Interactive Media > Smart Cities


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A brief presentation given at the GeoCity Smart City Symposium at the China Museum of Digital Art, (CMoDA) Beijing. It discusses and illustrates ideas around the themes of public interactivity, remodulating relationships and the research project augmented_studio.

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  • I’m going to talk on number of overlaying themes with collaboration at the core.Collaboration is often complex and hard to explain, difficult to understand from the outside.Essentially the themes encompassinteractivity in public space how interactive media platforms mediate and re-modulate relations between people and between people and machinesIdeas and questions about how to use interactive media to think about complex problems using cities as labs for the future
  • This is our work plasma_flow at the VIVID 2012 Festival - it featured over 50 interactive and immersive light art sculptures and installationsand large scale projectionsWe brought a new iteration of plasma_flow to BJDW whichhas been configured to respond to data inputs from weibo relating to mobility.Our robot blobs graphs the geo-relationship between 2 recent and consecutive weibo interactions within the beijing area.We animate the blobs between 2 points, that we transpose to plasma_flow space from thecoordinates of tweets that have this geo-location data.The duration of the movement is based on the time in between the 2 tweets.
  • plasma_flow emerges out of a series of site specific works that were initially quite personal introspective expressions about ones place in the world, one’s location, one’s tribe, and one’s memories) This is Brad Miller’s augment_me (the initial iteration of the IMP we are using) – it’s about exploring the idea of not being wholeThe notion that “I’m not complete unless something is added to complete me…” like a fake tan or skin whitening!
  • This is data_shadow another responsive work in public space at Cockatoo Island, Sydney – >data_shadow asksCan you have a memory without photographing it? Where does a memory live? How do we make sense of them? If it’s online, who owns it? Can you live forever in the cloud?It’s at this point in the development pathway that the project becomes more collaborative and begins to ask additional questions…
  • Is there a way of using interactive media installations to suggest and drive new ways of thinking about co-creation in urban contexts?Creating smarter cities is often understood to mean delivering smarter services through embedded technological and networked systems but it is important to note this doesn’t have to involve interactive systems on their own…
  • In Sao Paulo for example the government shuts down the Minhocão a double decker motorway once a week: on Sundays, pedestrians rule. …for one day a week this initiative up ends the dominant paradigm of the car in a social and experiential hackand in the process reveals other relationships that are not usually apparent…
  • OneofourrecentprojectsRare Earth: Hackingthe City wasan open studioLAB builtaroundtheinteractive media platform (basisofourworkshereat CMoDA) encouragingstudentsfrom Shanghai and Sydney tocollaborate in investigatingideas for the future ofcities,
  • The RARE EARTH briefframedurban Shanghai as “thelaboratoryofthe future”and challenged sculpture, design, media and environments students to make interventions– to test their practice at the scale of the mega-city…
  • In Rare Earth ‘hacking’ was seen as an undocumented procedure or a creative solution to a technical (or social/urban) problem that is in need of an urgent temporary fix (this is very open to interpretation but e.g. urban gardening, co-creation, basic robotics)
  • The studiorespondstoManzini’snotionofsharedvisionRARE EARTH’sbriefencouragedsharingofexperiencethrough: - Photography, drawingandvideosketching- Petcha Kutcha presentations, The immersivenetworkedstudio,anddigital tools includingFlickr
  • This iteration of the IMP draws on a database of images, sound and videos to display content as an immersive environment.
  • Participants create, tag and upload their content (responses to the brief carried out as interventionsdocumented in film, audio, image) to a Flickr database that regularly updates the IMP forming in the studio in a way that emulates a projected and responsive digital pin board.
  • By envisaging and creating design based interventions in the city through a process of action, documentation and tagging
  • And sharing we also see the introduction and amplification of disclosure within the interaction. This is significant because disclosure establishes a basis for interaction and trust.
  • Guo-Ming Chen (1989) acknowledges that between people from different cultures the act of disclosure carries a significance regarding signalling a willingness to be open and is an essential component of relationship building. It is a foundation for building trust.Building trust is important for collaboration…
  • This process reveals the potential power of the image to focus the attention of a group, identify conflict or congruence, reveal implied knowledge and past experiences, highlight new or unfamiliar ways of seeing and being in the world, and to document.
  • I’m going to leave you with this visualisation of an upcoming public work called starry_night and these thoughts:We’ve used interactive media to interrogate and reveal less visible voices – we think some of these voices may be the voices of the futureDIY, distributed models, hacker/maker culture and open source.Could we use IMP to facilitate accelerated communication pathways between Government and citizens or diverse cultural groups or communities of practice? Can we use dynamic screens to foster collaborative design led innovation to address complex urban problems?We live in a thicket a thicket of relationships. We face complex urban futures globally together. Mediated images allow us to tell useful stories and in turn to see and hear the world - and our cities in new ways.
  • Interactive Media > Smart Cities

