Friday, July 16, 2010

[Yasmin_discussions] the hybrid city as interface

Martin, Dimitris et al

As usual I would like to help us understand these theoretical
constructs with some examples that you consider really good
examples of artists work in the area of " city as hybrid interface".
I have a lot of trouble going from theory to praxis without you giving
us some examples that you think best exemplify these ideas

to start that process going i would like to point to the work of
the artists that re involved in the invisible dynamics idea at the
exploratorium in san francisco

the hidden ecologies project

for instance involves using kites with web cams
Hidden Ecologies is a cartographic experiment of architect Cris Benton;
microbiologist Wayne Lanier; and independent curator Marina McDougall.
Fusing Benton's aerial kite photography with Lanier's microcinematography,
Hidden Ecologies maps three transitional geographies of the San Francisco Bay
– the South Bay salt flats

another examples of using webcams on kites is the grass roots
mapping project for the BP oil spill; Mission Bay; and Crissy Field.

Grassroots Mapping, a creation of Jeffrey Warren from MIT Media Lab's Center
for Future Civic Media, is producing imagery created by volunteers and owned
in the public domain. By using balloons and kites equipped with
inexpensive digital
cameras, these "community satellites" are able to georeference and create maps
with 100x higher resolution than what is available on Google to be used in the
environmental battle and litigation proceedings in the coming years.

this project is i think a good example of 'data is power' concept of
open observatories=
the mit media group has been able to obtain better and quicker ground truth data
on the oil spill that is available by official channels= and it is
crucial that the community
groups that will be in litigation against BP have their own data to challenge
the data provided by BP or government agencies

so for me one area of the city as hybrid interface is how local groups
can obtain their own data on their own city

to the extent that via all the various locative media devices we can have
access and create alternatives visions of our environment, then we
can feed into martin reisers's ideas on how to create critical distance

dimitris and invited respondents= can each of you give us one or two
examples of artists work that you think is exemplary (other than your
own work!!)
to illustrate the idea of the hybrid city as interface !!


Dear Yasminers

Having researched in this arena for six years, I feel that the ground is
rapidly shifting to a new phase of social behaviours and public attitudes,
where "technologies of seduction" such as the iphone are changing both our
relation to city space and our attitude to mobile manufacturers and
providers. As we move towards natural interaction with mobile devices
through haptic and multitouch interfaces and rely more and more on them for
our social interaction, we are begining to see them as addictive extensions
of the body and as such we are suspending any critical distance we might
have had and any doubts about intrusive comsumer logging and tagging of our
habits, in what now appears to be a Faustian exchange of freedoms for

I suspect that Augmented reality visualisation tools such as Layar will only
accelerate this tendency,creating social mapping as a new form of
geographical awareness, so I think it very important that critical voices be
raised, and that artists in particular try to reveal the stress lines in
this new and potentially pernicious compact with the commercial imperatives
of large corporations.


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