Mobile outskirts workshop

There is a “workshop wiki”:http://locative.rixc.lv/tcm/workshops/index.cgi?Location_Norway and “media archive”:http://aware.uiah.fi/packet/?id=TCM that we are attempting to keep updated via fairly limited wireless coverage.

A painless and creative 15 hour bus drive took us from Trondheim up to the islands of Lofoten, in a bus full of GPS receivers, cameras and “impromptu artworks”:http://www.boutiquevizique.com/analoGps/.

Outside In

Outside In is a forum for involving new voices, media and practices in a discourse about the use and design of public space. It took place from 14 – 15 June 2004.

Roda Sten is amazing, below a suspension bridge, with huge concrete creations. Really windy, but calm inside the lecture space. Here are my notes and a few pictures.

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h2. Day 1

h3. Session 2: Hacking the streets (I missed the 1st workshop)

h3. Space Hijackers

* Putting memories in spaces: spaces arent the same after having been disrupted. after ‘reclaim the streets’ or a ‘circle line party’ you can’t see the space in the same way.
* Distinction between public and private. What is it?
* Public space doesn’t exist anymore.
* Ken’s new city hall is half private half public (private investment was involved in the building, so protests cannot happen outside)
* Do we need institutions in order to do events, is that the only way to do it legally?
* What’s stopping people from doing these things is not necessarily capitalism, but the fear of looking like a pillock: self-regulation is a big factor. Can spark things to let down inhibitions or shackles. Uses example of the scooter, became a kids toy and then it wasn’t cool anymore.
* What’s the connection between anarchism and these spontaneous events. Emergent order is interesting, so much control over actions, and the ways people move through the city. How does this relate to anarchy? Is this anarchy?

h3. Zevs

* The city is a workshop: not just walls to tag
* Shadows of urban furniture: really good
* Visual kidknapping: Lavazza woman gets cut out of the frame
* Big poster with bleeding eyes
* Uses a high pressure water jet to clean the city, but also write at the same time.
* Digs at the notion of authorship, a site where people find work on the streets
* The work is anonymous, but there is the projection of authorial control behind it, its individual and definitely authored
* Would be interesting to explore more about Graffiti authorship: how do public artists want to be recognised?
* Managing the mystique around the work and the author.
* Difference between author/instigator
* “Interview”:http://www.paris-art.com/modules-modload-interviews-travail-1592.html
* “Visual kidknapping”:http://www.visual-kidnapping.org/

h3. 3D bombing: Akim

* Polystyrene models, matched to fit specific city spaces
* City of names: what if the writers are the ones who build the houses?

h2. Day 2

h3. Session 3: Network experience

h3. “Jonah Brucker Cohen”:http://coin-operated.com/

* Wants to deconstruct network context
* Context: physical and social situation in which computation sits
* How does the network affect the output and experience
* Companies are claiming ownership of space because of signal
strength: strengthening signals to drown out free competion
* WiFihog: saps out all wifi bandwidth
* LAN party versus Flash Mob
* Simpletext: collaborative sms image searching on large screens
* re-mapping and changing the context of interfaces: what about
shifting consequences: changing the input/output relationship.
* Simpletext project: assigns an image search to inputted text
messages, and displays via jitter/max on a large screen.
* Steven Levy quote on hackers

h3. “Katherine Moriwaki”:http://kakirine.com/

* Altering space by altering the body
* character of a space
* remnants of things, people, individuals
* put magnets on wrists and fingers and bodies to reveal the proximity of electronic devices: unexpected connections to other people and lampposts. Nice.

h3. Data Climates: Pedro Sep?lveda Sandoval

* Living in a scanscape city
* electronic space, synthetic city
* Congestion charge as walled city, in electronic space
* London: highest density of cctv in the world
* will we decide to travel to areas based on the quality of electronic space
* A new architectural language for electronic space
* Houses without windows, just cameras. Can start to control life inside. Can also choose to use the weather channel as windows
* Pay a fee for personal surveillance: ask them to watch you all the way to the supermarket.
* The city of Yokohama was brought down by the coming of age party for 40,000 teenagers: the networks were overloaded with messages, because the teenagers didn’t want to talk face to face.
* Palm trees as cell towers (seen in south africa)
* Looked at a community in Hackney that were campaigning to not have a cell phone tower.
* Designed a house for them that would shield them from the signals, but they would have to give up cell phone connectivity. Designed it so that windows would open and close based on calls being made, or would give them 10 minute windows in which to make calls every 2 hours.
* Digital shelter: stand inside the line

h3. Round up

* These presentations all use the strategy of showing ‘hypothetical products’ that are really non-products. They are doing this, rather than providing platforms or design methodologies, or distributing resources and infrastructures for people to design their own systems. I understand the need for designers as visionaries, but this could be made more valuable and useful.
* specialists in electronic space could be similar to lighting design specialists in the ’70s. Will grow into a general field of understanding.
* Platforms and inftrastructure for technology is beyond architects, but understanding of the use and consequences is really important.

