City as Context @ Prix Italia

Turin, 20-25 September 2014. The video program "City as Context", developed in the context of Waterpieces Festival by SCL, will be presented during Prix Italia (Turin, 20-25 September 2014) as a double screen installation (RAI, Museo della Radio e TV, via Verdi n°16, Room C1). The framework is the Prix Italia Street Art Stories Project: as walls in street art, the urban screen could become an urban canvas for video artist and filmmakers.

The Prix Italia is an international Italian television, radio-broadcasting and Website award. It was established in 1948 by RAI – Radiotelevisione Italiana (in 1948 RAI had the denomination RAI – Radio Audizioni Italiane) in Capri. 87 public and private radio and television organizations representing 46 countries from the five continents form and outline the community of the Prix Italia which is in continuous evolution.

Here below the detailed description of the project.

City as Context

Screencity Lab is presenting, in the context of Prix Italia Street Art Project, a 50 minutes selection of international short videos (live action, animation, video art) based on the concept of city as a medium and context for video content. Most of the shorts selected are specifically made for the medium of urban screen: set into the everyday life, these works should work without sound and catch the attention of a heterogeneous audience passing by.
Urban screens are one of the public outputs of the ongoing hybridization between real and virtual world: they are the gateway to access the flow of communications and information hosted by the city. The "screencity" is a place where human relationships and the relation between citizens and the city are doubled through the augmented informational space.
Urban screens could be considered as walls in the street art, they could become an urban canvas for video artists and filmmakers. Even if they represent the evolution of the big advertising billboards, urban screens could show artistic and cultural videos or become venues for audio-visual performances, besides showing advertising and information for the citizens.
The screening starts with what looks like a screen error or interferences, virtually enlarging the common experience of a normal screen to an urban dimension (ELASTIC Group - Codec Lossy, Italy, 3'). The focus then shifted to the noisy informational layer that covers everyday cityscapes: advertising. Thousands of messages push us to consume (Ralph Kistler - Paradiseator, Germany, 3') and reach the ideal of beauty (Michał Socha - Loop, Poland, 3') to be finally happy. Slogans are surronding us (Rob Moonen - More Power to You, The Netherlands, 3') also from politics (Chris Paul Daniels - Election/Coverage, United Kingdom, 1') adding more and more information to the universe of signs, symbols and icons of the city itself (ELASTIC Group - Subliminal Wien, Italy, 4'; Michel Klöfkorn - I Ride to the Edge, France, 10'). The programme continues with a collection of shorts from the Urban Tide section of Screencity Festival (Stavanger, Norway) that deals with water in the city context: a vital element for the living but at the same time it can become a threat to life, forcing populations to escape (Jaykoe, City Distortions, United Kingdom, 4'; Albert Merino - Les Baigneurs, Spain, 4'; Jonas Brinker - Thames, Germany, 3'). Cities are also the background for sudden epiphanies that change all the perception of the environment around (David Gaehtgens, Venezia, Germany, 5'; Ida Warholm Bjørken - Passing By, Norway, 3').
The screening ends coming back to the screen concept, now multiplied in Times Square (New York) where Bjork's Mutual Core video is played simultaneously in every billboards of the square (David Bates - Bjork In Times Square, USA, 4')
City as Context video programme is curated by Lorenzo Gerbi (Screencity Lab) and Mirjam Struppek (Interactionfield) with the participation of Streaming Museum (USA), Screen City Festival Stavanger (Norway), Federation Square (Australia), Videospread (France) and Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia - Sezione Animazione (Italy).

Lorenzo Gerbi

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