In this chapter I explore interactions with a composition of screens installed in London’s Gillett Square for a one-off public art project held during four evenings in November, 2009. The project questioned the status of spatial redesign (regeneration) in the locals’ everyday life in Dalston (East London), by screening footage, which they made on mobile phones, of the buildings planned for demolition. The project’s title ‘Mezzo Moderno, Mezzo Distrutto’ cites two Italian visitors to the area, who remarked that it was ‘half modern, half destroyed’. This casually stated perspective captures polarised views of a broader process of the repurposing of prewar industrial buildings (mainly inhabited by low-paid workers and artists from all over the world) into offi ces and residential facilities (mainly affordable to those on a much higher income). The local, metropolitan, and national authorities regard that process as an ‘inevitable’ ‘modernisation’ (Imrie, Lees and Raco, 2009: 10), while many lifetime residents feel it as a ‘destruction’ of their communal life. As meanings of urban change are negotiated by different voices, regeneration-a central process of contemporary urban transformation towards a service-based urbanism-also entails a considerable production of urban imagery. Investors use fences around construction sites for displaying utopian images of technologically advanced, sunny, and peaceful sceneries, in seeking consensus amongst local populations about the work carried out, while artistic or communal screenings probe different futures for those sites. The artistic installation of a similar form, a wall of screens, in Gillett Square followed a series of cultural events that the local community has been running in the square since 2006, when they successfully renovated the square themselves, by circumventing the delegation of space to those who are not in touch with the local everyday. In that context, screening the images of ‘old’ spaces designated for the institutional ‘regeneration’ (Dalston area) inside the square of the alternative, communal ‘renewal’ (Gillett Square) 1 provided the residents with a means of domesticating the regeneration, which had been executed at a level beyond their control. Documenting and publicly displaying fragments of daily encounters

with sites planned for transformation, invited locals to refl ect on their taken-for-granted knowledge of the area and to negotiate its coming change.