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Ambient Screens and Transnational Public Spaces$
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Nikos Papastergiadis

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9789888208920

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888208920.001.0001

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Big Screens, Little Acts

Big Screens, Little Acts

Transformations in the Structures and Operations of Public Address

(p.49) 3 Big Screens, Little Acts
Ambient Screens and Transnational Public Spaces

Justin Clemens

Christopher Dodds

Adam Nash

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter demonstrates how the introduction of large screens to contemporary public spaces function to assimilate diverse arts, commercial, and public forms into a conservative regime. On the one hand, the new opportunities that accompany the large public screens are subverted by the logic of capitalist accumulation, which informs a public address designed to achieve high volumes of individual engagement, rather than high quality public engagement. On the other hand, new opportunities to enhance public engagement are subjected to bureaucratic modes of governance, which pre-emptively censor content such that it extends and satisfies conservative regimes of early broadcast regulation. The authors argue that the confluence of capitalist and bureaucratic regimes governing big screens effectively balkanise audiences, valorise nondemocratic forms of participation, and privatise public spaces.

Keywords:   Big Screens, Public screens, Public Sphere, Public space, Privatization, Capitalism

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