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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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PRINTED FROM HONG KONG SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hongkong.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hong Kong University Press, 2020. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HKSO for personal use.date: 14 August 2020

Defining the Public in Piccadilly Circus

Defining the Public in Piccadilly Circus

Chapter:
(p.81) 5 Defining the Public in Piccadilly Circus
Source:
Ambient Screens and Transnational Public Spaces
Author(s):

Sean Cubitt

Publisher:
Hong Kong University Press
DOI:10.5790/hongkong/9789888208920.003.0005

This chapter examines the large screens of Piccadilly Circus, London, to extrapolate how digital capitalism produces a depoliticised neoliberal public. From the narrow technological parameters to optimise visibility, to the relentless commercial occupation of these ‘public’ screens, Cubitt demonstrates how the possibility of a political public sphere within the space of Piccadilly Circus is foreclosed by corporations that sell the illusion of control and freedom which they have long since usurped. This is further illustrated by his analysis of a novel artistic installation, performed by Fluxus artist Yoko Ono in 2013, which intervened in the corporate occupation of the Piccadilly Circus screens to foreground the triumph of branding over substance that circumvents the democratic potential of large screens in public spaces.

Keywords:   Piccadilly Circus, Big Screens, Neoliberalism, Depoliticization, Public space, Yoko Ono

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