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Cinematography -- Aesthetics, Montage -- Applications to public art, Charles Eames -- Criticism and interpretation, Ray Eames -- Criticism and interpretation, Robert Lepage (1957- ) -- Criticism and interpretation, Krzysztof Wodiczko -- Criticism and interpretation


The use of the moving image in public space extends the techniques of cinema— namely superimposition, montage and apparatus/dispositif—threatening either to dehistoricize and distract or to provide new narrative and associative possibilities via public art. These techniques also serve as helpful tools for analysis drawn from cinema studies that can be applied to examples of the moving image in public space. Historical examples include the multi-screen experiments of Charles and Ray Eames; and contemporary public projections such as Krzysztof Wodiczko’s Abraham Lincoln: War Veteran Projection, Robert Lepage’s The Image Mill, my own project entitled Workers That Live in the Mirror, and Daily tous les jours’ McLarena at Montreal’s Quartier des Spectacles. These works illustrate the ways that public projections extend the effect of superimposition through the rehistoricization of space, expand the diegetic boundaries of the moving image through spatial montage, and enact new possibilities for the cinematic apparatus and dispositif through scale and interaction for the purposes of challenging historical narratives and scripts of urban behavior. The large-scale moving image in public art extends the perceptual laboratory of cinema to public space preparing us for more mutable, oneiric and cinematic encounters in and through public art.

Note: At the time of writing, Dave Colangelo was affiliated with Ryerson University.


This is the author's version of an article that was subsequently published in Public Art Dialogue, volume 5, number 2, pages 112-130. The definitive version may be found at

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