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April 22, 2005
Art, Expression and New Tech
A nice, if lightweight, piece in the Boston Globe from Stacey M. Perlman on the interpenetration of mobile tech and artistic/cultural expression. She highlights a couple of projects that use location markers and cell phone technology to permit people to share information about places. Each project involves leaving a physical marker with a cell number; when an interested person calls in and enters the marker-specific number, she gets information left by another person. Nominally the information is about the place so marked, but it could be as varied as a restaurant review ("Eat here, it's great!") or an intimate story ("This is the spot where my wife and I first kissed"). The degree of control exercised over the content varies from project to project and these two are only samples out of a vast space that has been evolving for at least the last ten years.
Still, it's interesting to me because I believe art can be used to project forward into what uses may emerge for technologies. Proposals like those made by MGM in its attempt to smash Grokster are not only deleterious to consumers, they're anathema to the creative arts. How could any inventor begin to predict the variety of art projects that will employ his new technology?
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