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ZeroOne San Jose / ISEA2006 themes
Interactive City Theme
Jul 23, 2005 at 11:10 AM
“The Great Kahn contemplates an empire covered with cities that weigh upon the earth and upon mankind, crammed with wealth and traffic, overladen with ornaments and offices, complicated with mechanisms and hierarchies, swollen, tense, ponderous. ‘The empire is being crushed by its own weight’ Kublai thinks, and in his dreams, cities as lightas kites appear, pierced like laces, cities transparent as mosquito netting, cities like leaves’ veins, cities lined like a hand’s palm, filigree cities to be seen through their opaque and fictitious thickness”
Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

The city has always been a site of transformation: of lives, of populations, even of civilizations. With the rise of the mega city, however; with the advent of 24 x 7 rush hours; with the inexorable conversion of public space into commercial space; with the rise of surveillance; with the computer-assisted precision of redlining; with the viral advance of the xenophobic, the contemporary city is weighted down. We dream of something more. Not some something planned and canned, like another confectionary spectacle. Something that can respond to our dreams. Something that will transform with us, not just perform change on us, like an operation.

The Interactive City theme seeks urban-scale projects for which the city is not merel a palimpsest of our desires but an active participant in their formation. From dynamic architectural skins to composite sky portraits to walking in someone else’s shoes to geocaches of urban lore to cybrid games with a global audience, projects for Interactive City should transform the “new” technologies of mobile and pervasive computing, ubiquitous networks, and locative media into experiences that matter.

There is an invisible city growing among the growth of the megacity, and it is the electromagnetic, hertzian spectrum that flows ceaselessly with data about and from and between us, but which is always activated by the interfaces of commerce and government—cell phones, surveillance cameras, marketing databases, navigation systems that will alert us to a nearby sale.

We imagine the city itself as an interface, which accesses the future, the past, the distant, the present, the communal, the individual in marvelous ways that allow us to enjoy the “opaque and fictitious thickness” of an invisible city made visible.

There have been many exhibitions about the city, notably Hans-Ulrich Obrist and Hou Hanrou’s Cities on the Move, but none have treated the city itself as the “medium.” As Obrist noted

Cities on the Move developed through happenstance. The exhibition can be seen as a network. A previous speaker spoke of links to neurology. I draw the analogy again because of a very strong emphasis within the exhibition was placed on the idea of the city involving positive feedback-loops. This metaphor can be extended to the role of positive feedback-loops in learning that the exhibition as a city becomes a kind of learning system.”

Projects for Interactive City expand the feedback loop into and through the city itself.

View the Interactive City artworks.

Last Updated ( Feb 18, 2006 at 01:12 PM )
Interactive City Artist Selections
Written by Steve Dietz   
Dec 28, 2005 at 02:26 PM

To date, the following artists have been selected for the Interactive City theme at ZeroOne San Jose and ISEA2006.

99 Red Balloons, Jenny Marketou, Katie Salen
DIY Urban Challenge, Jonah Brucker-Cohen, Katherine Moriwaki
The Drift Relay, Christina Ray, kanarinka, Lee Walton
Fete Mobile, Marc Tuters, Luke Moloney, Karlis Kalnins, Adrian Sinclair
Loca, Drew Hemment, Mika Raento, John Evans, Theo Humphries
Mission Eternity, etoy
Nocturne, Colin Ives
P2P: Power to the People, Matt Gorbet, Susan Gorbet, Rob Gorbet
Paper Cup Telephone Network, Matthew Biederman, Adam Hyde
 PlaceSite Network: San Jose, Damon McCormick, Sean Savage, Parker Thompson, Andrew Hoag
Saint Joe, John Klima
San Jose Instant Film Festival, Andrea Moed
SimVeillance: San Jose, Katherine Isbister,Rainey Straus
SPECFLIC, Adriene Jenik
Traffic Island Disks, Saul Albert, Michael Weinkove
Tripwire, Tad Hirsch

We received an extremely high number of early round submissions for the Interactive City theme. Each submission was read by at least four anonymous reviewers and received at least two formal reviews. We are very thankful for the efforts and feedback from our international jury in helping make these selections.

For a concatenated list of selected Interactive City artists with brief selections, click here.

To see fuller information about the artworks selected, click here.

