aaron jones: youtube theatre
original content
may 05, 2011
aaron jones: youtube theatre


screening of ‘true stories’ in aaron james’s ‘youtube theatre’
all photos © james carrillo

‘youtube theatre’ by US-based artist aaron jones takes advantage of the public accessibility of wireless networks
to create a user-run, guerrilla theatre. visitors can dock their smartphones into the structure itself, which uses basic
audiovisual equipment to project online media
and videos browsed on the device onto a large screen.

initially constructed on the campus of the cranbrook academy of art, the theatre is planned to be installed on the site of a garage
in detroit, michigan, where the existing wall will become the projection surface and the existing egress a means of structuring
the flow of visitors. the choice of location exploits the presence of a physical building that can permanently contain the project,
as well as draws attention to the fact that ‘the internet can potentially deliver entertainment and information into any place‘,
even buildings and neighborhoods that may be run-down or overlooked.


full profile view of the structure


view from within the ‘youtube theatre’

the dimensions of the theatre were determined by those of the detroit garage. the structure itself is composed
of post-processed chain link fencing pipe, which the designers note was ‘selected for its inherent ability
to form an interlocking system that [can be erected] in about a day
‘. the walls not only provide a structural form
but also conceal the audio and video equipment and wiring for the theatre.

a manual pipe bender was used
to achieve repeatable forms in the material, as the structure is comprised of the interlocking of four primary shapes.

this consistency‘, notes jones, ‘allows for an informed input into a digital design interface that could produce
a predictable output for fabrication’
, a reflection on the interaction among the human, the handmade, and the digital
that informs the nature of the project as a whole.


detail view of the integrated light fixture at the initial installation site


‘pandora theatre’ by day, with the projection screen rolled up, lets users still experience music and audio media


concept diagram of the theatre, illustrating at top the different ‘bends’ that form the structure


structural schematic, aerial view


concept diagram for the ‘youtube theatre’, based on the intended final site of the installation


the planned location for the permanent installation


early prototype testings of both the machine and the structural material


structural bundle at the initial installation site


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘  feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for editing and publication.

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