Work title: Lowdown Uptown (0001001874)
The subject is the “Internet generation” that is subject to the laws and censorships of the Internet and the limited and subjective information that is distributed on it. The communication available on the internet is of a where we have to pay to communicate. We are used to that prerequisite and we hardly even notice the implications of it in our daily lives. We automatically pay to communicate with others. We even prefer to pay to communicate rather than to meet with actual people in the flesh for free. It is innate to this generation. It has become a natural thing, a way of living. We do not question it anymore or the implications of it. Our tools are the Internet, Facebook, Skype, cell phones, emails and other similar “wonders of technology”. We use these tools in our everyday life with all of their possibilities and limitations. These tools are the means of fulfilling our desires to communicate, gather information, generate social contact, and they help us interact with others. They give us a feeling of being connected with the world.
Our subject is the citizen of the world, a citizen of the global network of people and information, of the “global metropolis”. The project is a spatial intervention in metropolitan cities with an uncensored and non-profit global informational network as the goal. The goal is to create interaction and non-verbal communication between people from all around the globe via picture/video. We intend to enable people to interact, communicate and share information in an objective, truthful, and uncensored way in order to facilitate interaction, empathy and collaboration between people by giving them a sense of not being alone in the world.
The project is information based. We use consumerist and capitalistic culture to elevate social values. We accept the existing consumerist state of mind and use it to our advantage. We acknowledge that people live this way and that their way of living won’t easily be changed in the near future. The agents included in the projects are individuals, companies, political processes and activists, who all participate equally in the project either individually or together. We use the technological products of consumerism not with the purpose of financial gain, but to provide free uncensored information and allow the possibility of interaction between subjects who in normal conditions would not interact due to lack of proximity. We use the existing technology combined with the innate need to communicate and interact with others. People already know how to use this technology, it is not foreign to them and they are accustomed to it. The difference is only in the outcomes. The result is intended to be natural, spontaneous and unpredictable, not modified or censored. It is objective in its subjectivity. You receive as much as you give. If there is no action there cannot be an interaction. In order to receive information the individual must become information himself.
We plan to create a different state of mind by placing video screens in different urban locations. Each city would have a number of screens located on a “main square” that would live stream events in other cities where the screens are located. We will enable people in different cities to see and experience events simultaneously. The goal is the uncontrolled spread of real information and real life events. The spreading of information depends only on the willingness of people to interact. The more people interact, the wider the spread of information. The habitat is the city, the neighborhood: the world, the end result: a global network of cities, a “global village” and the human as an inhabitant of the world. The duration of the experiment would depend on the interest of people. It can potentially remain limited to just a couple of cities or become global. The infrastructure for the project exists already. The technology has been existing and used for a long time. The difference is the way it will be used.
The project is an experiment. The tools are video screens. The action and interaction cannot be predicted because human nature is unpredictable. The one thing all of us have in common is curiosity. We are all interested in what other people are doing. We are all voyeurs. Voyeurism is the one aspect of human nature that we are addressing with this project, but there is a condition attached. In order to see, you have to be seen yourself. You have to give in order to receive and that gives the whole project a more human note. The ways in which the screens will be used can’t be predicted in the same way that interaction between people cannot be predicted. The project is a social experiment in an architectural environment. It gives people virtual connections in the “real world”. The scale is global, the density variable and the time infinite. The project is initiated by human curiosity for information, the lives of other people and different cultures. It would be interesting to see what happens when different cultures are experienced in one place. What would we find out? Are we all the same or are we different? Do we event want to know? Do we want to interact? Do we have to interact? Do we want to or have to participate? There is only one condition for the whole project: participation is active. The subject cannot be a mere observer. In order to participate you have to become the object of observation. You cannot receive unless you give.