[ISEA2009] Paper: Cecelia Cmielewski & Sean Cubitt – large screens, third screens, civic spaces and innovation


Can recently ‘created’ public spaces become places of civic engagement – can they become a transnational ‘campo’?
A partnership between Australia and South Korea will incubate innovative and artistic practices via public screens. The hypothesis is that interactive artwork presented across nations on large public screens can have a positive impact on how we engage with each other and affect our civic lives.

our questions
The large screens and the transnational public sphere research project explores how information and content is exchanged between cities identified as media ‘hubs’, and what the impact is on the formation of a regional public sphere, in this case in the Asian region. In the first instance, the screens are linked between Federation Square, Melbourne and Incheon, Seoul.

We ask how the networking of these cities contributes to regional public diplomacy, in the light of an increasing emphasis on the role of culture in urban development, tourism and transnational communication. How can networked screens distribute regional cultural production and generate new social relationships in public space? Does this create new modes of civic participation at local and global levels? To what extent can a cross-cultural focus enable a new perspective on the relation between technological change and cultural production? What can the network model tell us about culture in the era of what George Yúdice has termed ‘culture-as-resource’? How might it contribute to inter-city cultural rivalry for economic infrastructure and development? And, crucially, how might this model be tested and adapted collaboratively?

  • Cecelia Cmielewski, Manager, Cultural Engagement Initiatives, Community Partnerships, Australia Council for the Arts
  • Professor Sean Cubitt, Director, Media and Communications Program
    School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne, Australia

Full text (PDF)  p. 348-356