Think Public Space SECOND ROUND
Work title: Offline
The transmitted public space and our involvement in the virtual sphere changes our perception of the physical. These days protest still happen on squares but the most of it happens online. From crowdfunding to Twitter, our public space moved online. The awareness of public space is long forgotten, ‘if you didn’t take a photo it didn’t happen’. Often tourist are seen not any more observing the new surrounding but taking millions of photos with or without selfie sticks. We are editing our personal experiences of the city as a Web content, by pinning another location on Foursquare and sharing a photo on Instagram.
This project proposes distribution of signal repellants around the city, blocking all the internet services. By placement of these tall white structures that repel the signal, the public space could once again get observed and appropriated. Our embodiment in the virtual network is broken by creating local awareness of our surroundings. These moments of interruption create new contact between participators and public space itself. The focus once again lays within our surroundings and not in the virtual capacity of the network.
Mobile social networks transform interaction in the public sphere. This projects works on a big scale of the city as well as on site specific locations. The repellant’s area of influence changes in regards of space, only interfering with the signal in the public areas, not plugging into the private sphere. The height of each repellant defines the area of interruption, depending on micro location. The information that in that case becomes communicated differs from the one integrated in the network, becoming more personal and local.
Our devices are changing the distance between the private and public. Nowadays, what is posted online goes into the public sphere of the network. Therefore, the cities are invisibly changing based on our tags, posts and spatial movements. Communities, connections and circles all manifest as spaces of different densities. Creating a map of online connections and social networks would create a completely different map of our public space.
"If a common public no longer exists, then we shouldn’t be too surprised that privacy—that which is not public—is muddled as well. The lack of distinction between public and private is played out in space. Under the legal and cultural norms of postmodernism, spaces that appear to be public frequently turn out not to be (the generic shopping mall is one example, but so is Zuccotti Park—site of the Occupy Wall Street encampment—which is in fact owned by a corporation), with consequences for our ability to both experience privacy and engage in civic action."1
1.Situated Technologies Pamphlets 9:
Modulated Cities:Networked Spaces, Reconstituted Subjects
Helen Nissenbaum and Kazys Varnelis