In this paper, I would like to discuss the public practice of video mapping and urban screenings through a specific project that I developed as my Digital Media M.A. Thesis. The paper provides the conceptual framework of the urban screening project “Would you like to swim in Umgedrehte Kommode (Upside Down Commode)?” which was realized on the historical water tower “Umgedrehte Kommode” in Bremen, Germany on 10th of April 2010.. The paper analyzes the necessary conditions of urban screenings in order to succeed within city space. It is also going to focus on the illuminative quality that it brings to the cityscape transforming architectural structures by emphasizing their unique identity.
A video work was specifically produced according to the architectural structure of the building and it was projected onto the four windows of the water tower. The aim of the project was to achieve designing an illumination project which would attract the public eye with moving images that are technically projected onto the surface of the architectural structure. This way, the spectators of the city would experience the water tower in a spectatorial visual setting which would let the building gain a unique identity in cityscape.
The visuals of video work consisted of people swimming underwater and giving an impression of looking outside of the windows of the building. During the production process of the video work, the citizens of Bremen was approached and asked if they would like to swim in the historical water tower: “Umgedrehte Kommode”. On a weekly basis, various citizens were filmed in a local swimming pool. While swimming, the volunteers casually and freely acted in front of the camera whenever they would feel to do so. The project aimed to create an intimate link between the citizens of Bremen and the historical water tank, which currently does not hold an active place within public space without any illumination agenda.
Through this specific urban screening project, this paper aims to discuss the transformation of architectural structures in public space through public involvement.
- Nagehan Kurali, Designer