Last Updated ( Jul 17, 2006 at 03:20 PM )
Cities Taxonomy
Written by Steve Dietz   
Feb 18, 2006 at 09:41 PM

Shadow City

What are the real neighborhoods within the city? How can they be realized, exposed, and experienced?

Collaborative Challenge

Cities - a crowd of individuals? How can the crowd inspire the individual through collaboration, competition, confrontation? We invite you to challenge this massive audience to become active co-conspirators in a collaborative challenge. What change, effect, or experience could only be achieved by a mass movement, a mob, a cooperative crowd? What spaces could be accessed, created or re-imagined by a massively-scaled intervention?

Hybrid Histories

Uncovering the past and looking toward future histories. Where has San José been? Where might it go? These histories need not be accurate; we encourage participants to imagine alternate San Josés based on existing conditions.


Cities are largely composed of the "space between". Let us celebrate them. Engaging with the overlooked, abandoned or disreputable city spaces: alleys, underpasses, empty lots. What non-places are specific to San José? What role do daily rhythms play in the tension between "place" and "non-place"? Participants are encouraged to imagine opportunities within the city to stage a series of "new happenings" that may be very brief or extend beyond the length of the ISEA2006 Symposium and ZeroOne San Jose Festival.

Alternate Playgrounds

Rules, play, games, and toys. Let's create new sandboxes in the city. We invite proposals from games spanning all of the ISEA2006 Symposium and ZeroOne San Jose Festival to specific, limited, or event-based playful encounters. Can San José come out and play?

Urban Archeology

What can we uncover within the layers of strata of the city?How will we "dig" within our newly emerging technological cities and how will we exhibit its "discoveries"?

Exposed City

What are we not seeing, feeling, smelling? What do we not understand about our city? More importantly, how does this reconfigure our future?

Open Traversal

Ebb and flow. Waxing and waning. What's all this city hustle bustle about anyway? Where are all these people, goods, and information going and why?

Operational City

Is our city at work? At play? How does it function? Is it healthy? Sickly? Tired? Happy? How can we measure its production, health, and mood?

Hacked City

What are you rebelling against? ... What've you got? Learn the rules of the city, then let's break them together and create something deliciously new.

Parasitic City

Parasite - an organism that grows, feeds, and is sheltered on or in a different organism while contributing nothing to the survival of its host. Is the city our parasite or our host? Are we the parasite on or a host of the city?

Open Source City

Open source or open-source software (OSS) is any computer software distributed under a license which allows users to change and/or share the software freely. How can this be transposed onto the infrastructure of the city? What is the source code of the city and how can it be re-coded?

Alternate Economies

An economic system is a mechanism which deals with the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services in a particular society. The economic system is composed of people, institutions and their relationships as well as the allocation and scarcity of resources. Why not impose a new system of exchange at the ISEA2006 Symposium and ZeroOne San Jose Festival? Complete with new forms of trade, transfers, currency, concepts, modes, utopias, co-ops, gifts, barters, punishments, and rewards.

Town Hall

Take your issue to the people. Isn't it time we held a real town hall meeting? Then call the meeting to order. One of the roles of a town hall is to create a common meeting space for citizens. What common grounds are possible for San José citizens or for the ISEA2006 Symposium and ZeroOne San Jose Festival participants as temporary citizens of the Interactive City program?

Community Mapping

An aid which highlights relations between objects, people, situations within that space. How can San José natives map their city? Will the ISEA2006 Symposium and ZeroOne San Jose Festival participants develop their own maps of the festival's many resources and venues? What will they look like? How will they be shared? What will they provide? Ignore? Remove?

Parallel Cities

What are the new sister cities? Where are they connected? disconnected? How to they share time and space with each other? Where do they disconnect? Show us how such other cities are connected (and disconnected) from San José.

Interactive City Call
Written by Steve Dietz   
Dec 28, 2005 at 01:46 PM

Interactive City Call

Last Updated ( Feb 18, 2006 at 09:39 PM )
Steering Committee
Written by Steve Dietz   
Dec 28, 2005 at 02:19 PM

Members of the Interactive City Steering Committee

Last Updated ( Feb 18, 2006 at 09:06 PM )
Written by Steve Dietz   
Dec 28, 2005 at 02:10 PM

Members of the Interactive City Jury

Last Updated ( Feb 18, 2006 at 09:07 PM )