Screens have become ubiquitous. They are no longer limited by institutional locations, the way TVs used to be confined to living rooms while big screens only appeared in cinemas. Nowadays, we are surrounded by screens, no matter where we are – in public spaces or in our private bedrooms. We actively interact with computer screens or the screens of our mobile phones. We also passively react to screens widely distributed in public spaces. Indeed, screens of various types and sizes are placed in railway and underground stations, shopping malls, buildings and even streets. They provide us with information; some are used for advertising or even for surveillance purposes.
A screen is more than just a technology, a material surface made up of LED lights. As a medium, a screen contains images and information, bringing them to our attention. Screens attract us, re-position our bodies and change the way we navigate through space. They connect with our emotions and rework our experience of time and space. Now and again we become ‘spellbound’ in front of screens, immersed in an urban collectivity while separated by our solitude. Our attention may have been drawn to a screen in the same way others around us have been captivated, but we become alienated from the crowd when we lose ourselves into that screen in front of us.
Huang Yao was born in China. She completed a BEng in Digital Media Technology and a BA in TV Directing & Editing at The Communication University of China. In 2013 she graduated from the MA Digital Media at Goldsmiths, University of London. She has extensive experience of working for various TV stations, news agencies, film festivals and photography charities. She is currently employed as a London-based director of Dragon TV, which is part of Shanghai Media Group.