Our good friend Kari Gray is helping to create a technology arts festival in San Francisco this year called “City Centered: A Festival of Locative Media and Urban Community“. Kari originally contacted us about Spectropolis, our Wireless Arts festival from a few years ago, wanting to create something similar out on the west coast. What her team came up with is significantly and impressively more than Spectropolis was, while keeping the core goals of wireless technology and community engagement (leave it to a San Franciscan to one-up us on these concepts!).
There’s an open call for projects, and we think everyone should submit something to the festival. NYC has a lot of innovative, creative, artistic nerds and nerdy artists, and more representation of our great city in SF can only be a good thing!
Recent exhibitions, festivals and conferences across the US and in Europe have taken wireless networks, public space, locative media and urban environments as sites of intervention, creativity, and critique. Formulated within the emerging context of networked urbanism and mobile media, City Centered: A Festival of Locative Media and Urban Community will focus upon dynamics of the shifting, locative, cartographic and social space of the city. It is organized by educational, arts, community-based and civic organizations and asks how locative media can act as a platform and venue for community-led expression.
From within San Francisco’s Tenderloin district, this festival will celebrate the rich possibilities that art and technology offer for urban communication of place and place-based media. City Centered focuses on the use of locative media and wireless technologies for site-specific and neighborhood-based interventions. Artists, designers, architects, community and cultural workers –people, places, and devices — will meet for four days of street-side celebration, public exhibitions, a symposium, and workshops. The festival seeks new work aligned with the themes of creative mapping, urban storytelling, sentient space, body awareness, local history, contested spaces and gaming.
The festival’s main goals are:
- to promote creative public use of free wi fi and open networks in the city of San Francisco
- to encourage meaningful collaboration between artists and local organizations in connection with wireless networks
- to introduce site-specific locative media art to urban places
Members of NYCwireless have been invited to participate in PluggedIn, a great social media event on January 12, 2010. Be sure to register and use discount code “plugged”!
PluggedIn is a mobile and social media summit, bringing together handpicked media, advertising, social media and mobile executives and gatekeepers. The event is designed to facilitate knowledge sharing, relationship building and deal making. See 25 companies present and talk about what they are doing and what they look to achieve in 2010.
Participating companies include: Klout, Tweetphoto, Tweetfeel, Movoxx, Flyscreen, AppsSavvy, and many more.
PluggedIn is run by Founders Roundtable, a digital media networking company focused on leveraging relationships to help startups succeed. The reason for PluggedIn is the frustration with typical industry conferences which are overcrowded and lack the intimacy and cut-to-the-chase attitude required for in-depth dialogue and true relationship building.
I was asked to sit on a panel last Thursday about “THE FOUR SCREENS: Everything you had no idea you needed to know but were afraid to ask!” by my friend Bill Sobel at SobelMedia. My fellow panelists represented a great variety of old and new media expertise, and I brought some mobile knowledge to the table:
What comes after television, the internet and mobile is what has been commonly referred to as the fourth screen. But what is the deal with all these screens. What are they, why are they important and what do we as producers, designers, technologists and marketers need to know?
- SCREEN 1: Traditional Broadcast and Cable Television starring Steve Ronson: EVP/AETN (A&E Television Networks)
- SCREEN 2: Desktop, Laptop and computers starring Lance Podell: CEO/NextNewNetworks
- SCREEN 3: Wireless and Mobile starring Dana Spiegel: Executive Director of NYCwireless
- SCREEN 4: Digital out-of-home advertising and everything else starring Michael Kogon: Founder and CEO/Definition6
The panel was picked up by Advertising Age: Chasing Mobile Audiences Beyond Phones:
Although they get all the press, phones aren’t actually the only devices that make up our rapidly expanding world of mobile communications. Laptops and portable game consoles are also being widely used by on-the-go consumers. And companies like Yahoo and Google are paying close attention to that. Both sponsored expansive free wifi services for the holidays. Yahoo’s blanketed Times Square, while Google’s took to the airports and skies beyond.
It happened so fast you may have missed it. Late last week AT&T posted a change to its mobile data plan that indicated it would start throttling down peer-to-peer sharing. This would affect phone-call apps like Skype. Within a day, after public outroar from customers like you, they apologized and retracted it.
First, yes, it’s similar to what happened at FaceBook–a company tries to pull something onerous, only to retract it after consumers find out. That said, Facebook is a small, agile company. This is AT&T, one of the most intractable telcos out there. Historically it’s taken years of work in court to get AT&T to change its ways.
Second, it’s another battle in the fight for an Open Internet. Last year, Comcast tried to throttle regular peer-to-peer applications like Skype, and the FCC called them on it. AT&T was mucking with its mobile data plan, but the motive is the same–force people to use the carrier’s more expensive services rather than letting them get their work done.
What AT&T and Comcast should be realizing is that this type of throttling is now on the wrong side of the economic debate. An Open Internet keeps us productive and competitive. Skype lets people make cheap phone calls. Video sharing lets people do web-conferences. Efforts to stifle communications strike at the heart of America’s productivity and competitiveness in the world.
The fight continues. Follow the story and let your representatives know this matters to you. An Open Internet will ensure we can all get our work done and succeed.
The Architectural League of New York has chosen BREAKOUT! Escape from the Office as one of the big exhibition pieces for their “Situated Technologies: Toward the Sentient City” in 2009.
NYCwireless is one of the key team members of BREAKOUT!, and Anthony Townsend (one of our co-founders) is chairing the exhibit. The rest of the board (including me!) will be heavily involved in making this exhibition a reality.
Over a two week period, BREAKOUT! will return creative work to the streets of New York. Using co-working as a model, and injecting lightweight versions of essential office infrastructure into urban public spaces, BREAKOUT! will explore new and productive niches for working outside of traditional office buildings. As the 21st century moves towards a knowledge-based economy, conventional office spaces are becoming obsolete; people no longer need to co-locate in order to access shared tools and resources. BREAKOUT! seeks to create a new architecture for the creative city by appropriating public spaces for collaborative knowledge work.
To find out more about why we are doing this, read the FAQ. For more background on the architectural and organizational design concepts we’re playing with, check our our BREAKOUT! Prezi (thanks to the team at Kitchen Budapest for this awesome Powerpoint killer).
A whole bunch of stuff about our social collaboration tools is in the works and will be posted in a month or so.
We are looking for groups in cities around the world to host local BREAKOUT! festivals and meetups during September 2009. More details will be posted soon.
Key team members:
- Anthony Townsend (Research Director, Technology Horizons Program, Institute for the Future)
- Georgia Borden (Associate Director, DEGW)
- Tony Bacigalupo (co-founder, CooperBricolage)
- Sean Savage (co-founder, PariSoMa)
- Dana Spiegel (Executive Director, NYCwireless)
- Dennis Crowley (founder dodgeball.com)
- Laura Forlano (Kauffman Fellow in Law, Information Society Project, Yale Law School)
BREAKOUT! is being presented as part of the exhibition, “Situated Technologies: Toward the Sentient City,” curated by Mark Shepard and organized the Architectural League of New York. For more information about the exhibition and related projects, visit www.situatedtechnologies.net.