Tanya Toft’s research, discussion

Urban Media Aesthetics is launching on December 1, 2013. Curated by Streaming Museum curator Tanya Toft, this is a platform for research, reflection and critical discussion on urban media aesthetics. Its ongoing research is conducted through interviews with curators, artists, architects, cultural planners and artistic producers who, through their practices, have contributed to the shaping of a discourse, which is also the territory of possibilities for future practices. The platform facilitates various public events based on the issues brought up in the underlying research and interviews, through screenings, salons and urban art installations, in partnership with various platforms and communities for art and technology. It also facilitates a series of critical writing responses, which from multiple viewpoints investigate themes and subjects particularly relevant to urban media aesthetics now.

The project is launched with an investigation of the theme CONFRONTING SPECTACLE with a documentary screening of Alice Arnold’s Electric Signs (2013), a guest LISA salon and a series of critical writing on how the notion of the spectacle is negotiated in the response of software aesthetics to the urban context by Mark AmerikaSimone ArcagniUlrik EkmanMaurice BenayounLev Manovich, and Christiane Paul.



Electric Signs screening

December 3, 2013, 7-9pm

SCREENING, Alice Arnold’s Electric Signs (2013) 

+ CONVERSATION on spectacle, politics and future critical engagements of urban screens

Harvestworks, 596 Broadway #602 NY

New screen-based sign systems are putting TV-style advertising into the public domain in cities around the globe. These electronic signs are re-shaping urban environments and re-defining areas of public space by intensifying the commercialization of the public sphere. In addition to the explosion of screens in public spaces, screens are ubiquitous in workspaces and in people’s daily life activities. These seamless, illuminated electronic surfaces are becoming the devices through which we frame our experiences. ELECTRIC SIGNS explores this new screen culture as it unfolds in the global city.

The conversation following the screening between the director Alice Arnold and Streaming Museum curator Tanya Toft will address the notions of spectacle, politics and perspectives on future critical engagement with urban screens.


LISA Salon

December 4, 2013 – 6.30-9.30pm

Guest salon for Leaders in Software and Art


475 Kent Avenue, Apt. 503, South Williamsburg

For this guest salon for LISA the four invited artists who work with software art and public space will reflect on the notion of ‘spectacle’ in relation to their artistic practice; how their practice responds to the city and its seemingly underlying expectations to (and contestation of) the spectacular and an underlying expectation to an element of “entertainment”. The presentations will focus on how the works embody and exercise a form of criticality in public space. Artists presenting: Eric CorrielKacie KinzerRune Madsen, and YESYESNO/Molmol Kuo.



UMA sponsor

Urban Media Aesthetics is initiated with support of CuratorLab / Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, Stockholm, Sweden