, “À armes inégales,” Émission Enquête, Radio-Canada, 28 February, 2013, <http://ici.radio-canada.ca/emissions/enquete/2012-2013/Reportage.asp?idDoc=274891>.

    12. Alexandre Lupien, interview conducted by Claude Fortin on 31 July 2014, ~16min.

    13. Didier Berry, interview conducted by Claude Fortin on 20 January 2014, ~9min.

    14. Michael Wesch, “An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube,” YouTube—Broadcast Yourself, Library of Congress, Washington, DC, USA, 26 June, 2008, ~29min, <http://youtu.be/TPAO-lZ4_hU>.

    15. Serge Lavoie, interview conducted by Claude Fortin on 20 January 2014, ~32min.

    16. Serge Lavoie, interview conducted by Claude Fortin on 20 January 2014, ~29min.

    17. Lev Manovich, The Language of New Media (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002) p. 231; see also Gordon [1] pp. 194-195.

    18. Serge Lavoie, interview conducted by Claude Fortin on 20 January 2014, ~3min.

    19. Tim McSorley, “These Artist-Activists Projected Anti-Police Brutality Images on Montreal Police Headquarters,” Vice, 30 June 2014, para. 1, <www.vice.com/en_ca/read/we-hung-out-with-activist-collective-the-illuminators-while-they-projected-anti-police-brutality-images-on-montreal-police-headquarters400>.

    20. McSorley [19], para. 2; para. 19.

    21. A complete catalogue of Shimon Attie’s work is available on his official website, <http://shimonattie.net/portfolio/the-writing-on-the-wall/>; see [5] for a similar online archive of Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s art installations; finally, an overview of Kryzystof Wodiczko’s videoprojections are discussed in Derek May’s (1991) documentary film, Kryzystof Wodiczko’s Projections, <www.nfb.ca/film/krzysztof_wodiczko_projections>.

    22. Marie-Joëlle Corneau, “Two Major Works to be Unveiled this Coming October 8 as Part of BNLMTL 2014, L’avenir (Looking Forward),” Montréal Quartier des Spectacles — Media, 2 October 2014, para.4, <http://medias.quartierdesspectacles.com/pdf/press/en/2014/pr_wodiczko-hayeur-ang.pdf>.


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