Universcience – The New Public Sphere (Mutations Urbaines)

Client :
Director: Caroline Malliart
Editor: Jean-Maxime Besset
Graphic design: Sylvain Bernicot
Runtime: 9’ 30”
Screening: Until 5 March 2017, in the Mutations urbaines exhibition at the Cité des sciences et de l’Industrie, ParisDouble projection installation using archives and images from social media, exploring the new ways of coming together in the era of digital technologies.

“I was on Facebook; now I’m in the street.” Brazil, June 2013.

The networks created by the Internet link people from all horizons, who can communicate and forge bonds in the public sphere in unexpected ways. For example, the Anonymous movement organized a demonstration against Scientology which took place simultaneously in 30 cities around the world. This type of movement has become a symbol of the freedom and power of the net. The development and accessibility of new technologies – mobiles, social media, the ease of taking photos and video and posting it, and the misuse of surveillance cameras, hacking, coding, etc. – has had a decisive impact on the opportunities to protest and express oneself in the public arena.

The film The New Public Sphere presents some recent examples of this in cities around the world, whether protests or celebrations: The Indignados in Madrid, Occupy Wall Street in New York, the Arab spring in Tahrir Square, Cairo, the umbrella revolution in Hong Kong, and also the flash-mob phenomenon and other new ways of occupying the public arena.

Integrating an original installation, the film is made up of two video loops, screened simultaneously side by side on the floor, in a 3m2 space decorated to look like a stage. These two letterbox screens, both 70 inches, horizontal and vertical, display a mirror image of the demonstrations, marches and celebrations on one side, and content from tweets, apps, blogs, Facebook posts and other communications on the other, to the sound of clamor, slogans and singing. The juxtaposition illustrates the dual spatio-temporal dimension of events, which unfold in parallel in the public space and in front of a keyboard or screen.