The Connecting Cities Network is a European network with the aim of creating an exchange between urban activists, creatives, passers-by and city inhabitants from all over the world via media façades and large digital screens. As an interdisciplinary network, Connecting Cities unites political, economic and artistic interests.
Here are a few words on the idea behind this non-profit project:
We are the city — but who exactly gets to have a say in ‘our’ cities, which are increasingly being defined by economic interests? Commercial communication is taking over our space: our streets and underground trains are being covered with posters, billboards and digital surfaces and even house façades are becoming animated advertisements. The Connecting Cities Network aims to reclaim these public, commercialized spaces and open up space: space for cultural content, for art and for the inhabitants of the city. Through artists' work and socially relevant content the digital screens will be utilized interactively, giving people an opportunity to get actively involved themselves.
We connect urban media façades throughout Europe, from Helsinki to Marseille, from Istanbul to Liverpool! This infrastructure not only unites media façades, but, above all, the people behind them. Beyond national borders an exchange is created that not only shapes local identities, but also heightens the awareness of a broader European community. After all, a sense of community is only possible through joint actions and collective exchange.
The project will evolve via three curatorial sub-topics:
- “Networked City 2013”: Connection of cities and people via media façades.
- “Participatory City 2014”: Community building through participatory involvement.
- “Visible City 2015”: Visualization and bringing to life of invisible data streams and information in a city.
The Connecting Cities Network is a non-profit project, which is developing a Europe-wide media infrastructure for urban public spaces over a period of four years. With a series of workshops, conferences and artist activities, like the “Research Residency” or the “Mobile Urban Media Lab”, communication in urban spaces will be explored. Selected artists' projects initiate the exchange between cities and their citizens through live streams.
The initiator of the project is the Public Art Lab (Berlin) in cooperation with Ars Electronica Futurelab Linz, BIS (Body Process Arts Association) Istanbul, FACT Liverpool, iMAL Brussels, m-cult Helsinki, Medialab Prado Madrid, Media Architecture Institute Vienna, Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb, Riga 2014 and Videospread Marseille.
The project is supported by the University of Aarhus, Marseille-Provence 2013, MUTEK Montréal.
Connecting Cities Network is funded by the Culture Programme 2007-2013 of the European Union.
Your Connecting Cities logo concept will be established in the long term as a label for high-quality and participatory media art in urban spaces and should represent the Connecting Cities Network worldwide. The logo will be used to announce the individual artists and their works and will be shown at international conferences and media festivals. The logo concept should sum up both the umbrella brand as well as the three curatorial subtopics (Networked City 2013, Participatory City 2014 and Visible City 2015).