Exploring Urban Screens 


  • Zlatan Krajina Department of Media and Communications, Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK




Urban screens, media, light, city, architecture.


There is a tautological tendency in the widespread claims that urban space is ’mediated’. Never before has the citizen, it is argued, been confronted with such an unprecedented array of signage. I depart from the rhetoric of ’biggest-ever-saturation’ as not necessarily untrue, but as insufficient in exploring the diverse spatial operations of urban screens. I examine some contemporary cases of animated architectural surfaces, informational panels, and advertising billboards, with reference to much longer standing cultural practices of spatial management in modern cities, such as illumination, to suggest that the contemporary display media do not mediate the city anew but re-invent urban space as a field of ubiquitous mediation. From that standpoint I suggest exploring urban screens as a) both singular visual agents and indivisible items in plural structural assemblages, b) complementary forces of public illumination, and c) complex perceptual platforms in visual play of scale and distance.


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How to Cite

Krajina, Z. (2009) “Exploring Urban Screens ”, Culture Unbound, 1(2), pp. 401–430. doi: 10.3384/cu.2000.1525.09124401.



Theme: City of Signs/Signs of the City