h3. Session 4

h3. Jocko Weyland

* Skateboarding as adaptive design: difference between skate parks and the street, skate parks become designed over time to mimic certain aspects of streets, but also according to innate, human skaters needs. A combination of factors go into making a good skateboarding space: free, alcohol, quality, location.

h3. Swoon

* New to NY: wanted to work outside gallery space, was inspired by collage of city streets. Not from a graffiti background, being a female, can do certain things outside the norms of graffiti.
* Changes billboards during the day, looks official.
* Open democratic visual space
* a visual direct democracy…
* Cuba used to have street art as a means of free expression, but outlawed by dictatorship
* Makes lightboxes with imagined cities, and mounts on the reverse side of construction site walls, with peepholes ‘peer here’
* Interesting mix of opportunism and ‘designed intervention’
* Sometimes driven purely by visual interest.

h3. “Michael Rakowitz”:http://www.possibleutopia.com/mike/

* Mike Davis: Public is phantom
* Bedouin as a model of sustainable nomadic communities
* Homeless use waste air from air conditioning (airvac exhaust ports) to stay warm and dry
* Homeless have receded to the peripheral vision of the public. Want to see and be seen.
* Seeing is important for living nomadically in the city.
* Started to map the heat and the power of the exhaust fans in the city. Found a high one at MIT plasma lab.
* Re-routed smell from from a bakery to an art gallery, to subvert a ‘high art’ re-appropriation of space

h2. Workshop ‘Loop City’

* “Dietmar Offenhuber”:http://residence.aec.at/wegzeit/ & Sara Hodges
* Showed Rybczynski’s film “New Book”:http://www.microcinema.com/titleResults.php?content_id=1190 using 9 frames: a good way of mapping space in the city. Starts off and the viewer is not sure if each frame is occurring synchronously, or in the same space, but a bus passes between all of the frames and the spatial link is made immediately. There is also a point where a plane flies overhead and all the actors look up: showing time synchronicity too.

h3. Looking at the city

* as a set of repeated actions
* as a playground: situationists
* as a balance of social as well as physical architectures

Notcon 04

h3. Barcodes for spatial markup and control

“Spotcodes”:http://www.highenergymagic.com/spotcode/index.html use a very “simple circular barcode”:http://www.highenergymagic.com/spotcode/symbols.html, to mark objects for interaction with a camera equipped phone.

* Requires a “small application”:http://www.highenergymagic.com/spotcode/download.html running on a Series 60 phone to scan barcodes with the built in camera
* Each barcode can currently store 42 bits of data using technology modified from iris tracking and wavelet technologies (as far as I understood)
* Potential for more data by increasing the number of rings, but current setup is a compromise for low quality cameraphone cameras
* The mobile phone application can determine position of phone relative to barcode by the elliptical distortion of the circle, could perhaps be used for quite accurate tracking with multiple spots
* The phone application communicates via bluetooth or gprs, using the barcodes as triggers for interactions
* It’s coded ‘close to the hardware’ to use the video input to do barcode calculation in realtime: Java/Symbian apps don’t have an API to realtime video input
* In use commercially via “Bango”:http://www.bango.net

h3. Bluetooth mapping

“Reverend Rat”:http://www.spy.org.uk/ratblog/ demoed his 10 Watt bluetooth receiver, 10 times more powerful than a 35 mile 802.11b receiver, and 100 times more powerful than a Bluetooth dongle.

