In the summer of 2009, I wrote an article here at Rhizome about the burgeoning activities of media artists creating new works or updating versions of their older interactive screen-based projects for Apple's iPhone and iTouch mobile devices. As the article made its way throughout the blogosphere, comments surfaced ranging from criticism of the "closed world of Apple's App Store and iPhone devices" to a championing of the availability of inexpensive multi-touch technology now available to artists who had been waiting for a platform that could adequately display and allow for the type of interaction their projects demanded. A year after the article came out, the draw of these devices and their potentially expansive audience has become even more irresistible to artists enough so that several more "apps" have surfaced. The following article catalogs several new iPhone works which have emerged over the past year, works that are pioneering the next generation of portable media art.
Editor's Note: When I first came across this project, it made me a bit uneasy. I do understand that the artist is presenting a contrast between an assumption in advanced industrialized countries that technology will revolutionize our lives, and the reality that many parts of the world lack the infrastructure to support those technologies, thus limiting the scope of such a "revolution." But, by grouping these countries together (Mali, Cambodia, and Vietnam) as a flat representative of the developing world, they become just that, a backdrop to make his point. Thoughts?