2017 CURATORIAL STATEMENT
The Role of Place in the Digitally Mediated City
We are all outside on teh [sic] balcony now. Standing on a platform made out of a tweet into corporate versions of public space. We are not stored in a cloud, opaque or translucent to whomever. We publish, we get read. ok. Private publishing does not exist, we now know we always get read (hi). To select what we want to have read, and by whom, is our greatest challenge rly. For now and teh [sic] future. If you tolerate this, your children will be normalized. Outside, on the street, status updates in the air, checking into another spatial analogy of information exchange. Sometimes hard to reach, through tutorials, encryptions and principles. It is generous to be outdoors, watched by a thousand eyes recording us for the future, our actions to be interpreted as an office job. -Constant Dullart; ‘Balconism’
In his (somewhat) satirical manifesto, the artist Constant Dullart describes the 21st century condition as a state of relentless, fearless, emancipatory, creative, subversive digital exposure, where every platform serves a role traditionally reserved for the architectural balcony – with anytime access and a permanent audience for the unfolding of our subjectivity.
For city-dwellers, the routines and rituals of urban life are increasingly split between physical spaces and these digital dialogues. Smart devices, social media, increased surveillance, urban screens and a range of emerging technologies are beginning to blur distinctions between cyberspace and the urban fabric. This digital milieu distributes our waking consciousness through experiences that bridge traditional delineations of locality and time, altering the ways that we understand and interact with the places we inhabit.
Cities are often understood in terms of their differences, however in order to appear whole they must develop continuity and character. In the face of global change brought about by technology how do contemporary urban places adapt while maintaining their own identity? This year’s urban screening is interested in presenting works that reveal the increasingly diverse range of local and global dialogues that inform our shared understandings of the city.
Hidden Processes Made Visible
Architectural processes and discourses are often invisible to those not directly involved in the profession, rendering the public grateful recipients/unwilling victims of ‘done deals’, the opaque results of byzantine machinations The Urban Screening provides a platform for local and international architects, artists, and researchers to communicate their practice to not just a wider audience, but to those who are directly influenced by the outcomes of their work.
As our attention is drawn towards smartphones and computer monitors, film and animation have become valuable media for architects and designers to communicate issues and ideas that are relevant to our experience of the urban environment. In 2017 we are looking for the submission of projects that showcase the diversity and quality of practices that are concerned with design, urbanity, and place.
Video: Re-Wired / Re-Mixed : Event for a Dismembered Body
Duration: 5 minutes 8 seconds
Description: An internet enabled performance that explored the physiological and aesthetic experience of a fragmented, de-synchronized, distracted and involuntary body – wired and under surveillance online. For five days, six hours a day, wearing a video headset and sound cancelling earphones, the artist could only see with the “eyes” of someone in London, whilst only hearing with the “ears” of someone in New York. The body was also augmented by a 7 degree-of-freedom exoskeleton enabling anyone anywhere to program involuntary movement of his right arm, using an online interface. In the gallery space itself, the choreography could be generated via a large touch-screen. What the artist was seeing and hearing could be experienced in the gallery space with a video projection and sound system. With his shadow projected on the wall behind him the choreography was flattened into one visual, coherent and chimeric phantom spectacle.
Contributor(s): Robert Cameron and Andrei Smolik
Duration: 3 minutes 59 seconds
Description: FV was an urban intervention part architectural folly and part interactive artwork that aimed to develop a confluence between the design of digital interactive systems and interfaces and the design of built artefacts. Through the conceptualisation, design, and testing of a built prototype, the research explored the performative, formal, and aesthetic potentials of locative technologies (mobile, wearable, distributed, networked and contextaware computing devices, applications and services) in architectural design. In this project we examined the relationship between social media communication and public space, and furthermore how this data might be used as both a generator of architectural form as well as a source of information for the interactive components of the prototype.
Contributor(s): Angus Cunningham
Duration: 4 minutes 28 seconds
Description: Filmed in the suburbs of North Perth, Conscious (2017) is a film birthed out of the ‘subconscious’. Exploring a binary between internal and external forces, two environments merge, as the artist projects himself onto the landscape. Exploring the physical manifestation of thoughts, reservations and desires, one gains insight into the work as an impression of the artist’s mind. Where do visualisations exist spatially and how do we perceive them? The monologue attempts to portray the idea that thoughts are not linear but rather a stream of consciousness, influenced heavily by your surroundings. Aiming to demonstrate a new perspective on the built environment, we begin to see an exploration both into self and the importance of context.
