I was proud to moderate an excellent discussion, “LAYERS OF PLACE: Bringing Communities Together by Augmenting Places with Stories, Voices, and Technologies,” on June 22nd, 2021 with the MIT Open Doc Lab. Featuring an interdisciplinary group of artists, scholars, and civic leaders including filmmaker Carla Bishop, urban planner Lafayette Cruise, artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and interdisciplinary artist Shey Rivera Ríos will discuss the potentials and challenges of augmenting places within communities and with stories to build bridges and bring people together. What policies, strategies, and environments are needed to make them work? Moderated by civic media scholar Benjamin Stokes.
Watch it here:
DESCRIPTION: Documentaries have long helped us to challenge dominant narratives and to see the world anew. They have explored the “real” by bringing its images and sounds to the screen, radio, mobile phone, or VR headset. In these conversations, we want to consider a different approach that is less about bringing the world to the participant, and more about bringing the participant into the world. We will explore how artists today are appending information directly onto public places and spaces, using augmentation technologies to carry on the documentary mission. From audio walks to projections to holograms, we will consider how the act of layering virtual media in physical environments changes our relationship to place. How can accessible media technologies and techniques enhance inclusivity, giving voice to more people and bringing to light stories that are hidden, buried, and left out of dominant narratives of place? What role can augmentation play in reframing how and what we see in physical public spaces? Can we use it to radically reimagine our condition and to generate dialogues within, between, and beyond communities?
See also: the panel on the Open Documentaries Lab website