You Are Not Here


Reviewed by Luis Silva

"From a strict physical, corporeal point of view, ubiquity is an ontological impossibility. For as much as one would like, being in two places at the same time, for instance, the city of New York and the city of Baghdad, is not possible to accomplish. Only electrons, netart and god have the uncanny ability to present themselves in several places in one given moment.

You Are Not Here departs from and builds itself from this inability. Developed by Thomas Duc, Kati London, Dan Phiffer, Andrew Schneider, Ran Tao and Mushon Zer-Aviv and inviting people to 'explore Baghdad through the streets of New York', YANH presents itself as an urban tourism mash-up. Not only can you be in two places at the same time (the ubiquity concept we departed from), but also both places become interconnected in a psychological enactment of a meta-city. The underlying mechanism is pretty simple: users (the so-called meta-tourists) are invited to download and print on one side of a sheet of paper a map of Baghdad and on the other side a reversed map of New York. As soon as that task is accomplished the exotic sightseeing can begin. Scattered around New York are YANH street-signs that provide warned explorers (those who printed the map) as well as random passers-by the telephone number for the Tourist Hotline, where audio-guided tours of contemporary Baghdad destinations in NYC can be listened to." Continue reading You Are Not Here - You Are Not Here by Luis Silva, Furtherfield.