Hidden City

This project is based on artistic practices using cartographies to find different ways to see, experience and understand life, either real or imagined.

As part of the research, a prototype of an interface design based on participatory web was developed and analyzed. Understanding “participatory web” as the term used in Web 2.0 referring to web applications that simplify the sharing of information. It is oriented to promote citizen participation and collective creativity. It is a project for static and mobile devices that uses maps for data visualization.

Under the term “hidden city” we understand events happening spontaneously at some place in the city and that we rarely are conscious about. The fast rhythm of the city makes us blind for such events. This is the reason why they go unnoticed, even though are there.

After all: “What is a city? A place with a lot of people. A public space open and protected. A place, namely, a material fact of sense production. A concentration of meeting points. In the city first are the streets and plazas, the collective spaces, then come the buildings and tracks". [1]

Therefore, we state that these events shape the nature of a city; making it more human-like. Where the public space is not just a space, where not only the physical dimensions but also the social, cultural and symbolic dimensions are confluent.

Nowadays, maps are more than a physical and linear representation of territory. They are means to express concerns, reflect or criticize the public space and the urban life in a very subjective way. The portrayal of these maps expands and upgrades its content with other kinds of information and signification, placing us as active individuals in the global space, making us part of something, an identity.

It is interesting to explore the possibilities that these means offer not just to situate us geographically in some global coordinates, but also to place us inside a problematic, a social experience or an identity. Crucially, we can share all these information with the rest of the world. This remind us of the global village that McLuhan used to talk about. Furthermore, it lets us see how far individuals can be away from each other despite of living in the same place. Not only can technology bring us together, it can also separate us Therefore, this is a good practice to generate different employment of technology that can prevent these things from happening but encourages collective creativity to expand social awareness and collective memory.

Notes [1] Borja, Jordi, La ciudad del deseo. Flacso, Ecuador, 2001. Translation by Adriana Román. "¿Qué es una ciudad? Un lugar con mucha gente. Un espacio público, abierto y protegido. Un lugar, es decir, un hecho material productor de sentido. Una concentración de puntos de encuentro. En la ciudad lo primero son las calles y plazas, los espacios colectivos, luego vendrán los edificios y las vías.”

Tags: participatory web, collaborative Interface, data visualization, geolocation, non linear narratives, citizen participation and collective creativity, remix, mobile apps.