Notacon 2008: Dropping humanity in non-places


[Nate Graham] gave a presentation on what he considers ‘new media art’, the convergence of art and technology. He covered quite a few great examples of what new media art is from many categories: a mower that creates pixel art, Cory Arcangel’s famous Super Mario Clouds hack, a whale hunt whose photo capture rate depended on the participant’s heart rate, the bike based SMS printer for protests.

Non-places are areas that lack any history or monuments: a McDonald’s looks essentially the same no matter where it is. Like a hotel, supermarket, or airport it no one expects it to have any sort of historical significance to the local population. He had examples of how some of these spaces are being humanized. The project We Tell Stories uses a Google Maps hack to give a fictional story locational awareness. GRL’s lasertagging work turns single purpose items like bridges and buildings into giant canvases. There are even location based gaming like Plundr which gives purpose to spaces that are generally ignored.

The video above is Nate’s personal project ‘Invisible Narrative‘, adding a hidden story to a nondescript elevator car. An audience member asked if GRL giving away their techniques might increase the amount of annoying ‘guerilla’ ad campaigns. His response was that releasing any type of technology could result in people implementing it in a bad way, but it’s important to get free technology into the hands of people who will use it for good.

Comments

  1. cool, now we just need a buff-proof ultraviolet ink.

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