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Dietmar Offenhuber

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Amateur Visual Forensics and the View from Nowhere / Dietmar Offenhuber for the Shenzhen Biennale (UABB) 2019

What happens when the sensor-imbued city acquires the ability to see – almost as if it had eyes? Ahead of the 2019 Shenzhen Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (UABB), titled "Urban Interactions," Archdaily is working with the curators of the "Eyes of the City" section at the Biennial to stimulate a discussion on how new technologies – and Artificial Intelligence in particular – might impact architecture and urban life. Here you can read the “Eyes of the City” curatorial statement by Carlo Ratti, the Politecnico di Torino and SCUT.

If the 1991 Gulf War marked the beginning of electronic media warfare, the recent armed conflicts in the Middle East have highlighted an equally central role of social media. Platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have long been used to galvanize protest movements, organize assemblies, and spread information. During the decade from the Arab Spring movement to the Syrian civil war, the role of social media has grown from a utilitarian infrastructure to the principal medium of conflict. Today’s version of Jean Baudrillard’s “war porn” comes as battleground footage recorded by smartphones and drones mixed with propaganda messages and pop culture references to computer games and internet memes. As documented by the journalist Abdel Bari Atwan, mercenary groups plan military operations according to their expected media impact on followers, opponents, and foreign funders. Sometimes, fights are entirely staged to collect persuasive footage.