About the Urban Screens Initiative

After the great success of the last Urban Screens conference in 2005, we were working intensively on developing this project further and initiating a follow up series of extended Urban Screens events. Urban Screens Melbourne 08 marked the official launch of the International Urban Screens Association. To support the Urban Screens Movement.
www.urbanscreensassoc.orgDefinition of Urban Screens

URBAN SCREENS defined as various kinds of dynamic digital displays and interfaces in urban space such as LED signs, plasma screens, projection boards, information terminals but also intelligent architectural surfaces being used in consideration of a well ballanced, sustainable urban society – Screens that support the idea of public space as space for creation and exchange of culture, strengthening a local economy and the formation of public sphere. Its digital nature makes these screening platforms an experimental visualisation zone on the threshold of virtual and urban public space.
(Mirjam Struppek)

Short history of Urban Screens

In January 2004, during the international Media Art Festival Transmediale Mirjam Struppek conducted a questionnaire for the Artgroup [STRICTLY PUBLIC], researching about the outcome of their one month video art screening on the largest outdoor LED screen in Berlin, looking at the impact on the passers by. Later in 2004 the Institute of Network Cultures and the Department of Art in Public space, Amsterdam approached Mirjam Struppek, to develop a research agenda for a conference, preparing the launch of the permanent video screen installation for cultural programming at the Zuidplein, heart of a new urban development area in Amsterdam. Mirjam Struppek developed a concept, she named “Urban Screens” and curated this first conference about “discovering the potential of outdoor screens for urban society” in September 2005. According to the large success of the event she developed an extended concept, including conferences, exhibitions, outdoor screenings and international joint broadcasting and an online information platform for networking. She is initiator of this challenging series of worldwide Urban Screens events, to support a growing community and an emerging Urban Screens movement.

Long Term Objectives

  • Opening commercially used digital screens in public space for cultural content and a young art scene through establishing a new exhibition format
  • Rethinking the relationship between architecture and public space in the digital age
  • Creating visibility and integration of new media art forms into an everyday urban situation and rethinking traditional forms of art in public space
  • Inspiring the creation of new innovative content for models with a balanced commercial, communal and cultural usage
  • Sensitising for a more considerate and sustainable integration of visual media infrastructure in the urban architectural landscape with a cultural responsible claim
  • Exploring and pointing out the interrelation of screen format, architectural integration, technology, location and reception of content
  • Participation of the citizens in site specific and interactive screening projects and rediscovery of Public Space for critical discourse in an atmosphere of tolerance
  • Development of a dialogue between involved parties such as artists, cultural managers, architects, city government, screen operators as well as theoreticians
  • Supporting the networking of Urban Screens for content exchange across cultural boundaries, taking national and local issues into consideration
  • Supporting a worldwide Urban Screens movement beyond Europe and a network of engaged parties following documented best practice examples