Friday, 15 August 2008

Locative Art

The new BBC programme Britain from Above uses GPS technology to track movement of people, cars, boats, planes and, particularly brilliantly, 200 black cabs moving around London in one day.

Wanting to find out more I came across a fledgling art movement called Locative Arts. This is artists who use GPS or Wi-Fi as their medium. This article is a bit heavy but there are good links at the end of it.

A good example is the Waag Society who wired up citizens of Amsterdam and created maps of each individual's personal version of the city.

Another is Uncle Roy All Around You; a game where online players and players on the street compete against each other.

The concept is pushed to a so far imaginary extreme in William Gibson's Spook Country where an artist has worked out how to create 3-d installations of celebrity deaths at the places where the celebrities died. The installations are only visible through virtual reality visors and the author imagines a time where such visors contain channels and we all walk around in our half-real, half-virtual worlds. Like headphones with visuals.

The interesting thing about all this is the way that online and experiential merge together - the big limitation of experiential marketing is that it directly reaches only a very small audience and relies on PR and word-of-mouth to carry the idea to the mass market. With Locative Art, an experiential idea can also be a mass event.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Its great - monopoly did something like this last year to create excitement around such an old school game....

Hasbro have fitted out 18 London cabs with GPS tracking devices, and hooked them up to a real time, real life game of monopoly. You get to choose which cab driver you want to 'play' with, and then pick which properties around London you want to put your houses and hotels, hit go, sit back and wait for the other cab drivers to land on your square and make you rent. You get 24 hours of your cab running around London, and you have to see how much money you can make in a day