As part of St Paul St Gallery’s Curatorial Season 2012, New Zealand-based design collective OH.NO.SUMO created a miniature cinema in Aukland as a way to physically and digitally engage with the local urban community.
Stairway Cinema, located on a busy pedestrianized street between several bus stops, two universities and a handful of launderettes – a place of “unconsidered waiting” – responded to the lack of social interaction and engagement in a place where much hanging-around and distraction through digital media occurred.
Constructed from timber, the structure’s playful red design encouraged curious passers by to poke their head into the compact space or sit on the stairway and watch short films with others – easing the waiting process in a communal and fun way.
The practice explained:
“Members of the public retreat individually into the media offered on their mobile phones. This in turn results in greater separation and dislocation from an existing community that is waiting to be activated.”
Adding a smartphone-friendly element to the project, OH.NO.SUMO only screened online movies that had been recommended by members of the public through social media.
Check out our report, Film Club, for more examples of projects engaging the local community through cinema and film. - Samantha Fox