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Goal and Vision
The internet is a magical place that many live in and most only know of. Computers are special machines that the rich and aspiring own, and most just see in office or store windows. Today, even in a city like Bangalore, the digital world is still little understood and less explored by its average citizen.
What happens when the passers-by on a crowded pavement in Bangalore city encounter a wall that reveals the innerworld of computer circuitry and puts them in touch with the outside world? What happens when anyone can walk up to this wall, talk to it, see other people in streets, homes and offices anywhere between Berlin and Beirut or simple gaze at endlessly streaming internet content? What will they ask, what will they share, what will they reveal?
While asking these questions, the WonderWall attempts to familiarize people with some of the softer aspects of digital technology. On the purely physical level, we take off the plastic shield that distances people from the beautiful world of green and gold digital circuit cities that make up computer internals. We display the innards of these computing organs: motherboard, hard-drives, video cards, power supply, lcd screens, web cams, speakers, input devices - still functioning, in a wall on a very public street.
On the screens and speakers we play a variety of videos, music, and interactive software that engages passers by with fantastic elements of cyberspace they are unlikely to encounter in more formal interactions with computers. These could include: videos from villages around India, music from around the world, video conferences with people at community spaces in Berlin or Australia, interactive art pieces in which people see videos or pictures of themselves distorted in funny ways. Endless possibilities are there, which we will experiment with over the year.
Examples of Potential WonderWall Experiments:
1. Build another wall that talks to this one. It could be situated in a different city or in a different locations in Bangalore (though this might need additional funding)
2. Run month-long experiments where passers-by are asked to describe their commute/ name their favorite artist/ share their ringtones/ record audio clips/ or just anything that we want to gather lots of data on
3. Stream specific channels and programs that are curated by artists
4. Have online exhibitions where artists from different cities across the world are invited share their works with people on Bangalore's street.
5. Organise special programs where people from anywhere can call in and video conference with people at WonderWall
NOTE: The WonderWall project will ensure that only specific interactions are possible as we are yet unclear that we want this to become a large free 'email' booth. However, this is a decision that we would take based on the initial usage of the Wall for a 1 month test-period.
Space and Location
The installation will be on the public side of a private wall which is situated in Rheinus Street, across from the Hockey Stadium in Langford Town-Shanthinagar Bangalore. As the wall is on private property no permissions are necessary. Since it is facing a public sidewalk on a high traffic street it will be visible to a large number of pedestrians and traffic. The street is central to the city as well as well situated near several schools, markets and is a connector between upper and lower income localities. The site whose boundary wall we plan to use is currently used by Jaaga (www.jaaga.in) a public art-architecture experiment and is owned by privately by Mr. Narasimhan. We feel given its proximity to a large section of the creative communities in Bangalore, the WonderWall would be able to entice the them to share their work or thoughts with the public at large in new and unpredictable ways.
We will publish a blog on which we post articles, photos and videos from our experience constructing and installing the piece, as well as interacting with the community who uses it. We will also post some video and pictures from the wall itself of the community engaging directly with it.
We will also have a public space online where people interacting with WonderWall will be able to write into or speak into.
a. Hardware Installation: 1 month
b. Software creation and Installation: 1 month [this period could overlap with the previous mentioned time line]
c. The project will be on air and ready for public consumption within 1.5 months from start time
d. The project would run for a minimum of 1 year, however, based on public interest it could run for longer than this period
e. All documentation would run for the duration of the project
Looking for Fellows and Expert Collaborators who have the necessary skills or expertise in programming, building/engineering and artists, designers and researchers who would be interested to collaborate of intern with us at Jaaga to make this happen.