TBD Catalog

August 21, 2014


Imagine a print distribution network with cloud-connected street vending/printer boxes. Overnight, algorithms API-shazam content for those boxes to print. Printed stuff piles up every night in those boxes, including cheap copies of a location-specific, regionally tuned catalog selling stuff for your normal, ordinary everyday life. This is TBD Catalog. It’s an awkward attempt by an awkward business to attract more eyeballs and sell more stuff in a near future where the screen world has become so saturated and overrun that other mediums, like paper and street vending boxes, have become a natural spillover. It’s a printed catalog you ritually pick up every morning to browse on your mostly boring, everyday ordinary driverless commute. You may even look forward to it, the way you look forward today to the free daily commuter news, or the Skymall catalog, or an entertaining bit of junk mail.


This paper suggests that as pervasive computing technologies have gained purchase in urban space they have also become more implicitly blended with everyday life and more contingent on information that is inductively compiled from Internet-based data services. It is argued that existing theorizations of the technologically mediated production of urban must engage with the increasingly implicit nature of informational transactions as well as the emergent semantic structuring of information. Drawing on examples of ongoing pervasive computing projects, implicit computing procedures are explored in relation to the mediation of everyday urban life. Literatures from computing science and geographical theory are brought into conversation in order to examine the consequences of a convergence between implicit pervasive technologies and the spaces of everyday life.  ….



Net art is built and distributed through a complex, intricate, and interrelated system of networks that presents an assemblage of art, technology, politics, and social relations – all merged and related to form a variable entity. In the last decade a discussion on how to conserve net art emerged in museums of contemporary art. Nevertheless, many net art projects from the 1990s have long disappeared – their server payments lapsed, software was not kept up-to-date, or artists felt the concept was no longer appropriate in a changed context. The project mouchette.org is an exception in that the artist has kept the website up and running since it began. In this article I will show that net artworks are inherently assemblages that evolve over time. These works are distributed and ensured by networks of people; their continuation happens through multiple authors and caretakers. All together these actors signify and give meaning to the works. Therefore, instead of thinking of a ‘freeze frame’ the presentation and conservation of net art should focus on variability. This opens up different paths and options, making for conservation strategies akin to assembling traces.

It’s hard to draw a map without making someone angry. There are 32 countries that Google Maps won’t draw borders around. While the so-called geo-highlighting feature—which Google uses to show a searched area’s borders—is unaffected by the locale of the person looking at them, the borders drawn on Google’s base map will look different depending on where…

On Taxis and Rainbows 

June 22, 2014



Lessons from NYC’s improperly anonymized taxi logs



From the GPS that give us directions to the drones that drop bombs, the digital shapes our culture at every level. So why is digital art still a sideshow? As a groundbreaking new exhibition opens, James Bridle looks at pioneering works from the first arcade games to films made fully in CGI – and argues that it’s high time we took it seriously


20 Day Stranger is an iPhone app that reveals intimate, shared connections between two anonymous individuals. It’s a mobile experience that exchanges one person’s experience of the world with another’s, while preserving anonymity on both sides.

For 20 days, you and a stranger will experience the world in your own way, together. You’ll never know who it is or exactly where they are, but we hope it will reveal enough about someone to build your imagination of their life… and more broadly, the imagination of strangers everywhere.



“What is it about my data that suggests I might be a good fit for an anorexia study?” That’s the question my friend Jean asked me after she saw this targeted advertisement on he…