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February 11, 2010

We’ve talked before about PROXY_florence, a dynamic map and a collective story of Florence created through the interplay of virtual space and physical space and the interaction of 500 collaborators from 27 countries. The project exploits social media networks to develop this worldwide collaboration and collection of data that is then precisely mapped using geotagging technology. This, combined with variable data printing process and digital fabrication technology, leads to the production of a 4-dimensional precise, unique and collective document of Florence as well as to the development of qualitative human interactions across continents in our dynamic and complex public realm of today.

Now, our friend Martha Skinner has sent us some updates about the project, let’s see:

The focus of PROXY 1.0 was [43°46’22”N – 11°15’27”E] from July 9 – 17 as part of the Beyond Media 2009 Festival, Visions. Yet is now exists as a dispersed document, moving and creating new interactions.

The project used facebook, the project’s website and Panoramio to connect and collaborate. It used Google Panoramio’s interface to collect and organize the individual images of Florence captured, envisioned, or remembered by each of the 500 contributors from across the globe. PROXY_florence used variable data printing sponsored by Modern Postcard to convert the individual images collected into 500 unique, tangible postcards that were organized spatially by their coordinate data. These images were mapped according to the image’s original location. These numerous images were returned to their origin in Florence, Italy and specifically, as a scaled down version of this city, at Stazione Leopolda, the space of the exhibition.

The visitors of this event were invited to dismantle the exhibit by removing the postcard of their choice to keep or mail to a friend. At that moment, the name of each collaborator lit up, remaining in the space left behind by each image taken, collectively creating a constellation of points, lines and data defining the structure and quantitative aspects of the map. PROXY_florence is mapping the route of each image and connecting the recipient of the postcard with the origin of the photo and its taker. The cycle is continued with the route of each visitor and the route of the postcard. PROXY_florence produces a 4-d collective map yet it also exploits the potential of a new kind of urbanism of public, intimate and collective interaction between people across time and space.

By mailing the postcard to a friend (a more conventional form of communication), the interaction expands again beyond the physical space of the exhibit and the cycle of exchange between individuals is continued. In addition, by coding each postcard individually, PROXY_florence is mapping the route of the image and connecting the recipient of the postcard with the origin of the photo and its taker.


Principal Investigator: Martha Skinner

Team: Martha Skinner, Douglas Hecker, Lauren Mitchell, Charlie Bryant (sound), Joshua Kehl, Brian Miele, Brian Leounis, Sarah Moore, Suzanne Bodson, Ayaka Tanabe, Liz Corr, Clay Montgomery, Nathan Asire, Jake DeMint, Adam James, Carla Landa, and Jason Butz.

Translators: Katalin Beck, Gerard Cuartero-Betriu, Anat Katsir, Mostafa Zaafari, Vassilis Kyriakopoulos, Rachel Sellers, Ayaka Tanabe, Erhmei Yuan, Matilde Cassani, Adie Hailat, Patricia Muñiz Núñez, Catalina Gomez, Mea Zatric, Speranta-Octavia Maior, Gerald Lehmacher, Youssef Boubekeur, and Gijs Beesems.

Assistance: Chris Wilkins, Hali Knight, Virginia Black, Sofia Avramopoulou, Benedetta Cavallini, Erica Bucciarelli, Marco Caroti, Kristian Fosholt, Laura Tedeschi, Mauricio Skinner, David De Sevi Bruzual, Eric Brockmeyer, Nathaniel Zuelzke, Olivier Ilegems, Guillaume La Belle, and Kyle Perry.

Photographers: Douglas Hecker, Martha Skinner, Benedetta Mori, iMage

For more info, please visit the PROXY_Florence web-site.

Thanks Martha for sharing the project with us!!

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