FeelOpo: An Interactive Installation to Explore the “Beat of Oporto”

FeelOpo: An Interactive Installation to Explore the “Beat of Oporto”

Isabel Carvalho (CIAC - Centro de Investigação em Artes e Comunicação, Faro, Portugal), José Bidarra (Universidade Aberta, Lisbon, Portugal) and Carla Porto (Escola Universitária das Artes de Coimbra ARCA-EUAC, Coimbra, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/IJCICG.2018070104


FeelOpo is an interactive art installation that allows contact with fragments of the immaterial heritage of the Oporto City in the North of Portugal. Through location-based storytelling of the living city, this interactive installation allows visitors to explore, at different levels, several typical characteristics of this city, addressing aspects of cultural identity based on contrasting images and videos. The visitors feel and explore visual stories of the live city, through a process of appropriation and articulation of these narratives, generating an expansion of this intangible heritage.
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Cultural Identity

The experience of urban spaces is usually associated with a rational construction, even if subjective. It is in this fixed physical space that emerge processes and social practices with which we identify ourselves culturally (Hall, 2005), eventually translating into the “social space” of Lefebvre (1991).

Local identity arises intrinsically associated with the social space and the processes that occur, through the collective construction of local communities as well as their preservation by a collective memory (Castells, 2001). Hall (2005) also considers that the notion of social identity implies a collective dimension, in permanent construction, through cultural practices in constant (re) creation, and highlights the role of culture as critical action and social intervention.

This social identity, built collectively, generates innumerable images created by the various actors of these processes, giving rise to the “image of the city” of Kevin Lynch (2008). The image of the city, which reflects its immaterial patrimony, is thus associated with the processes of interaction that take place in its space, as Paulino says:

“(...) If on the one hand the intangible heritage appears dependent on a material space – a territory – full of meaning, or landscape that evokes this, the immaterial heritage always shows a relationship subject/area, even though both are subtext. (...) To consider the immaterial heritage as a solo element will result in decontextualization and, consequently, a loss of significance. (...)” (2010, p. 571, own translation)1

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