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Themesicon: navigation pathPublic Sphere_sicon: navigation pathPublic Sphere_s
Amodal Suspension (Lozano-Hemmer, Rafael), 2003Vectorial Elevation (Lozano-Hemmer, Rafael), 1999Body Movies (Lozano-Hemmer, Rafael), 2001
Peoples\' Portrait (Zhang, Ga), 2004

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plazas to lobbies to café’s to the buildings and even the city itself.

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s series of «Relational Architecture» works are seminal examples of space as public art. He writes: «Relational architecture can be defined as the technological actualization of buildings and public spaces with alien memory. Relational architecture disorganizes the master narratives of a building by adding and subtracting audiovisual elements to affect it, effect it and re-contextualize it. Relational buildings have audience-activated hyperlinks to predetermined spatiotemporal settings that may include other buildings, other political or aesthetic contexts, other histories, or other physics.» [26] It is the audience-activation aspect that is important in terms of a public discourse. As media theorist Timothy Druckrey writes: «Relational Architecture is neither attempting to ‹build› consensus or to conjure up post-cinema. It is an evocation of the kind of social space in which active participation is not a byproduct, but the driving force in the creation of dynamic agora in which every position is established in an open system that ruptures hierarchies and dismantles the


notion that the pubic is an undifferentiated mass, the media not the harbinger of a utopian global village, interactivity not the opiate of shoppers.» [27]

The New Public Plaza

Two of Lozano-Hemmer’s works, the breakthrough «Vectorial Elevations: Relational Architecture 4» (2000) and «Body Movies: Relational Architecture 6» (2001) specifically transform existing plazas into mediated sites of public action and interaction and in this sense are also platforms in which active participation is the driving force. For Krzysztof Wodiczko’s 2001 «The Tijuana Projection,» the harsh personal experiences of the woman population of the Mexican border city of Tijuana were projected live in audio-visual form onto the monumental dome of the building El Centro Cultural, also turning the prominent public site into a witness of «alien memories.»

In November 2004, «A People’s Portrait» by Zhang Ga simultaneously displayed the portraits of people taken in New York, Singapore, Rotterdam, Linz, and Brisbane on the Reuters electronic billboard in Times Square and other sites in the connected cities, as well

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