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Keynote: Ben Cerveny - We Will All Play Cities Together Like an Instrumental Jam

Ben Cerveny's keynote will explore how, as newly-emerging urban-scale technology infrastructures are implemented, citizens will begin to gain the ability to affect their environment in new ways, using city services the way they would use a digital application in an online environment.

Description

In the 1960s, Constant Nieuwenhuys, an Amsterdam-based Situationist artist-architect, imagined a New Babylon made of linked transformable structures that allowed its inhabitants to freely reconfigure their environment to fit their needs and desires in realtime. This Utopian fantasy was certainly provocative at the time, and obviously unrealizable then and even today, but it pointed at a new relationship between citizens and their context.

As newly-emerging urban-scale technology infrastructures are implemented, citizens will begin to gain the ability to affect their environment in new ways, using city services the way they would use a digital application in an online environment. Transportation systems, lighting systems, public media hardware like active signage and sound-systems will become objects available for activation, control, and coordination by tools and services that citizens use in their everyday lives. Through collaborative interaction with such tools, users of public spaces can configure them for specific temporary functions and even begin to ‘perform’ space together.
 
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