Alternative Concepts of Broadcasting: Power to the People?
4.09.2007 by sujaschko

15 x 15 by Richard Vickers (UK), Exchange Square

Urban Screens Manchester 07 Conference: 11 + 12 October 2007
Public art + events programme: 11 - 14 October 2007

One focus session of the Urban Screens Conference scrutinises the pubic accessibility of media platforms in public space. A related art project is shown in the art + events programme.


In theory access to public spaces is unrestricted. In reality control and restriction of public spaces is increasing. Can urban screens take up the role of a public communication medium enabling one-to-many or many-to-many communication? How much freedom of expression is acceptable to the public, or is censorship unavoidable even in a democratic society? How far could urban screens grow into an alternative broadcast medium, taking account of societal heterogeneity and also giving a voice to fringe groups?

Moderator Eric Kluitenberg (NL) lectures and publishes extensively on culture, new media, and cultural politics throughout Europe and beyond. He is known for his critical approach to new media and their social implications.

Adam Hyde (NZ/NL) has been a new media artist for almost 10 years. In his talk he will examine the prevalent web 2.0. trend of user generated content and will take a look at the myths and realities of this current tendency.

Jason Lewis (CA) is a poet, digital media artist and software designer focusing on experiments in visual language, text and typography. His talk will review the results of sixteen ‘Cityspeak’ deployments, a public SMS messaging project and will examine the ever-more tightly controlled means for communicating in public space.

Jai Redman (UK) is a Manchester based artist and environmental activist. Redman generally questions the cultural value of urban screens in public space. He will ask whether controlled ‘out of home media’ allow free speech at all and whether culture is being appropriated as a means of selling consumer culture.

15 x 15 by Richard Vickers (UK), Exchange Square
The art and events programme picks up on the topic of user generated content for urban screens with the participatory project 15 x 15 by Richard Vickers.

In 1968 Andy Warhol stated that; ‘In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes’. Using Warhol’s statement as a premise, 15×15 advances the statement into the 21st century; with new media technology everyone can be world famous….for 15 seconds. Participants will be able to contribute to the piece using a standard mobile camera phone that can capture video, and can send video clips directly from their camera phone using MMS (Multimedia Message Service), or upload from a personal computer to the online database at www.15×

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