Video: Potteries Thinkbelt (Cedric Price)
Contributor(s): Patrick Bendall
Duration: 1 minute 2 seconds
Description: An Animation of the Potteries Thinkbelt, an unbuilt project by architect Cedric Price in 1969 for a University based around a disused railway line in the Potteries Region of England. The Animation was completed for the UWA Architecture Masters Unit ‘Keytexts; Virtual’ and is in Full HD (1920×1080). This unit takes seminal unbuilt works of architecture and gives them a new life through inhabiting spaces and creating short animations using 3ds Max and Vray.
Contributor(s): Elham Eshraghian
Duration: 1 minute 7 seconds
Description: A surreal film that explores the experience of the dystopian dreamscape looking into the distorted and contorted relationship between man, technology and nature. Urban living, machines and the digital movement have reshaped our interaction with nature, creating a blind attitude towards the slow, chaotic demise of Mother Earth, altering our state of conscious and identity.
Video: Facial Pareidolia
Contributor(s): Felicia Fatu
Duration: 3 minuteS 52 seconds
Description: A psychological phenomenon in which the mind recognises a human face in places where it does not exist. Carl Sagan stated pareidolia was a survival tool where one would recognise patterns in the distance or in poor visibility in order to distinguish if something was dangerous or harmless. This third eye appendage uses facial if something was dangerous or harmless. This third eye appendage uses facial recognition to detect faces and “non-faces”. It then captures, and stores the images in an archive. The appendage allows users to look back on the faces they have encountered, even the faces are not necessarily faces. As a hypertelic appendage, reliance on the third eye may cause the wearer to forget the faces they encounter as they delegate their memory to the archive.
Video: Please Leave A Message
Contributor(s): Tom Lucey
Duration: 4 minutes 24 seconds
Description: This work forms part of a video series that is built specifically around the dichotomy of culture and nature. Using recorded satellite imagery from Google Earth it attempts to create a visceral projection that questions how technological advancements alter our perception of the world we live in.
Video: Cottesloe Beach at Alkimos Beach
Contributor(s): Felix Joensson, Jason Macarlino, Leo Showell
Duration: 3 minutes 25 seconds
Description: This film interrogates a recent housing subdivision on Perth’s suburban fringe, and is concerned with extreme forms of consumption. Specifically it seeks to raise questions regarding what makes an authentic architectural object, searching for ways to operate architecturally within the milieu of rampant development that predominantly shapes this landscape. It is not a rejection of the aesthetic realities of such an environment, rather a query into the communicative possibilities of such a language. The image of Cottesloe Beach embedded within the kitchen splashback of the ‘Cottesloe Beach’ display home at Alkimos Beach, hints at a Dali or Magritte painting – an action of surrealist dislocation, a condition prominent Australian architectural icon Robin Boyd would have declared typically ‘Featurist.’ We ask what potential this kind of dislocating collage may hold for architects hoping to reach a broader audience?
Contributor(s): Filipe Afonso, Kirill de Lancastre Jedenov
Duration: 4 minutes
Description: The second film from a series called Density, that looks at the consequences of life in extremely dense urban conditions. This movie focus on the impact of artificial light in Hong Kong, the densest place on earth. The light brightness registered in Tsim Sha Tsui from 8.30pm to 11pm, reaches 1,200 times the International Astronomical Union standard. Even at High Island natural Reservoir – where most would expect a natural dark sky – the brightness is still 20 times the standard. Health specialists say light pollution could disrupt the biological clock and affect brain and hormone function. This movie points to the Hong Kong sky wondering if something can be done in the near future…
Video: Along the Line
Contributor(s): Rebal Knayzeh
Duration: 1 minute 52 seconds
Description: This project aims to explore a central topic, Metro Dubai’s Red Line, through multiple modes of representation. In informing and being informed by the built environment, the written essay (not included in this EOI), photo documentation and video composition layer and interweave scholarly, documentary and fictional imaginations of an urban phenomenon. In the act of building a train line without a predetermined destination, the resulting un-ambiguous form (the straight line) provides the grounds for what Rem Koolhaas advises us to undertake: “insane risks” in creating a city…retrospectively.
Video: Transient Liminality (The Life of a Landy Student)
Contributor(s): Michael Jones
Duration: 3 minutes 58 seconds
Description: Lost within the landscape, an urban void appears. We seek these “lost landscapes”, as impermanent moments that exist in space and time. Here, the “body” of landscape may be found.
