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The Art of Mobile Technology

The Boston Globe (Boston, MA) , April 18, 2005


In both New York City and Toronto, new public space art projects are using cellphones and other mobile devices to explore new ways of communicating while giving everyday people the chance to share some insights about real world locations.

One art project, Yellow Arrow, based in New York City, has developed a system where people can place yellow stickers in the shape of arrows around the city, stating that they have something to say about that particular location. Each arrow, which is ideally placed in a location that holds significance to the person, has its own unique code that can be sent to a mobile phone via text messaging, allowing others to read the message that was left.

The Canadian project [murmur] which began in 2002, focuses on experiencing stories through their locations in a similar manner to Yellow Arrow. When people spot the [murmur] sign, which is shaped like an ear, they can call a telephone number on their cellphone, type in the sign's specific code, and listen to a story about the location while standing in it.

The stories, which are told by everyday people, said Shawn Micallef, the creative director of [murmur], are first submitted to the project's website . Micallef then personally meets with the person to record the story in the location that it took place.

"I want to change spaces into places," he said.

Subjects Covered: personal storytelling

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