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A Mobile Olympics: Viral Cities, Mobile Media and Mega-Events


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Details architectural dimensions to Olympic cities and considers how we might negotiate these spaces in a mobile era.

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A Mobile Olympics: Viral Cities, Mobile Media and Mega-Events

  1. 1. A MOBILE OLYMPICS Professor Andy Miah, PhD University of the West of Scotland Viral Cities, Mobile Media and Mega-Events (All photography by Andy Miah & Beatriz Garcia, unless otherwise indicated)
  3. 3. A MOBILE OLYMPICS DIGITAL CULTURE <ul><li>I want to propose a number of notions about digital culture. </li></ul><ul><li>digital technology is an activist device. It can be used to provoke and engage people’s attention. </li></ul><ul><li>digital technology can be used to criticize the media, a major arbiter of identity. </li></ul><ul><li>Olympic Games – and perhaps mega-events generally – are particularly interesting exemplars of such activism and this is because they involve participation from the widest range of media. </li></ul>
  4. 4. olympic cities The Olympic Games is more than the sport competitions It is a manifestation of political ideals It is a humanitarian movement It is a showcase for media technology It is an urban regeneration project It is a sociologically divisive intervention
  5. 5. olympic games powerful global brand; largest mega-event
  6. 6. Torino 2006 Olympic skating arena
  7. 7. Torino 2006 Olympic athletes’ village
  8. 8. Beijing 2008 National Olympic ‘Bird’s Nest’ stadium
  9. 10. Beijing 2008 Aquatic ‘bubble’ stadium
  10. 13. more over architecture at the edges of the Olympic infrastructure
  11. 14. Beijing airport New terminal by Norman Foster (2008)
  12. 15. Coca-Cola Place A sponsor event space at Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
  13. 16. public squares Sponsor appropriation of space
  14. 17. building wraps Torino 2006 ‘passion lives here’ / Beijing 2008 ‘One world, one dream’
  15. 19. London 2012 What will it look like. What’s beneath the cgi?
  16. 20. design imagination London 2012 Olympic Park, July 2009
  17. 21. How will we engage with cities in 3 years from now? How will we move around cities?
  18. 22. olympic disruption There is a great deal of disruption brought by the Games
  19. 25. streets transformed by sponsors (the swatch street)
  20. 26. forgotten architecture a few minutes walk from Torino 2006 athletes’ village
  21. 28. olympic monopoly Billboards used by Olympic sponsors, or left empty (Athens 2004)
  22. 29. Torino 2006 City wide billboards occupied by Olympic Sponsors
  23. 32. performing identity Dimensions of local Games time politics that are obscured
  24. 34. cultural olympiad Inhabiting the city’s main squares
  25. 35. media occupation NBC studio in Torino’s main square during Games time
  26. 37. city cleansing Identity is suppresed and mythologised during an Olympics
  27. 38. olympic activism Athens 2004, for the 23 venue construction workers who died
  28. 41. social concern The Games as historical gesturing towards a global identity
  29. 42. protest culture Identity is performed around a Games delivery
  30. 43. text How should we think about Olympic space in a mobile world?
  31. 44. “ The Olympics are haunted by the inconvenient fact that they have to be held somewhere. Ideally they should be held nowhere, anywhere, and everywhere always.” (Weinstein, 1993)
  32. 45. remote devices July 5 2005, a day before the 2012 bid decision is made
  33. 48. Cost of sms in uk Average of 12p per sms 1 character = 1 byte sent 160 charcaters = 160 bytes £750 = 1MB Or less than one of these...
  34. 49. money identity ownership regeneration legacy
  35. 50. Rio 2016.... the and me British Olympic Association.... International Olympic Academy.... Sydney 2000.... Lausanne 2001.... Salt Lake City 2002.,.. Athens 2004.... Torino 2006.... Beijing 2008.... Vancouver 2010.... London 2012.... Sochi 2014.... Web 2.0 organizing committee Web 1.0 Web 2.0 journalists Web 3.0 collective intelligence?
  36. 51. BEIJING 2008 Over 440 million mobile phone users by 2008
  37. 52. Digital youth culture Media ownership/power Creative industries Media law Cultural politics Global-local Advertising/ marketing journalism IPR
  38. 53. broadcast media Beijing 20008 ‘168 countries...28 million minutes...53 years of airtime’ (Luft 2008)
  39. 54. pervasive media The BBC lost track of the Beijing 2008 torch in SF. Citizens didn’t
  40. 55. PHOTO: ROY PANAGIOTOPOULOU ambush media ‘Reporters without Borders’ at Beijing 2008 lighting ceremony
  41. 57. citizen journalist Not accredited by IOC Pervasive reporting Broadcast quality Community focused Covering the streets
  43. 59. simple syndication Social media means powerful syndication and visibility
  44. 60. 2010 vancouver 60-70% Vancouverites believe is a ‘colossal waste of money’
  45. 62. 2010 vancouver 21% of Vancouverites will boycott the Games Photo credit:
  46. 64. counter surveillance London 2012 website removes ‘bid publications’ ?
  47. 65. ambush marketing or citizen media space?
  48. 66. ambush marketing by url appropriation
  49. 67. open media or owned media Can the IOC have its cake and eat it?
  50. 68. RECENT USE
  51. 69. “ Forget CNN or any of the major American &quot;news&quot; networks. If you want to get the latest on the opposition protests in Iran, you should be reading blogs, watching YouTube or following Twitter updates from Tehran, minute-by-minute.” Ari Berman, 2009.06.15
  52. 78. viral cities, mobile media and mega events
  53. 80. Thanks The Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland