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Funny how "spime" as a term has failed to catch on as the concept itself continues to proliferate. I think it was Sterlings' 2004 SXSW talk that was ALL about Spimes. I was recently listening to one of his last SXSW talks (2006 maybe?), and while he had moved on, his first remarks were a hilarious commentary on the fact that the SXSW badges themselves had RFID chips in them. (Which I won't try to summarize here. At any rate, all Sterlings' SXSW talks as far back as you can get them on mp3: highly recommended.)

Anyhoo--is this somewhat near where you are going with this?...--a piece graffiti with one of those square UPC's in the corner you can take a mobile phone picture of and process that way. You take a picture of the graffiti, then take a picture of the UPC, which gets linked to the image of the graffiti and processed, so that that image of the graffiti gets ID'd and tagged. By virtue of you capturing that piece of temporary art, you in a sense "own" a copy of it. The more temporary the graffiti, the more valuable your "authentic" copy of it becomes (thus somewhat reverting the existing natural system for the value of graffiti {the better stuff stays up longer}).

There's more there but I has to run.


Your right, ‘spime’ is a weird one, it doesn’t quite work but we all know the territory, and for want of a better word, we all use it.

I’ve not thought about how making graffiti traceable in space and time might make us value it in different ways. It’s weird, the Momo stuff re-ignited by interest in something that does seem fatigued. I like the fact its abstract, it feels different and it got me thinking. What happens when street art catches up with urban computing? There are so many places to go (one of them, your senario).

The ‘smooth space’ thing was about reading the street like Braille, choosing to operate like an ant, and piece fragments together as you go. A non-linear narrative that changes every time you walk a different route, your itinerary orders the story. The ‘spime’ angle allows you to ‘toggle’ views, go from first-person perspective to gods-eye. It also gives graffiti data-shadows, a whole set of back-stories that were never evident before. I love the subject-object confusion that locative media unleashes!


Daniel, just had some more thoughts on the subject— again, inspired by Momo. Already, these piece are very crudely geo-code through Google Earth. There are already maps of all the sites. Near Field Coms, QR and media-rich gps threads in different ways, would make the process more accurate and cloak each piece with that all-important information-aura. I’m fascinated by the itinerant and collaborative story-telling potential of graffiti. How the narrative of the ‘writer’, the history of the space and the stories of those who read the pieces can all be aggregated.

It’s back to the notion of ‘place’ and how this effected by digital technology— the ‘denser now’. In ‘Real’ space (for want of better word) stories operate like hypertext or glue, anchoring a person within a landscape. Pervasive technology can reveal these links and allow new ways of interacting with each other and the space. ‘People make places and places make people’— those wonderful feedback loops of the city, writing-space through transit.Electro-static graffiti reveals this process.

Daniel Miller

All good stuff. Not much to add to it, just wanted to acknowledge it. Adding space and time to the collective narratives of art is always very cool. Like adding two more chords to a music that only had two before. I wonder what the other chords are that are waiting to be discovered.

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