Around the Corner (2011)

Traveling, you realize that differences are lost: each city takes to resembling all cities, places exchange their form, order, distances, a shapeless dust cloud invades the continents. -- Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

Around the Corner is a locative artwork that creates an experience based upon usersʼ locations and spatial practices. The boundary between the urban space and telematic space become indistinct. Spaces, or cities are no longer defined by infrastructure, instead, they are defined by thought-processes, actions and practices. Users explore the artwork through simple interaction and unfold the layered narrative, which describes an everyday life situation; someone (B) supposed to meet someone (A) at a particular location, B canʼt find A but A sees B at a distant, A follows B....

Full Description

When users launch this semi-autonomous software, their current locations have been marked on the map and the data has been uploaded to a internet server, together with their current date and time. They can also view other placemarks created by other users, which has been stored on the server. Once the user clicks “Start Your Odyssey Now”, the server side software will retrieve data of usersʼ locations and mixed with the texts, generated via markov chain algorithm, based on Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities. Then, random placemarks with mixed texts will be marked on usersʼ maps automatically.

There are 14 pre-recorded animation clips with audio on the server and they are describing the layered narrative mentioned above. Each line of generative text will be matched with a clip of animation on the server. Their matching processes will be based on artistʼs tags of the audiovisuals. When the users click on a particular place mark, s/ he can listen and view that matched audio and video clip. The entire algorithmic process will be started again when the users click “Start Your Odyssey Now” button. In addition, they can also choose to share their micro-narratives via email or Facebook.

This project is support by DXARTS, University of Washington, Seattle, US

Special thanks to Joyce Lee, Queenie Wong and Carly Amanda St John

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Artist Statement

Locative arts has been often compared with internet art or regarded as its successor. It is understandable as both practices share a certain degree of mobility, but their main difference is the sites. The sites of locative media could be transient, Around the Corner includes physical, cultural qualities of sites at a particular moment, where the definition of space and site are no longer restricted to physical space.

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