[ISEA2006] Curator Statement: Interactive City

Curator Statement

“Make your own city”

Pigeon bloggers. Skateboard orchestras. Swarms of light. In August, the weeklong (…) festival will transform Silicon Valley’s San Jose into an interactive art project. A square mile of downtown will be blanketed with a high-speed wireless network that dozens of artists from all over the world will use to let festival-goers sing, skate, and play their way through the event. Oh, and good news for locals: The Wi-Fi stays behind when the installations leave town.” _Wired magazine, August 2006

The city has always been a site of transformation: of lives, of populations, even of civilizations. The city is a place of many layers. We find ourselves in communal space, sometimes connected, sometimes alone, and all around us is a city full of both visible and invisible elements. The Interactive City theme seeks urban-scale projects for which the city is not merely a palimpsest of our desires but an active participant in their formation. Interactive City artworks instantiate this with cell phone-based storytelling, found art objects and sculptures, chances to make instant films about downtown, interactive soundscapes, rolling parties under a blimp and in parking spaces, the city as game board, even night surveillance of nocturnal animals. Projects for the Interactive City theme transform the “new” technologies of mobile and pervasive computing, ubiquitous networks, and locative media into experiences that matter.

As you wander the streets of San Jose, many of the Interactive City and Community Domain projects are part of the “Cellular Memory” project. You can call the toll free numberĀ  and listen to the artist talk about the artwork. A map of the primary venues can be glimpsed here, and more information about individual artworks is listed on the exhibits page. Enjoy.

Major venues:

  1. Fairmont Plaza/Circle of Palms
  2. Passeo San Antonio
  3. Cesar Chavez Plaza
  4. City Hall Rotunda
  5. Martin Luther King Jr. Public Library
  6. The Tech Museum of Innovation
  7. Parkside Hall
  8. Almaden Plaza
  9. San Jose State University
  10. VTA Light Rail System
  11. South Hall
  12. San Jose McEnery Convention Center