Scott McQuire - Digital media cities and the future of public space - 28/10/2015

About the speaker

Scott McQuire is Associate Professor and Reader in the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He is one of the founders of the Research Unit for Public Cultures which fosters interdisciplinary research at the nexus of digital media, contemporary art, urbanism, and social theory. Scott is the author of several books including Visions of Modernity: Representation, Memory, Time and Space in the Age of the Camera (1998), and The Media City: Media, Architecture and Urban Space (2008), which won the 2009 Jane Jacobs Publication Award offered by the Urban Communication Foundation, and has been translated into Chinese (2011, 2014) and Russian (2014).  He is also the editor of Empires Ruins + Networks: The Transcultural Agenda in Art (with Nikos Papastergiadis, 2005) and the Urban Screens Reader (with Meredith Martin and Sabine Niederer, 2009), and has published over 100 essays in refereed journals, edited books and exhibition catalogues. He has been Chief Investigator on 8 Australian Research Council grants, including current projects on Participatory Public Space, and Aboriginal Youth and Digital Storytelling.   Scott is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and sits on a number of senior university committees, including the Executive Committee of the Melbourne Networked Societies Institute and the advisory board of the Microsoft Centre for Social NUI.  His next  book Geomedia: Networked cities and the future of public space will be published by Polity in 2016. 

About the lecture

The integration of digital networks into urban space is altering the way we inhabit the contemporary city.  Mobile and embedded media platforms, combined with growing application of sensor networks, have created new possibilities for urban communication. The same technologies are also implicated in large-scale data collection providing new potential for the tracing and analysis of urban populations. Nearly 50 years ago Henri Lefebvre published his seminal book Le Droit à la ville (The right to the city). Contrary to the top-down ethos that dominated modern urbanism, Lefebvre argued that the capacity for a city’s inhabitants to actively appropriate the time and space of their surroundings was a critical dimension of modern democracy. In this talk, I will argue that we need to revisit this agenda in the context of pervasive digital networks. How should we think about the right to the networked city?  How does the rapidly growing ‘smart city’ agenda impact on the political dynamics of urban public culture?  Under what conditions can digital networked media be utilized to facilitate a more ‘participatory public space’? 


15:00 - 17:00
Aula M.005 (de Meerminne, St-Jacobsstraat 2 2000 Antwerpen)

Participation is free, but online registration is mandatory. 

This lecture is made possible by the "Leerstoel Vandenbunder Inbev-Baillet Latour voor Filmstudies en Visuele Cultuur"