[artinfo] Video as Urban Condition: VIDEOpool

_manu Luksch manu at ambienttv.net
Sun Mar 28 10:44:58 CEST 2004


Video as Urban Condition: VIDEOpool
Deadline: 7th of May, 2004

===Video as Urban Condition===

  examines the ways in which video has become part of the urban fabric:
the omnipresent screen and the watchful eye that inhabits private and
public space. Here, video is the ubiquitous equipment of the home, the
street and the work place: the tube, the box, the telly, CCTV,
info-screen, electronic billboard, in-store advertising, mobile,
terrestrial, cable, satellite, pay-per-view, downloadable, for sale, to

Video as Urban Condition http://www.vargas.org.uk/projects/video_as/


is the videotheque attached to the symposium and future touring
exhibition. The Pool aims at expanding the range of positions presented in
the show and symposium by giving access to related video work. During
opening hours, visitors have access to the Pool and viewing facilities
(DVD and MiniDV). Work which has been submitted to the Pool will be
indexed, documented and promoted online at the project website. The
contents are intended to help set the agenda of the symposium and provide
concrete points for discussion.

VIDEOpool is online at
http://www.vargas.org.uk/projects/video_as/pool.html entry form at

===Special focus: Urban road movies===

February 2003: the Congestion Charge is introduced in London. The fee
applies to all vehicles that drive in the 21 sq kms of central London.
Compliance is ensured by a surveillance apparatus that records vehicle
registration plates. Every vehicle is monitored over its entire journey
through the charging zone. In medieval times, city walls signified to
those entering them that they were approaching the centre of political,
economic, and religious power. Today¼s guardians, closed-circuit TV
cameras that peer down from posts on every street corner, ensure that
modern citizens are no less aware of this fact.

In 1995, at the Telepolis symposium in Luxemburg, an attempt was made to
redefine urbanism for an emerging digital age, in which trade,
communication, and information exchange would be increasingly carried out
by means of e-commerce, video conferencing, and chat- and newsgroups.
Today, media convergence is a reality, but the predicted decline in the
physical movement of people has not occurred. The increase in traffic is
not just across national boundaries, but also across the economically more
significant city borders. Former inhabitants leave older European and
American city centres, now turned into lifeless zones of speculation. The
influx of people into newer urban centres in Asia and South America is
creating mega-cities.

The European city plan is medieval; its nodes of activity are crossroads.
The new Asian media cities (attached to Dubai, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur) are
growing around an infrastructure of data highways, and their nodes of
activity are the access points to these highways. To what extent can
electronic media impose or create an urbanism? What kind of urbanism will
this be? could this be? Or, will the urban accrete only in the
interstices, despite the planners¼ best intentions?

Media convergence and the diffusion of digital technology, coupled with
increasing anxiety and paranoia in the city, has greatly expanded the
realm of video. The telephone conversation, the journal entry, the
eyewitness account, the infant¼s room, ‚ all have enhanced, supported,
substantiated, monitored, or otherwise qualified by the use of „moving¾
image. Video is most prevalent not in any „pure¾ form, but in such hybrid

This symposium and exhibition will examine the extents to which mediation
forms our urban experience, and urban experience influences video culture.
We invite work that throw light on the place of video in the city, and of
the city in video. Works that situate urban experience around networks of
traffic (human, vehicular, or data), or that examine the relationship of
newer, developing cities to media, would be of particular interest.

Manu Luksch (march 2004)


Send work and entry form to:

Manu Luksch
ambient space, Regent studios Unit 76
8 Andrews Road
London E8 4QN

post stamped:               7th of May, 2004
video formats:               DVD or MiniDV  (pls no VCD or VHS)
form download:
inquiries:                       manu at ambientTV.NET

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