[iDC] Interactive City: irrelevant mobile entertainment?

Interactionfield struppek at interactionfield.de
Sun Aug 20 12:27:22 EDT 2006

Am [DATUM] schrieb "John Hopkins" unter <[ADRESSE]>:

> Hallo iDC'ers -- very nice to finally f2f some of you on Thursday
> evening, and at other points during ISEA.  Many conversations to
> digest, much inspiration to convert to creative output!  THANKS!
>> I have visions of techno-hipsters with bluetooth headsets jammed in
>> their ears, capturing 15-second video clips of the urban "condition"
>> on their phones, and txting knowing ; 's to their
>> hipster-doppelganger pals in line behind them on the flaneuric
>> boulevard of derives. But I wasn't there, so I don't know for sure.
>> Maybe I'm just being harsh. [Another lurker delurks.]
> not too far off the path, Jeremy...
> I was most disturbed by the serious lack of interaction with the
> 'real' city.  The conference/trade-show steel&glass core of San Jose
> is a transplanted and embodied ideology that is part of the current
> waves of 'urban renewal' happening in a large number of US cities
> (and many post-Mall towns who had their centers blighted by suburban
> mega-shopping centers) -- a trend that has been running for a couple
> decades with varying degrees of 'success'.  That artificial core is
> surrounded by the remains of community, albeit without a humane
> central core to orbit around.  The locals reduced to service jobs
> life-supporting the artificial core.  What? No grocery store!? good
> evidence of unsustainable urban architecture.  Okay, there was a
> farmer's market one day a week, but that seemed to cater to the
> yuppie set and was not set up to sustain the area in a meaningful
> way...  And the large Vietnamese community (reputedly the largest in
> the US) has prospered -- were any representatives from it invited to
> the RIM conference I wonder?
> However, outside, and to some degree, interspersed with this quite
> inhumane architecture (and ideology) is the REAL city.  The hard-core
> chronic street population, the student culture (FWIW), the Latino
> porch chill culture (and the WHOLE LATINO CULTURE as well!!!!), the
> other cultural communities -- all substantially ignored.
> With our global agenda, our techno-sophistry, our clean and sleek
> appearances, we blended in seamlessly with the image of Silicon
> Valley, but remained somewhat silly looking conferencees with
> dangling wired and wire-less appendages and apparently flown in from
> some other demographic universe.  incongruous.
> Of course, seamless integration isn't ever going to happen anywhere
> and there are always interstitial moments to reach across any social
> barriers.  but why wasn't there a formal interface with the local
> Latino or Vietnamese community?  It was nice to check out the gallery
> just up from the ICA, but that was the only event I ran across, aside
> from the nice vibe of local folks chilling at the Caesar Chavez park
> fountains (and the kids playing in the water with the blue-and-white
> screen devices from that one zero-one project).
> but our general demographic of techno-fetishizing places us in/locks
> us into a particular locus in the contemporary urban US landscape.
> some personal reflections on the locative aspects -- I went out on
> some initial 'test runs' on several 'official' projects that friends
> had initiated.  in all cases there were significant problems with the
> technology, and between that and walking around with headphones I
> felt very much less connected with the 'pulse of the city' --
> compared, say, to the evening of gallery hopping which left open
> significant social spaces for unexpected encounters with the Other.
> Now I must say that I do respect efforts people make to take
> contemporary technologies and somehow use them to reclaim social
> ground.  However, there pops-up in my mind often the metaphor of "the
> master's tools.'  and whether the profound significance of that
> metaphor has yet to be explored fully in the context of locative (and
> other social-space art/activist deployments).  Somehow, projects need
> to take into account possible permutations of the technology employed
> that the user might invoke to totally undermine the expected use --
> and build on that.  I felt that several projects have the air of an
> attempted military-like deployment, an aimed-at rigor, a clean
> execution of a plan, when warm social spaces are replete with error,
> mistake, and humane possibility.
> Perhaps these are the lessons of imperfect deployment -- what happens
> in the social space when the expected technological deployment
> doesn't take place.  maybe un-mediated Dialogue?  hmmmm.  I think
> I'll propose a project with a large technological infrastructure
> guaranteed to fail, to breakdown, and in that interstitial space, use
> one of those ubiquitous battery chargers to make tea to facilitate a
> warm space like the CRUMB crew so successfully did...
> I've always believed that when a technology inhibits the possibility
> of a direct human connection, that it should be dispensed with
> immediately.  Clinging to a device which actually interrupts some
> kind of more direct direct connection will eventually cause a deeper
> sense of alienation, IMHO...  (the history of camera-based tourism is
> a good example...).  Is there a formula for using the device another
> way to dispel alienation?
> okay, a few rapid comments for a Saturday morning...
> cheers
> John
> ps: some earlier critical musings from Riga in 2004, from my written
> notes compiled for a short Baptist rant at RAM 5:locative at RIX-c
> :http://neoscenes.net/travelog/comments.php?id=32_0_1_0_C
> _______________________________________________
> iDC -- mailing list of the Institute for Distributed Creativity
> (distributedcreativity.org)
> iDC at bbs.thing.net
> http://mailman.thing.net/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/idc
> List Archive:
> http://mailman.thing.net/pipermail/idc/

More information about the iDC mailing list