Not particularly interesting in itself, but using it from a high vantage point he might be able to map out usage patterns in urban areas, or track the flow of people and devices.

h3. Some photos

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p(caption). Nice impromptu public markup

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p(caption). Inside

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p(caption). Outside

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p(caption). Anil demonstrates test barcodes for spotcode

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p(caption). Reverend Rat discovers Bluetooth devices

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p(caption). Celia and Rod

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p(caption). Geeks

Mobile social software applications

h3. “Jabberwocky / Familiar Strangers”:http://www.urban-atmospheres.net/projects.htm

This research project explores our often ignored yet real relationships with Familiar Strangers. We describe several experiments and studies that lead to a design for a personal, body-worn, wireless device that extends the Familiar Stranger relationship while respecting the delicate, yet important, constraints of our feelings and relationships with strangers in pubic places.

h3. “Encounter bubbles”:http://www.seansavage.com/encounter-bubbles/

A visualization tool based on “Mobster”:http://scott.lederer.name/projects/mobster.html that enables users to explore their social encounters in new ways. Designed to be an open framework on which locative (meaning location-based) networking applications can be built.

h3. “TraceEncounters”:http://traceencounters.org/

A social network tracking and visualization project. The project distributes a set of small stickpins, each of which uses limited-rage infrared data exchange to remember every other pin that it encounters. When pin wearers come to a central location to view the accreting network, they see a thousand circles on a plasma display panel, each representing a pin.

h3. “Fluidtime”:http://www.fluidtime.net/

The first of these services is aimed at public transport users in Turin. While on the move, travellers can find dynamic information on mobile screen-based devices while at home or at the office, people can find the same information on physical display units. The other service is a personalised and flexible scheduling system to help Interaction-Ivrea students organise shared laundry facilities; mobile and stationary tools give them constant updates about the progress of their laundry cycle.

h3. “Mobster”:http://scott.lederer.name/projects/mobster.html

Affords the social creation and excavation of proximity history. At its core is a simple question: Who was near who when? Software on users’ mobile devices (laptops, cell phones, PDAs) monitors the presence of nearby devices (Wi-Fi hotspots, cell towers, Bluetooth devices), from which Mobster infers historical proximity models. We call these sociospatial histories.

h3. “WiFi Bedouin”:http://www.techkwondo.com/projects/bedouin/index.html

Expanding the possible meaning and metaphors about access, proximity, wireless and WiFi. This access point is not the web without wires. Instead, it is its own web, an apparatus that forces one to reconsider and question notions of virtuality, materiality, displacement, proximity and community.

h3. “Tuna”:http://www.medialabeurope.org/hc/projects/tuna/

A mobile wireless application that allows users to share their music locally through handheld devices.

h3. “Jukola”:http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=1013115.1013136

An interactive MP3 Jukebox device designed to allow a group of people in a public space to democratically choose the music being played. A public display is used to nominate songs which are subsequently voted on by people in the bar using networked wireless handheld devices.

h3. “Mamjam”:http://www.mamjam.com/

One of the first location-based instant messaging platform for mobile phones. Asks the user to input location, and then creates links to others in the same space. (“Case study here”:http://www.elasticspace.com/2001/06/mobile-interaction-design-case-study)

h3. “Dodgeball”:http://www.dodgeball.com/

Tell us where you are and we’ll tell you who and what is around you. We’ll ping your friends with your whereabouts, let you know when friends-of-friends are within 10 blocks, allow you to broadcast content to anyone within 10 blocks of you or blast messages to your groups of friends.

h3. “BEDD”:http://www.hardwarezone.com/news/view.php?cid=9&id=15844

A Bluetooth-enabled mobile social medium that allows people to meet, interact and communicate.

h3. “BuzZone”:http://www.buzzone.net/eng/keyfeatures.html

Using Bluetooth-enabled laptops and PDAs to find new contacts, communicate over small distances, and share information related to their business.

h3. “TxtMob”:http://www.3-way.org/help.html

A service that lets you quickly and easily share txt messages with friends, comrades, and total strangers. The format is similar to an email b-board system. You can sign up to send and receive messages from various groups, which are organized around a range of different topics.

h3. “IcyPole”:http://www.agentarts.com/devices_mobile.php

Uses Bluetooth to detect the proximity of other devices and determine whether there is a match between users? entertainment profiles. The application can be used as a platform for personal area network music discovery, file exchange and/or sampling, as well as for social networking based on similar entertainment interests.

h3. “Peepsnation”:http://www.peepsnation.com/

Enables users to connect with others with a similar interest that meet your filter criteria using user-definable groups tied to a specific location.

h3. “Proxidating”:http://www.proxidating.com/

Using bluetooth technology, ProxiDating allows you to meet people with common interests.

h3. “Plazes”:http://blog.plazes.de/

Plazes is a web service offering information on people and places based on your location. It enables you to tag your location and announce it to your friends or the world. You can find other Plazes in your vicinity or see where your friends are at the moment. It also allows you to see other people you do not know yet at the same Place.

h3. “Plink mobile”:http://beta.plink.org/mobile.php

A ‘people search engine’ and social networking application. You can search for friends, see who they know and who knows them, find people with shared interests. Can use an SMS interface in the UK.

