The public domain is traditionally made up of urban social spaces -- the marketplace, theatres, cafés, etc., -- where ideas and practical concerns of society can be voiced and discussed in an open dialogue. Yet, the notion of what is 'public' is currently undergoing a deep transformation which is brought about by a cocktail of geographical, economic, geo-political, technological technological and discursive drivers of social change.
The public domain, and the way in which individuals and groups participate in it is taking on a whole different set of meanings, compared with the classical forms of the public that emerged in the 18th and 19th centuries. Most importantly, it seems to be impossible today to speak of only one public domain, but we have to think of the public domain as a heterogeneous, at times hybrid, at times fragmented dispersion of physical and virtual spaces populated by different types of 'publics'.
The public domain is a composite of many stages and layers, open and closed physical spaces, media channels, forms of communication and cultural expression. The city is still a prime site of experimenting with the new public domain. The city can be seen as both an interface to, and the generator of new interfaces to the different publics. At the same time, the changing media sphere (telecommunication, broadcasting, WWW, etc.) is creating a translocal topology of the public domain which reaches beyond the urban territory. Artists and art institutions are reflecting on the emerging public domain, and they develop new tools and environments for people to participate in it.
Wiretap 5.10 coincided with the opening of the
interactive installation Memory Arena by David and Ulrike Gabriel at