anson-lookingoutwards07

The project I’ve chosen is The Architecture of Radio, by Richard Vijgen. I’m very interested in projects which take the site as an important element in the experience. I’m less interested in visualizations or experiences that take place within a closed loop of user-to-device, and more engaged with hybrid works which connect directly to the physical environment / actual time / specific location of the user.

This project is a site specific iPad app that visualizes what is normally invisible to the naked eye – the network of networks that surround us all the time : i.e. cell towers, wifi routers, satellites for navigation, communication, and observation. The project was created using Three.js and the Iconic Framework (for apps), and utilizes GPS to find cell towers that are within reach from OpenCellID.

I believe that this project taps into an important gap in many people’s knowledge – understanding just how intertwined we are, how surveilled we are, and how we depend on this invisible network of information pathways to inhabit our contemporary always-on, always-connected, and always-observed society. As data privacy and cybersecurity become increasingly problematized, educating the public about the “invisible” structures around them, and how to navigate them safely, will become (has already become) paramount.

This sentiment is alluded to in Business Insider’s review, which the artist uses in their documentation (and therefore believes to be important) : “Both beautiful and slightly disturbing.”

The physical act of holding up an iPad in public space is a bit ridiculous, though, so I think the project could consider alternate, more seamless ways of engaging with the information. And to this end I would suggest Augmented Reality, or Mixed Reality, specifically the Hololens, but to posit that the Hololens is a “seamless” experience, or non-intrusive, is a fallacy.  If Magic Leap releases what they propose to be developing – this experience would fit right in.