Contributor(s): PVI Collective
Duration: 4 minutes 29 seconds
Description: Panopticon is a site-specific privacy service offered out to individuals who frequent public areas that have heavy surveillance and are closely monitored. The work appropriates the use of domestic umbrellas as a tactical privacy tool, allowing travellers the opportunity for a brief moment of privacy in a public space, to walk ‘freely’ under the constant gaze of security cameras. Individual travellers are shrouded in a cocoon of umbrellas and navigated by the pvi privacy team via cb radio on one of a series of devised routes in the cityscape. It is an absurd gesture and an eccentric act of performance which calls into question our perception of ‘safety’ in a public urban setting.
Video: Do You Sense What I Sense?
Contributor(s): Samantha Hopson
Duration: 3 minutes 59 seconds
Description: The central concept of the film ‘Do You Sense What I Sense?’ is to explore how everyone’s senses will sense different stimuli and that nobody will ever have exactly the same experience. Each of the frames represents a point of view as a different person walking down the same path may get a completely different experience. The sound also singles out auditory stimuli to show how we can engage and disengage our attention from different stimuli.
Video: Come and See (My Reflection)
Contributor(s): Rohan Golestani
Duration: 4 minutes 11 seconds
Description: Our association with mirrors and reflections are usually bound by our own personal and private abodes: be it our bathrooms, bedrooms or in the hallway. Outside of our home, or a public bathroom, we may never come across a perfect reflection. This initial novelty of placing a mirror in the suburban landscape lead me to consider other greater concepts regarding the philosophy of perception. Phenomenalism involves a belief that things only exist when they are perceived within the frame of the human eye. This theory does not imply that physical objects are not real – but can something be considered real, or recognised as real if it has never been perceived by someone?
Video: Night Drive
Contributor(s): James McArthy-Price
Duration: 4 minutes 35 seconds
Description: Night Drive explores the daydream state sometimes felt when driving between locations without being fully conscious of the time in between. This is most often experienced late at night after a busy day. The film begins in the streets of Applecross before transporting to Fremantle where two identical passes of its iconic cafe strip were recorded, overlapped and subtracted. Laughter from Indigenous kids at the remote school of Bidyadanga is layered over the experience. Both effects were added with the intent to further break the bonds between spacetime and amplify vastness of the daydream state. The result is a work that plays with paradigms of spacetime, and explores the infinite static state of a preoccupied mind.
Contributor(s): Oliver Shearer
Duration: 3 minutes 44 seconds
Description: Here is a short film that I made in my final semester, which looks at architectural education through my personal viewpoint, and highlights the inner turmoil which can result from this high pressure environment. The work was made with the intention of highlighting some very real issues which too often are glossed over, in the pursuit for some putative ideal, such as higher artistic vision, pursuit for the betterment of humanity, and ways in which we to live. With this in mind, the film specifically focuses on one of the many potential reactions to this environment; diving head first into the very real issue of depression within architecture school, from factors such as pressure, competitiveness, long hours, unrealistic goals inflected personally and from teachers. It highlights an education system that may not prepare you to actually be successful as an architect, and even the awaiting profession which is too willing to take advantage of young graduates with long hours and low pay. The intention for this film is to open up a discussion, act as a catalyst to change and to provoke thought.
Contributor(s): Nicholas Thuys
Duration: 1 minutes 15 seconds
Description: Sick and tired of pesky world disasters and atrocities getting you down? Are you spending too long thinking about the bigger issues in life? Is your productivity and attention down at work? Finding it hard to focus on the tasks at hand? Then the ATTENTIONATOR is for you. With a fully sealed full body Nylon suit. Impervious to radiation, nuclear fallout, chemical weapons, bioweapons and Fake news.The reservoirs of liquid caffeine are capable of holding up to 4.5L. Consumption of the beverage is encouraged, through the face covering oculus which will permanently close until the beverage is consumed. Ensuring the user functions at peak attention and focus levels 24/7, 365 thanks to the suits permanent and unremovable nature. After initial application of the suit, the only maintenance required is the mandatory and government enforced refilling of the caffeinated liquid weekly.
Video: 阿嫲 (Ah Ma)
Contributor(s): Charmiane Joy Khor Le Yi and Goh Jun Lun
Duration: 4 minutes 2 seconds
Description: “Ah Ma” is a film that takes you through an exploration where life meets death, using the relationship between Charmiane and her grandmother. The words “Ah Ma” is an affectionate term for Grandmother and is how Charmiane used to address her grandmother. It carries some of the words that her grandmother last said to her before she returned to Perth to continue her studies. Unfortunately, Charmiane never got to say goodbye to her grandmother, so the second half of the film is the response that she never got to say. This film is dedicated to the loving memory of Mdm Bok.