h3. “Saw you”:http://www.saw-you.com/

Saw-You allows u 2 chat 2 people who go to the same social venues you do on your mobile phone. U don’t see their number and they don’t see yours.

h3. “Mobule serendipity”:http://www.mobule.net/

An application for mobile phones that can instigate interactions between you and people you don’t know. A profile, along with your mobile phone provide a connection a community of people around you.

h3. “Who at”:http://www.whoat.com/go/in/

Lets you find dates and friends anywhere, anytime. Tell WhoAt where you are and we tell you who’s nearby – all from your mobile phone, PDA, or PC.

h3. “Hocman”:http://hocman.notlong.com/

We have performed an ethnographic study that reveals the importance of social interaction, and especially traffic encounters, for the enjoyment of biking. We summarized these findings into a set of design requirements for a service supporting mobile interaction among motorcyclists.

h3. “ImaHima”:http://www.imahima.com/

The Japanese expression for “are you free now?”. A mobile, location-integrated, community and instant messaging service allowing users to share their current personal status (location, activity, mood) publicly and privately with their buddies and send picture and instant messages to them.

h3. “Socialight”:http://www.socialight.net/

A location-aware mobile social networking platform that allows people to connect with their friends and friends of friends in new, expressive ways.

h3. “Socializer”:http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com/tech/socializer/

A distributed, peer-to-peer platform that connects a person to people and services in the same location. An open, extensible platform. New features can be developed and propagated by an open-source community running on wired as well as wireless networks.

h3. “Aware”:http://aware.uiah.fi/

A flexible platform that operates a spatio-temporal moblog (mobile log) allowing collective contribution and distribution of media. Considering scalable systems, comprehensive and inclusive models for participation, the project has focused upon how to communicate context-awareness, mobile experience, and its narrative potential.

h3. “Meetup”:http://www.meetup.com/

A technology platform and global network of local venues that helps people self-organize local group gatherings on the same day everywhere.

h3. “Modus”:http://stage.itp.tsoa.nyu.edu/~dc788/spring2003/netobjects/modus/

Music in a venue should reflect the taste of the people in that space, not the owner of the jukebox or the people working behind the bar. What if a jukebox allowed people to add their own music or could help you remember what was played at a particular time? What if the box was aware of who was in the room and could queue up your favorite songs as you walked through the door?

h3. “Traces of fire”:http://www.traces-of-fire.org/

Transmitters, embedded in cigarette lighters deliberately lost in carefully chosen pubs, illuminate the social relationships underlying daily habits of travel, entertainment and (nicotine) gifting.

h3. “Ashphalt games”:http://www.asphalt-games.net/play/

An Internet-enhanced street game in which players stage and document small interventions or “stunts” on the street corners of New York in order to claim turf on a virtual map of the city. The game is an experiment in collectively reimagining commonplace views of New York. By providing an online counterpart to the urban environment, it allows players to share their visions of the city with others.

h3. “Crowd surfer”:http://www.smallplanet.net/

Enables a user to surf for other Bluetooth devices and get in contact with them, primarily designed for a campus environment.

h3. “Pocket rendezvous”:http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/06/03/pocket_rendezvous/

A web server for the Pocket PC that advertises itself to other Pocket PCs in the neighbourhood wirelessly using ad-hoc WiFi networks and Rendezvous.

h3. “Meetingpoint”:http://www.net-cell.com/MP/index.html

A contact/messaging application using Bluetooth wireless technology. Runs on Smartphones/PDA or PC and helps people to meet in mobile situations.

h3. “Activematch”:http://www.simeda.com/activematch.html

Enables users to find their ‘ideal partner’ on the spot (unity of time and venue). Works in any GPRS network and on all mobile phones with Symbian OS and Nokia’s Series 60 platform.

h3. “Urban Plexus”:http://www.urbanplexus.com/

Cell phone software that enables Members to communicate with others, blog, chat in forums, file share, publish events, locate others, buy & sell, geo-tag locations and play games.

h3. “nTag”:http://ntag.com/ (“Research”:http://www.cs.uml.edu/~fredm/medialab/memetag/)

An event communications system using wearable computers that improve networking among event participants while streamlining event management.

h3. “Playtxt”:http://www.playtxt.net/

A mobile location based friendship and flirting network. Built with a mobile messaging engine, it offers full web integration and dating, flirting and friends networking capabilities, including six degrees of seperation, all mobile enabled.

