Participei da conferência internacional Post-Internet Cities que aconteceu no MAAT – Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, em Lisboa, no dia 26 de maio.

O seminário propunha:

“This conference seeks to promote a critical reflection on the way in which digital technologies affect the conceptualisation and life of cities. How can art and architecture respond to this uncertain and unstable condition?

Talking about the present and the future of our cities means, first of all, discussing what the urban space means to us today. Besides having brought about evident changes to our everyday practices, the communication technologies have radically transformed the way in which cities are recognised, appropriated and (re)designed. The globalisation of the Internet and, more recently, the phenomenon of the social media, have reshaped the urban space, dividing it into multiple territories that coexist and intertwine, in a growing ambiguity between the public and private domains, between the real and the virtual.

In a scenario of constant hybridisation and connectivity, physical distances have shortened, giving rise to ubiquitous and parallel cities, mapped by interactive and collaborative systems. This process explains how the main political protest movements of the last decade appeared online first and then only afterwards occupied the symbolic places of our cities. But are these new socio-cultural dynamics calling into question the role of the built public environment? To what extent should the city be understood as an overlapping between the material reality and a collective imagination that has been reinvented on the social media?”

Nesse contexto, apresentei o paper Art, Public Space, and Informational Territories: Towards the Archinterface, que discute a emergência do espaço urbano como um complexa interface. Essa interface redefine o sentido de lugar e reinventa os modos de ocupar o espaço público, apontando para novas esferas de criatividade e controle.

Segue o abstract.

Art, Public Space, and Informational Territories: Towards the Archinterface

Giselle Beiguelman

This paper addresses the cities expanded by networks and the emergence of the urban space as a complex interface. This interface redefines the meaning of place and reinvents the ways of occupying public space. From now on, it has to take into account the public dimension of the informational space and Big data mediation as a horizon of creativity and control and surveillance. Because of this, in this presentation, particular attention is given to artworks, urban interventions, design, and architecture projects, which expand the understanding of public space, appropriating its informational spectrum. Some examples are the WZ Hotel by the architect Guto Requena, the project Bueiros Conectados (Networked Storm Drains) by the designer Andrei Speridião (both from São Paulo, 2014) and Dronestream (2014), by the data artist Josh Begley, among others. This kind of project faces the challenge on how to use and think about digital technologies as informational territories and part of the public sphere. With different perspectives, they allow us to elaborate models of cities, beyond the utopias of interactive cities of the 1990s, betting on smart citizens and not smart cities. Not less important is a whole set of artistic works devoted to the aesthetics of surveillance, which has made a critical reading of control in digital cities and which will be analyzed here. Among others we can cite, I Spy with my Machine Eye (2016) by Liam Young, Street Ghosts (2012) by Paolo Cirio and Drone Shadow (2012) by James Bridle. In varied ways, they deny the city converted into a prison cell without walls, watched electronically and remotely, and purpose concepts of cities of distributed intelligence, expanded by digital networks and not only controlled by corporate technologies. In sum, all those projects together allow us to discuss and talk about participatory cities, instead of interactive cities and simple applications based on systems of action and immediate reaction. In this context, we extend the notion of the city as an interface: it becomes an “archinterface” (archi, from Latin highest, earlier, ultra; + interface), a new form of public space, which takes into account its informational territories as constitutive of the public sphere.

Key Words:

Digital public art, surveillance aesthetics, archinterface, public space, informational territories, Big data, smart cities