The first weekend of October was a big day for a nascent art form in New York City. It was the first time that an outdoor, wi-fi powered crowd gathered for Spectropolis, a festival of wireless art in the city. This event pulled together a group of artists and technologists exploring the possibilities of mobile expression with emerging wireless trends and tools.
Artists from Japan, United Kingdom, USA and Venezuela among others, were brought together to show their projects outdoors in City Hall Park (Friday 1st & Sunday 3rd) and the Brooklyn Museum of Art (Saturday 2nd). A series of workshops and panels on wireless culture were also held along with the exhibition.
Highlights of the show included Akitsugu Maebayashi‘s Sonic Interface, a backpack equipped with sound-processing gear and headphones that allowed people to hear a real-time re-mix of their environment as they strolled through the urban soundscape. The experience was quite inspiring, allowing you to become DJ Side-Walk and layer rhythms from improvised percussion on trash cans and fences.
Jeremy Wood’s GPS Drawings were printed in full-color oversized format and shown in the lobby of the Brooklyn Museum on Saturday. They are created through a laborious process of driving, biking or walking around open spaces with a GPS receiver and a laptop. The position of the artist at any time becomes the equivalent of the position of a pen drawing on a paper.
Urballoon, by Carlos J. Gomez de Llarena, was floated over City Hall Park: a large helium balloon with a video projector and a wireless web connection, it allowed people to submit images & texts from a website and project them onto the ground. The project drew attention from pedestrians who would stop to see the queue of files submitted from all over the world. This project captured the imagination of many, combining design, architecture, technology and art to revitalize public spaces.
Mobile Media, Art and the City
Date: October 1st – 3rd, 2004
Place: City Hall Park & Brooklyn Muuseum of Art, NYC