The sky is (not) the limit: Envisioning the ultimate public media display

  • Huhtamo E
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Abstract

This article is a contribution to screenology, a hypothetical branch of media studies that would deal with the history of screens as both material realities and discursive entities. It develops an archaeology of the screen from a specific angle, excavating the little known efforts to turn the sky into a kind of super-screen, the ultimate media display. These efforts have been both concrete and discursive, often involving complex mixtures of both. The discussion moves between various social spheres, touching upon commerce and advertising, warfare, religion, journalism, literature and art. Among the issues the article covers are the history of cloud projections, literary fantasies about future media, Futurist aerial theatre, Albert Speer’s light spectacles in Nazi Germany and László Moholy-Nagy’s utopian projections of light displays in open spaces. Finally, their repercussions in more recent media discourses are also pointed out.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Cloud projections
  • Media archaeology
  • Media history
  • Public media spectacles
  • Screenology
  • Screens
  • Searchlights

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Authors

  • Erkki Huhtamo

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