Archive for locative art projects


Taking as a starting point a festival that took place a while ago in Amsterdam, called the Mobile Music Workshop

(to read an extensive article, visit we-make- money- not-art)

i am writing about some mobile-music pieces, others directly linked to mobiles, others to education and others to geo-tagging and gps.

01_Gamelan Playtime, by Arlete Castelo & Melissa Mongiat, UK (


This installation draws in passers-by as they walk along Hungerford terrace on the South Bank. By moving their hands across an invitingly tactile surface pedestrians trigger sensors that release recordings of the Royal Festival Hall’s Gamelan set being played by a group of Lambeth school children. The sounds are made up of the Gamelan instruments themselves, human voices and song. The installation is a 30m long “wall”, bringing about unexpected interaction not only between each individual and the surface but also amongst the all the different groups of people engaging with the installation at the same time. more…

02_PLAY.orchestra, by Arlete Castelo & Melissa Mongiat


Play orchestra, recreates an empty orchestra pit of 60 seats. Passers-by can take the stage and experience a musical piece
from the player’s perspective. By taking a seat, the public triggers a recording of the correspondent musical instrument. As more people
sit down, the composition is progressively revealed in its whole. They can further engage with the piece through their mobile phones, by receiving ringtones of the experience they just created, or sending
their own sounds. These will then be part of a new composition to take place within the installation, for other passers-by to discover.’

o3_Net derive, by Atau Tanaka and Petra Gemeinboeck



Participants are given a kind of scarf with a mobile phone in each end and off they go to explore the neighborhood. One of the phones takes pictures every 20 secs and collects sounds, the other talks to the GPS (also in the scarf) and to the server inside the gallery space. On a radar they can see themselves pictured as dots but also the images they’re taking. The sounds and pictures collected in the streets are sampled and mapped to a 3D city map in the gallery. As users are walking they can hear some voice instructions through a pair of headphones. Those comments suggest paths to follow or turns to make, they are generated and heard in a musical fashion.

04_Sonic City, Lalya Gaye, developed by a the Viktoria Institute and RE:form in Sweden, 2004

Sonic city, enables people to compose music in real time by walking through the city, through a mobile wearable interface. The system retrieves information about the environment and user action, and maps it to the audio processing of urban sounds, resulting in music heard through headphones.

–how it works–

Wearing a sensor-equiped jacket, the person can create a personal soundscape co-produced by physical movement, local activity, and urban ambiance.

05_Taking Soundings, by Yolande Harris, KHM


‘Taking soundings is a series of pieces that are emerging from the investigation into landscape and navigation. Taking soundings is a traditional technique of determining the shape and depth of the sea or river-bed by means of a lead and line, and I find an obvious continuity in the gathering of information from satellites via a GPS receiver. Taking soundings of ones position relative to satellites orbiting the earth rather than relative to ones immediate environment, strikes me as a kind of blind guidance, which encourages feelings of security or insecurity. Certainly this giving up of something of ones own intentions and perceptions, being taken by the hand as it were, has parallels with an experience of art. My intentions, rather than taking away peoples ability to act, is to encourage an unfolding of experience, a drift.’ More…

06_Talking cities, Hybrid Space Lab in KHM


The four sculpted audio seating areas are traversed by broad bands, each carrying the audio signal of one of the four radio stations. By means of little cable spools in which loudspeakers are integrated, visitors can go to any point along a band and listen to the programme of that particular radio station in German, or in English. More…


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01_AudioBored, by Jonah Brucker-Cohen, Stefan Agamanolis

is a public online audio messaging board that allows for anyone to call in, record a message, and post it to the server. Simply dial the free 1-800 number from the website and record your note. Visitors to the board can click on the sound clips and listen to all the recordings collected. Like an online bulletin board, AudioBored allows for candid opinions, thoughts, ideas, exclamations, etc… to be posted live in a shared online space as recorded audio through a phone interface.


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urban tells-toolkit


Urbantells, by James Rouvelle

‘In a public location a simple kiosk labeled URBANtells will be set up. A participant will provide their cell phone and email address to an attendant. In return, they will receive a handheld device (working title: “digi-diviner”)and instructions to walk and explore the neighborhood. A minute after they go outside, they will begin to hear a real time mix of sound art and verbal information triggered by their location from a speaker on the diviner. The content will come from interviews and research we will undertake in the months preceding the conference, as well as input uploaded from actual users. The information will address the complex layers of histories that comprise the urban experience and the degrees to which these histories intersect to inform our concept of location and how these understandings influence our behaviors. The verbal content of the audio stream will be a mix of the languages spoken in the neighborhood. Upon returning to the kiosk, participants will receive an interactive google map of their specific walk via email, containing buttons to play sounds and view images and sounds they may have uploaded during their trip.’ More…
Zero one,San Jose

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NOSO_a temporary relief from locative media

this is funny, check the video on how to unconnect from all locative and other media or friends, from GlowLab….


for more fun, check also cellbooth 

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 01_MSDM– Here is Paula Roush’s blog on locative media and toolkits, i m shortly presenting her project

Saudi Arabia, London: msdm, 2007

Upload photos of public spaces, people and oil facilities from Saudi arabia on your i-pod, where a ban on photography in public areas has recently been lifted, but where tourists are still not allowed to photograph official buildings, local people nor oil facilities. More…

 02_The Tactical Sound Garden [TSG] Toolkit, Mark Shepard,

is an open source software platform for cultivating public “sound gardens” in contemporary cities. It draws on the culture of urban community gardening to posit a participatory environment where new spatial practices and social interactions within technologically mediated environments can be explored and evaluated. Addressing the impact of mobile audio devices like the iPod, the project explores gradients of privacy and publicity in developing a platform for public collaboration in shaping the sonic topography of urban public space.

user scenario

1. Upon entering a sound garden, participants connect to a TSG server using a web browser, create a profile, and download a small software application along with a library of sounds and environmental variables to their mobile device.

2. As one moves through the sound garden, the software periodically identifies the participant’s position within the geographic limits of the physical location. This positioning information is fed to a 3D audio engine, which subsequently outputs a real-time audio mix of the sounds in the garden specific to the current location of the listener.

3. To plant sounds, the participant uploads sounds recorded or stored on her/his device or selects from pre-existing sounds in the library. S/he then sets parameters for volume, loop, and schedule for playback. This sound, its parameters, and the current location of the planter are subsequently broadcast to all participants currently in the garden.

4. To prune sounds, the participant selects a sound within close proximity to where s/he is standing, modifies any of the parameters of that sound, and attaches a short message to be sent to the planter of that sound. These modifications are then broadcast to all participants currently in the garden. The planter then receives a message that the pruner has modified their sound, along with any message the pruner has provided.

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