Urban Screen Encounters

Research output: Non-textual outputExhibition

Abstract

Charlotte Gould and Paul Sermon installed three large-scale, cross-continental telematic artworks – ‘Occupy the Screen’ (2014), ‘Screen Test’ (2014), ‘People’s Screen’ (2015) – linking audiences in cities across Europe, Australia and China. The installations and audience engagement underpinned research into the nature of public participatory art, audience agency, ludic wellbeing and embodiment.

The artworks formed part of an enquiry into a shift in art towards conscious participatory modes, recognising the psychological implications of participation. Telematic art places audience participation at the centre of the work, eliciting communal interaction by way of digital interconnectivity and chroma-key video technologies. Participants perform spontaneously on bluescreen backgrounds, creating their own presence on large format public video screens alongside fellow participants in other, often very distant locations. In these examples, public audiences demonstrated their agency through reclaiming urban screens, playing with the notion of the selfie and interacting with famous cinema sets.

The enquiry involved observational research through the filmed actions of participants alomgside analysis of video documentation, interviews and video cued recall. The artist-researchers examined the nature of participatory artforms in public space, recognising how interactions were contextualised by urban and commercial environments as well as the diverse interactive backdrops. The research generated insights into the relationship between artists and participants in co-created artworks, the nature of participant agency in co-created narrative art, the value and meaning of play, and participants’ experience of a digitally present self. It also considered the historical trajectory of audience participation in filmic art, and the value of telematic arts within this tradition.

Gould and Sermon each refined the theorisation and contextualisation of the practice for the publication of two journal articles and a book chapter (all published in 2018). They also gave workshop and conference presentations on the artwork, made publicly available through widespread online documentation.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationRiga, Latvia and Berlin, Germany
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014

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