I remember vividly the first time I gave blood. I was never one to be afraid of needles, and always tried to act like I was tougher than I was in school whenever we had to get our mandatory needles. It simply didn’t phase me.
Giving blood however, was a whole different story. The thought of having my vital blood supply getting taken out of me was a concept that basically freaked me out, and I kept thinking to myself that they were going to do something drastic to me like suck a vein out!
Whilst in this frantic mind space, the nurse began putting the needle in. The only thing that I could find to stop me from screaming was the television that everyone was watching, it had the news running and on the news was a story about a bombing that had happened in America during a marathon run. I quickly forgot about how freaked out I was and was devastated at the tragic event that had happened.
I say thank goodness to some of the emergence of television in public spaces, because sometimes when you have nothing to do you can sit there and watch news anytime anywhere. If it wasn’t for that television in the Blood Donation room, I probably would have fainted.
A completely different approach to television in public spaces can be seen through an urban installation known as ‘Love Tv’, around New York. Described as, “bold, fun and innovative public art adventure”, by artist Rebecca Macintosh and creative producer Victoria Johnstone, the pop up performs in some of New York’s most diverse and far-flung neighbourhoods. There is an elaborate and gigantic tv set, where people nominate to be interviewed by Rebecca, who is changed into the illustrious Goddess of love Aphrodite, which is aired and allows for public viewing with the an inflatable lounge for people to view it on. As happy a spectacle as Love TV is, its aim is far from superficial. As Rebecca explained, the project endeavors to activate public spaces and strengthen community spirit by creating a place for “theirstories, by their people, [so that communities can share their] personal love affair with their respective neighborhood or city.”
The emergence of televisions in public spaces would never be thought of as commonplace when the television was first created in the mid 1900’s, and today one wouldn’t bat an eyelid with the amount of advertising pop ups that have overtaken the urban jungles.