Connecting Curious Dots

On the intersection of technology, culture, and everyday life: My semi-updated space to collect and link my thoughts about interesting things I spot.

Confluxing

Img_0098_1 A year ago, while walking down a Soho side street I noticed a baby (well, a figure shaped like a baby) peering at me through iron bars.  I marveled for a second, snapped a photo, and continued on my way.  Perhaps others rushing on their way to work, shop, or meet friends have also spotted these "abandoned" children constructed of tape. Do they stop? Do they touch? Do they pick the child up?  In creating this unexpected street art, Mark Jenkins taps into these varied social reactions.

Storker1

Stroker5Projects at the intersection of the physical and virtual worlds is a topic I am fascinated with and (irregularly) write about. Ways to mix the unique qualities of digital spaces (ability to aggregate immense data, bridge time and distance, create imagined environments, etc) with the social fabric of the physical world is an exciting place at play.  Many of the most prolific experiments are happening in music and art.  This past weekend a festival called Conflux in Brooklyn showcased projects similar to Jenkin’s Storker Project, some with a heavier bent on on technology. 

  • Using cell phones, street art, and mash-up maps, "You Are Not Here" leads participants through an excursion of Baghdad on the streets of New York City.
  • People from all over the world are planting seeds and combining digital photos of their plants into a "virtual field" in The Seed Project.
  • Projected at a Brooklyn space, Imagining Place‘s computer program allows participants to navigate through videos, photos, and virtual scenes documenting the impact of globalization on local communities.   

Across the board the projects (Under An Umbrella, Subtrak,DropSpots, etc) used physical and digital objects to make an idea and/or social interaction previously absent in a location, suddenly present.  Time-constrained, I wasn’t able to fully observe first hand which projects sparked people’s response versus which remained tape babies that people just walked right by.

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This entry was posted on September 19, 2006 by in Culture and New Media, Psychogeographies.
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