The first session of the City Sets & Media Facades discussed observations and representations of urban spaces, both online and on the streets. Michelle Teran reflected on YouTube's personal and social archives which constitute a new type city guide challenging the official representations of cities online - and illustrated her talk with video excerpts from Urban Takes Helsinki. Maria Seliger, professor at Aalto brought in her long experience in visual ethnography and took participants on a tour of urban advertising and visual culture around the world and across decades. Two project presentations, Hello Homo by Jaakko Pesonen and The Race Code by Timo Wright questioned the way in which we as passers-by and online users categorize and stereotype fellow citizens based on visual appearances.
In the round table discussion chaired by Mike Stubbs from FACT, seminar participants shared thoughs about our need to orientate and navigate in urban spaces, and whether urban media art could help us to locate ourselves by allowing us to leave our own traces in the city.