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Floatables by Husman Haque- 2004

Mar 2009
19

Floatables is a project that questions the distinctions between “public” and “private” space.

Floatables proposes the introduction of jellyfish-like vessels that drift around cities to create temporary, ephemeral zones of privacy: an absence of phone calls, emails, sounds, smells and thermal patterns left behind by others. Through various electrical systems they are also able to prevent access of GPS devices, television broadcasts, wireless networks and other microwave emissions. Finally, by creating a “blurry barrier” and a ground-plane camouflage pattern, they provide shielding from the unembarrassed gaze of security cameras and surveillance satellites.

Floating around urban environments, in the tradition of architecture that tries to break free from the confines of gravity, the vessels provide fleeting moments of private visual space, auditory space and olfactory space — occupants can wander in at will when they happen to catch sight of one nearby. The spaces of absence created here are left to be filled with people’s own sounds, alpha-waves, smells and laughters. The vessels are powered mainly by sunlight and wind but
are supplemented by inducted electricity from mobile phones and 802.11 networks (in crowded spaces this amounts to several dozen Watts of unexpended power). Buoyancy is achieved by heating or cooling air in a
floatation sac, much like hot air balloons. The entire structure can collapse or expand as necessary to alter surface area in response to wind speed and altitude. The vessels have no particular destinations and drift like flotsam around the city. However, they must keep moving because to be discovered by the authorities means almost certain destruction.

It seems an interesting concept but hard to put in practice. Maybe too much stuff in the same “device”.


ColourStops by GreyWorld

Feb 2009
16

01an_early_sketch.jpg

Colourstops (1,2) is a permanent sound installation in two bus shelters, along the Manchester Road in Bradford. The work of art subtly alters the space of the shelter with the sound of a female voice, gently singing the colours of the clothing of the people passing through: a unique song of colour.

Greyworld works on the realm of urban spaces creating most of the time site specific sound installations.


Loca – set to be discoverable

Feb 2009
02

Finland- and UK-based artist-researchers Loca were running their project in downtown San Jose. They had molded hollow concrete objects which they attached to various lamps, traffic lights and signposts. Being made of gray concrete makes them effectively invisible which is important because they contain sneaky cargo: inside, there’s a mobile phone and a power source which lasts around a week. Using a custom software, the phone will continuously scan for devices that have bluetooth enabled and set to discoverable. Every occasion of a tracked device will be sent to the central database and archived there. At their booth they would print out a receipt-style list of the places you’ve been to which in my case was approximately 2 meters long, others were gigantic. Now here comes the fun part: Loca not only collects your data but also tries to combine it with the context of the “urban semantics” it is operating in and tries to draw conclusions from that. Having checked out a few shops and the park for instance, you would suddenly get the message: “You were in a flower shop and spent 30 minutes in the park; are you in love???.

Another thing that Loca do is the tagging of photos according to the electromagnetic context of the device at the time they were taken, i.e. the identities of the nearby bluetooth devices. The pictures they have been uploading to Flickr for some time now contain information about the presence of other’s cameras, which already represents quite a history of social encounters, opening a wide field of possibilities for mining and combining the data. There was another work called BlueStates which apparently works in the same direction.

link

via we make money not art


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