Contesting an absence of daily pleasures and struggles involved in intimate negotiations of mediated urban spaces from current debates on life in contemporary cities, in this book I presented my multi-sited ethnographic research about what people do when they are addressed, in their passing, by various screens in the city. I explored how passers-by engage with public screens in the mundane situations like taking a stroll, rushing to work or waiting for public transport and what the status of everyday encounters with public screens is in people’s long-term habituation of mediated urban spaces. More specifi cally, I sought to understand how passers-by negotiate the sense of place in public space when it is overlaid by images of other spaces, and what part interactions with public screens have come to play in the changing landscapes of everyday media consumption. I proposed a qualitative spatial approach to everyday life with media in contemporary cities. Depth research in four different places (a street junction, underground transport, a promenade, and a square), with different screen-placements (advertising, architecture, and art) suggested that interactions mediate passers-by’s tactical manoeuvres within institutionally arranged spaces. Passers-by draw on the fact that, as technologies, public screens share some characteristics with other screen media, such as posters, television, and cinema, and that, as texts, public screens present other vistas in concrete urban structures. However, public screens offer no remote controls. Nonetheless, through
myriad ethnomethods, passers-by turn that central characteristic of public screening to their own ends, by turning to and from screens as silent and un-chosen interlocutors, at will. Passers-by make use of screens by appropriating them as pleasant escapist gateways, beacons of light, or points of focus, in the often unpleasant or messy situations of moving through complex spatial structures in the presence of unknown others. On repeated encounters, making use of the screen and thus resisting its address becomes as habitual (and seemingly unproblematic) as walking itself, while the screen becomes domesticated as an integral part of usual street scenography. Unlike other kinds of surfaces in urban space, the appearance of screens regularly changes, requiring passers-by to continue negotiating encounters and domesticating the screens.