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Materializing Social Data in the City

02 Jul 2012

Day by day, life in cities is changing and being affected by the information coming from virtual platforms. The information we create in virtual worlds merges into real life and becomes a part of the daily life activities in cities. Cloud intelligence, online social networks and new technologies for urban displays such as media façades are showing us a new way to discover and to present the information created by the inhabitants of the city. The source of our information (which is, most of the time, about our real life experiences), the technology to share information (cloud computing and social networks) and the potential media to display the information converge into a new field that can be referred as Urban Information Interfaces. This ongoing convergence is about to create new fields of art and commerce as well as affecting the society of the city in an inevitable way.
In “Digital Ground”, Malcolm McCullough discusses the “paradigm shift from building virtual worlds to-ward embedding information technology into the ambient social complexities of the physical world.” In this new landscape of embedded technology, there is an opportunity for creating an interface between architecture and virtual information, turning architecture into an interactive surface for reading and exploring real-time social data from the internet. At this point, is it possible to talk about a feedback loop that may occur between virtual platforms and psychical urban life in the future? What would happen if we let virtual information shape our environment and architecture? How would this feedback affect the speed and qualities of communication and the dynamics of our society?

In this exhibition, Social Bits aims to explore possible avenues of output and display the invisible information in the cityscape via media art.

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