h3. “Mtone”:http://www.mtone.com/

A social networking multi-user game “Cell Phone” is based on the popular Chinese movie of the same name. This comedy movie was directed by one of China’s best known directors, Feng Xiaogang. Customers play this multi-combining romance and SMS and MMS.

h3. “Tagtext”:http://www.tagtext.com/

Download pictures, wallpapers, screensavers and avatars to use for Bluejacking.

h3. “Bluetooth against Bush”:http://www.bluetoothusersagainstbush.com/

Uses bluetooth enabled devices (mobile phones, PDA’s, laptop computers) to create moments of ad-hoc solidarity for people opposed to George W. Bush.

h3. “Wavemarket”:http://www.wavemarket.com/

A suite that can turn a mobile phone user into an on-location broadcaster. You can add information and commentary about restaurant reviews to safety tips. You can find a buddy, or track a truck, inspect a neighborhood for real estate or child safety. It’s good for both social and business and it puts the power of blogging technology into the hands of the masses.

Design for television

David’s reference to 18 points as the minimum size equates to 18 pixels if you are coming from a web background.

On some iTV projects I have pushed the type down to 16 pixels, but be very careful about colours and contrast, and enquire about the production path to air: if the work is going to be transferred via DV tape, squeezed through an old composite link, or online-edited with high compression, then you might want to leave type as large as possible.

In some cases ? such as using white text on a red background ? you can add a very subtle black shadow to the type, which will help stop colour bleed and crawling effects. Even if you dislike drop-shadow effects, it will still look flat and lovely on a broadcast monitor.

Safe areas need to be taken with a pinch of salt. The default safe areas in most editing and compositing software date from years ago before the widespread use of modern, widescreen televisions.

Try extending the safe area for non-essential text in interactive projects, and consult broadcaster guidelines for their widescreen policies: many channels now broadcast in 14:9 to terrestrial boxes, and offer options to satellite and cable viewers.

The largest problem is that widescreen viewers often crop the top and bottom of the image by setting their TV to crop 4:3 to 16:9. Some cable/satellite companies remove the left and right of the image to crop 16:9 to 4:3 for non-widescreen viewers, leaving us only a tiny, safe rectangle in the centre of the image to work with.

Robert Bradbrook (maker of Home Road Movies) has a some technical but excellent information on designing graphics for 16:9 television and film formats, including a sample safe area.

There are also excellent documents on picture standards from the BBC.

But this is one thing I don’t understand: according to the BBC: “Additional [20 or 26 horizontal] pixels are not taken into account when calculating the aspect ratio, but without them images transferred between systems will not be the correct shape.” Can anyone confirm that this is the case for PAL images?

Media theory books

The Language of New Media

Lev Manovich.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

On the Internet: Thinking in Action

Hubert Dreyfus.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World

Lawrence Lessig.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Hackers

Paul Taylor.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com An extraordinary insight into hacker culture – academically rigorous but very readable and entertaining.

Affective Computing

Rosalind W. Picard.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Abstracting Craft

Malcolm McCullough.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Being Digital

Nicholas Negroponte.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Interface Culture

Steven Johnson.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Electronic Culture

Timothy Druckery.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

A Thousand Years of Non-Linear History

Manuel de Landa.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

War in the Age of Intelligent Machines

Manuel de Landa.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

The Media Equation

Bryon Reeves, Clifford Nass.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

If/Then Play

Janet Abrams.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Narrative books

Hamlet on the Holodeck

Janet H Murray.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Pause & Effect: The Art of Interactive Narrative

Mark Stephen Meadows.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Computers As Theatre

Brenda Laurel.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

The Hero with a Thousand Faces

Joseph Campbell.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Interactive Acting: Acting, Improvisation, and Interacting for Audience Participatory Theatre

Jeff Wirth.
amazon.com

Tell Me a Story: Narrative and Intelligence

by Roger C. Schank, Gary Saul Morson.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Understanding Comics

Scott McCloud.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Comics & Sequential Art

Will Eisner.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Graphic Storytelling & Visual Narrative

Will Eisner.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Honeysphere collaborative storytelling platform

In 1999 a team of six (including myself and “Jack Schulze”:http://www.jackschulze.co.uk) won the London Institute Award for Innovation for a collaboration around narrative and interactive television. We researched existing web-based projects dealing with community, gaming, multi-user space, and interactive narrative.

The project aquired an extensive archive of research material and proposed a number of design patterns that could be used for future development of collaborative television software.

We presented our findings to the public at the Berlin Film Festival in February 2000.