    1. 1. Public interactivity Remodulating relationships augmented_studioInteractive Media > Smart CitiesIan McArthur + Brad Miller | College of Fine Art, University of New South Wales, AustraliaFollow C8 on Twitter : @C8projectImage: plasma_flow, VIVID LightsOUT! Sydney, 2012
    2. 2. Image: plasma_flow, VIVID LightsOUT! Sydney, 2012
    3. 3. augmented>Image: augment_me, Artspace, Sydney, 2009
    4. 4. data_shadow uses a granular synthesis system - a basic sound synthesis method that operateson the micro sound time scale and uses sound samples thus creating a live soundscape. “Likestatic, the soundtrack turns the viewer into a bar on the radio dial. Through our movements wetune in the flow of time and data. The signal drops in and out of the noise.” Lizzie Muller.participatory> Image: data_shadow, Brad Miller, Underbelly Arts, Cockatoo Island, Sydney, 2011
    5. 5. The Minhocão, São Paulo, Brazil“…a smart city will be a city whosecommunity has learned tolearn, adapt and innovate.”A, Coe; Paquet, G. and Roy, J. (2001). Deakin, M (2007). "From city of bits to e- Deakin, M; Allwinkle, S (2007). "Urban"E-governance and smart communities: topia: taking the thesis on digitally-inclusive regeneration and sustainable communities:a social learning challenge". Social regeneration full circle". Journal of Urban the role networks, innovation andScience Computer Review 19 (1): 80–93. Technology 14 (3): 131–143. creativity in building successful partnerships". Journal of Urban Technology 14 (1): 77–91.Image: Minhocão, Sao Paulo, Brazil 2012
    6. 6. Minhocão: A walk from the city center to the end of thehighway takes about two hours, and the length is linedwith “pixações” (graffiti tags unique to São Paulo), mobilegrills, buskers and street vendors selling aqua de coco.São PauloImage: Minhocão, Sao Paulo, Brazil 2012
    7. 7. open studio labShanghai September 2011rare earth>hacking the cityImage: RARE EARTH: Hacking the City 2011
    8. 8. “If the experiment of 20 million people inShanghai, all wanting Audis, all wantingparks to fall in love in, all wanting dumplingsdoesn’t work, then the world is trulydoomed. It is at critical mass. You can’tsolve this but you can get involved.” Pudong, Shanghai(Goodwin, R., 2011, Rare Earth StudioLAB brief)ShanghaiImage: RARE EARTH: Hacking the City 2011
    9. 9. The power of the image includes a diverse and persuasive facility to focus the attention of a group, identify conflict or congruence, reveal implied knowledge and past“The city is a sandpit experiences, highlight new or unfamiliar ways of seeing and being in the world, and to document. shanghai, project, air, conditioner, haof possibility to your nging, plant, outdoorhacking ability.Shanghai is thelaboratory.”(Goodwin, R., 2011, Rare Earth StudioLAB brief) Caroline Sutrisna, “Rainbox” Image: RARE EARTH: Hacking the City 2011Image: RARE EARTH: Hacking the City 2011
    10. 10. photographyvideo sketchingpetcha kutchaimmersive networked spacedigital database tools“shared vision”Ezio Manzini (2007)Image: RARE EARTH: Hacking the City 2011
    11. 11. Good to China Urban Farm, Downtown, Shanghai Xinchejian IDEO Xindanwei aaajiao Bee or Wasp Image: RARE EARTH: Hacking the City 2011
    12. 12. Image: RARE EARTH: Hacking the City 2011
    13. 13. Image: RARE EARTH: Hacking the City 2011
    14. 14. Boundary objects are objects which are both plastic enough to adapt to local needs and constraints of the several parties employing them, yet robust enough to maintain a common identity across sites. (Star, S.L. & Griesemer, J.R., 1989). the boundary objectImage: PorosityC8 2009
    15. 15. Zhang Lu and Andrew Collin, “Found” portrait, engagement, typograph portrait, engagement, typogra portrait, engagement, typogra y, photography, Shanghai, perfor phy, photography, Shanghai, phy, photography, Shanghai,Image: RARE EARTH:character, City 2011 mance, writing, Hacking the found performance, writing, charact performance, writing, charact _links, female, exterior, trees, gre er, found_links, maroon, old, er, found_links, maroon, shop en, river, serene man, male, street, exterior, ur , female, interior, urban banImages: RARE EARTH: Hacking the City 2011
    16. 16. …Self-disclosure is the individuals Amy Donaldson, “Chinese Laundry”willingness to be open or to appropriately telltheir counterparts things about themselves.It is one of the most important elements forthe development of an interpersonalrelationship…(Guo‐Ming Chen, 1989:118-133) line, clothes, blue, sky, shanghai, rareearthdisclosure> Image: RARE EARTH: Hacking the City 2011
    17. 17. We rarely collaboratesuccessfully with thosewe do not trust.Kwang-Kuo Hwang, 2007 Playing with robots, Xinchejiantrust> hacker, space, dancing. robot, machine, dance Image: RARE EARTH: Hacking the City 2011
    18. 18. Image: RARE EARTH: Hacking the City 2011
    19. 19. Thanks foryour attentionIan McArthur + Brad Miller | College of Fine Art, University of New South Wales, AustraliaFollow C8 on Twitter : @C8projectImage: Concept (Brad Miller) starry_night, ISEA 2013, Sydney