Urban Interventions

The MEDIACITY 5 Exhibition-Urban Interventions takes place in the Roland Levinsky Building (RLB) foyer (CrossPoint (X.)) 1-3/05/2015


X. will be a focal point for an exhibition of Urban Interventions that leaks out across the city of Plymouth.  The work on display, by architects, artists and designers, investigates the theme of the conference through a series of interventions, events, instruments, workshop by products and data sonifications and visualisations.


The Urban API will channel the data harvested from the event to an OpenStreetMap and a dynamic 3D model of Plymouth and the exhibition will be projected in the foyer space, the Immersive Vision Theatre (http://i-dat.org/ivt/) and on Urban screens in the city.




The exhibitors include:


#1: Recording the Past – Designing the Future: The InstaBooth for Situated Community Engagement


Exhibitors: Glenda Caldwell, Markus Rittenbruch, Marcus Foth, Mirko Guaralda, Michael Molloy and Jared Donovan.

SpaceTime: X. / 01-03/05/15…

The InstaBoothUK Prototype will provide an engagement and discussion platform that leverages a number of QUT developed display and interaction technologies in order to facilitate a local dialogue of ideas and commentary. The InstaBooth combines multiple interaction techniques into a hybrid (digital and analogue) media space. Through the InstaBooth, urban design and architectural proposals are displayed encouraging commentary from visitors. Inside the InstaBooth, visitors can activate a multi-touch screen in order to browse media, write a note, or draw a picture to provide feedback. The InstaBooth would have capacity to play with and supplement the data collected through the ‘Urban API’ developed by i-DAT. The specific design of the internal and external interfaces, the mutual relationship between these interfaces with regards to information display and interaction, and the question how visitors can engage with the system, are part of the research agenda of the project. The InstaBooth UK documentation displayed during the Media City 5 Exhibition will undergo in the wild testing to inform the development of a place specific version of the InstaBooth for the city of Plymouth.




Exhibitors: Beverley Hood, Chris Speed, Chris Barker – Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh.

SpaceTime: Performance: TBC / Saturday 02/05/15 13.00-14.00 / Documenta: X.


During lunchtime on Saturday delegates are invited to play a small role in a promenade performance in and around the conference venue.

Provided with smart phones, participants will play a vital part in the sourcing of ingredients to prevent us all from getting scurvy. Working together using a locative media app, the workshop will recover the trading practices of Captain James Cook who, after sailing from Plymouth on the 26th August 1768 in the Endeavour to Tahiti, traded nails, iron tools and cloth with locals for pigs, fruit and coconuts. Join us over lunch in the cooperative sourcing and making of anti-Scurvy salad.

More details and sign-up…


#3: Traak!:


Exhibitors: Mike Blow, John Twycross, Eric White.

SpaceTime: X. / 01-03/05/15…

The Avant-Gardes and Speculative Technology (AGAST) project is an interdisciplinary collaboration comprised of Mike Blow, John Twycross and Eric White that combines humanities research, technology production and creative practice. AGAST re-creates technologies that were designed by 20th-century avant-garde writers and artists and applies them to new contexts.

Its first project is a re-imagining of futurist musical instruments called ‘noise tuners’, or intonorumori, invented by Luigi Russolo around WWI. Our version is called Traak!, a reference to an onomatopoeia in futurist manifestos about noise, and to the smart phone technology in our instrument.

Traak! is a wearable device that allows users to ‘play’ an animated futurist sculpture and create the ‘future sounds’ of cities. In this interactive installation, participants can use Traak! to explore the possibilities of Augmented Reality (AR) and reconsider their relationship with art, technology, and the environment.


#4: neurotic


Exhibitors: Michael Straeubig..

SpaceTime: X. & City Walks / 01-03/05/15…

Neurotic is a playful locative audio experience that creates a dynamic soundscape by simulating activation patterns in an artificial neural network. Each individual neuron is represented by a player moving through the city. As the distances between players are constantly changing, the firing rates of the neurons adapt, triggering different sounds and influencing audio parameters that reflect the distribution of the players’ locations.


#5: Cybernetizen


Exhibitors: Luke Wotton.

SpaceTime: X. & City Walks / 01-03/05/15…

Cybernetic-izen is a performance wearable device that increases the wearers perception of the city around them. Cybernetic-izen listens to the surrounding area and analyses sentiment of the city and aims to keep the city in a homeostatic state. The device analyses the emotion of the surrounding area via location based social media and if deemed necessary shall place stress onto the body to keep the city in a steady-state. Cybernetic-izen asks the question of where the barrier is between the body of the individual and the collective within the urban environment, how much is the single body changed by the collective emotional state of the many?


#6: Pedestrian Fitness Initiative for Plymouth

Exhibitors: Michael Straeubig and Johanna Ickert

SpaceTime: X. & City Walks / 01-03/05/15…

Plymouth Pedestrian Fitness Initiative is a visual exhibition that plays satirically with the topic of fitness and self-improvement related to patterns of car and pedestrian traffic in Plymouth. It will display selected examples of difficult to walk locations for pedestrians, re-imaging them as „fitness challenges“ for citizens.  The work is site-specific and consists of a website documenting „Pedestrian Fitness Initiative for Plymouth“ in form of diagrams, pictures, text and film.


#7: Model City


Exhibitors: Luke Christison, Chris Hunt

SpaceTime: X. & IVT / 01-03/05/15…

A dynamic 3D model showing live Urban API feeds of Plymouth. Constructed in Unity 3D the map harvests data from the show and urban feeds to construct a real-time model of the city. Complementing the Urban API, Model City provides one of many possible vehicles for an alternative navigation of a city. Liberated from the constraints of physical infrastructure (roads, houses and services) Model City envisions an urban environment constituted from transactions, memories, feelings and value chains.


Workshop by-products:




Exhibitors: Moritz Behrens, Nina Valkanova, Konstantinos Mavromichalis, Ava Fatah gen. Schieck.

SpaceTime: Workshop: BigScreen Plymouth City Centre/Friday 01/05/15 10.00-13.00 / Documenta: X.





Exhibitors: Rocio Von Jungenfeld, David Strang, Vincent Van Uffelen.

SpaceTime: Workshop: Various locations Plymouth City Centre/Friday 01/05/15 10.00-13.00 / Documenta: X.





Exhibitor: Gianni Corino, Chris Hunt.

SpaceTime: Workshop: Babbage 213/Friday 01/05/15 10.00-13.00 / Documenta: X.



In addition several student works will be displayed, originating from a Reflexive Design module on the BA/BSc Digital Art & Technology course.

Exhibitor: DAT 203.

SpaceTime: X. / 01-03/05/15…




The conference will provide a setting for artistic and experimental projects that explore the host city as a site of experimentation and participation. These range from site-specific projects, to events and installations. They focus on artistic and creative approaches to the social smart city approach and how this can have value and impact for the local citizens and organisations.

These interventions will feed off, play with or supplement the data harvested from the city infrastructure through an ‘Urban API’ being developed by i-DAT as a component of its Operating Systems.

There is currently a working prototype of the Urban API which will be able to accept data feeds from and to the various interventions and submissions which will be distributed around the city. This includes new data sources from a relationship we have established with stakeholders in Plymouth and the surrounding region.

The full programme and details of the projects will go live in Mid April.

The opening of the Urban Intervention projects will take place on Saturday 2nd May 2015 at 18.00.