We are proud to announce the Interactive City short list of selected proposals. We are extremely excited about these pieces and expect them to form an important basis on which to further expand the Interactive City theme at ISEA 2006.

We remind you that the actual official and final call for proposals is still forthcoming and details will be posted on this website by 1 September 2005.  We expect another excited round of proposals during that phase.

We received an extremely high number of early round submissions for the Interactive City. Each submission was read by at least four anonymous reviewers and received at least two formal reviews, some with even more.  We are very thankful for the efforts and feedback from our international jury in helping make selections for this early round and acknowledge them at the end of this web page.

P2P: Power to the People

Matt Gorbet
Susan Gorbet
Rob Gorbet

P2P is a 30-foot interactive marquee hanging on the façade of a building in downtown San José. 125 light bulbs, with 125 corresponding switches just across the street. By engaging in the everyday unconscious activity of flipping a light switch, passers-by can express themselves, forming
any patterns they choose in the hanging web of lights. Solo interaction blends with group dynamics as messages from vanity to profanity, from emotion to allegiance, are constantly created and changed. Ultimately, P2P encourages dialogue about the future of public expression in a technology-filled world. What will you say?


Drew Hemment
Mika Raento
John Evans
Theo Humphries


A person walking through the city centre hears a beep on their phone and glances at the screen. Instead of an SMS alert they read a message:

“We are currently experiencing difficulties monitoring your position: please wave your network device in the air.”

Loca deploys a cluster of interconnected Bluetooth nodes within inner city urban environments; each node is built using readily available, cheap parts and is encased in concrete. Loca can track any Bluetooth device that the owner has set to visible. Our system makes inferences based on analysis of the collected data to guide communication with these Bluetooth users, for example via unsolicited messages or performers.

Pervasive surveillance has the potential to be both sinister and positive at the same time. Loca attempts to equip people to deal with this ambiguity and to draw their own conclusions.

More information can be found at http://loca.uiah.fi

PlaceSite Network: San Jose

Damon McCormick
Sean Savage

Project PlaceSite introduces a new way of using wireless networks -- to create digital community services by, for and about people who are together in the same physical place.

PlaceSite is an open platform for a new breed of Web service tied intimately to physical places. It lets people share information locally, apart from the global Web.

PlaceSite is built upon what already exists -- users don't need to install new software or purchase new hardware. It also enables location-based services without relying on participation by cellular carriers or Internet service providers.

99 Red Balloons

Jenny Marketou
Katie Salen

99 Red Balloons is a live action street game that uses collective surveillance to explore public anthropology and hidden geographies. It is a project that proposes an alternate story, an oppositional one, performed through play in public space. We propose a situation of “utopia” where, through the action and interaction of a community of happy players (agents and super agents), a mass of 99 red helium balloons are sent up, up into the sky above Cesar Chavez Plaza and surrounding sites to take over surveillance of the city. Each balloon is 5 feet in diameter when inflated, outfitted with a small, hidden wireless camera, and connected to a 60 feet tether, held and manipulated by players during the game to control the height and position of the balloon. The city becomes interactive, lively, visible, imagined, red, and passionate!


Colin Ives

Nocturne is an interactive media installation focusing on animals such as opossums, raccoons and coyotes that have found successful niches within the urban and suburban landscape of San Jose. Footage of these animals is captured using video live traps, feeding stations, and surveillance equipment. In the gallery, each captured video plays on a LCD screen scaled to the creature’s actual size. The video responds to the presence and actions of the human viewers visiting the gallery, becoming a mediated exchange between co-inhabitants of Silicon Valley. Nocturne asks viewers to reconsider the city of San Jose on the terms of the other species with whom they share it.

DIY Urban Challenge

Jonah Brucker-Cohen
Katherine Moriwaki

DIY Urban Challenge is a workshop in which participants "hack" the streets of San Jose, creating objects which interject themselves into the urban fabric, to stimulate new experiences of the city. During a two day workshop participants will traverse San Jose detailing points of intersection and friction, and will use recycled and cast-off materials as well as wireless technologies to develop objects which can be installed within the cityscape. Some of the questions we will ask with this workshop, will center on urban awareness and possible alternative "services" which could result in increased interactions between people in the city.

URL: http://www.scrapyardchallenge.com



In 2004, etoy.CORPORATION secretly started to implement M∞ - MISSION ETERNITY - a wireless technology-driven cult of the dead.

16 etoy.AGENTS from Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Austria, Germany, Luxembourg and the USA work on a digital / physical multi user sarcophagus for the information age bridging the gap between generations as well as the gap between the world of flesh and the info space of memory.

At ISEA2006 the dead, usually banned from the living part of a city, will permeate the festival area and the town to initiate interaction with the audience and the citizens of San Jose - asking for asylum in the daily growing memory of mobile devices and servers worldwide. By installing the M∞APPLICATION on their cellphones the ISEA visitors become M∞ANGELS who host the dead and enable them to exist / communicate forever…

The Drift Relay

Christina Ray
Lee Walton


The Drift Relay is a collaborative psychogeographic workshop in the form of a 24+hour exploration of San Jose. Participants will drift through new and familiar city spaces with a Glowlab guide and a mobile kit of digital and analog recording tools, contributing to a collective journey of endurance and discovery. Project headquarters at ISEA will continually broadcast the remote group's location and status; attendees and members of the public may connect with or leave the roaming mob of documentarians at any time. Data and artifacts will be returned to the headquarters for processing and display throughout the duration of the workshop. Taking the phrase "the city that never sleeps" to heart, together we'll locate the joys and difficulties of documenting ephemeral urban experience.

Saint Joe

John Klima

"Saint Joe" is a hyper-narrative that unfolds within the landscape of VTA light-rail system. Participants can board the train at any stop, at which time using their mobile phone, they can dial a provided number to enter their origin, and their destination. As the participant's voyage commences, a dynamic audio history unfolds, referencing a variety of landmarks along the way. The landmarks however, are not your standard tourist fare. Locations, buildings, and vistas both mundane and curious are chosen to carefully weave a semi-fictitious tale of the city. Drawing from actual San Jose history, archived newspapers, police records, and local folklore, an audio and visual construction is elaborated while the viewer travels from station to station.

San Jose Instant Film Festival

Andrea Moed

During ISEA 2006, your digital camera, mobile phone or brilliant idea can be your ticket to instant cinematic greatness. How do you get there? Like any budding moviemaker, you volunteer your skills—in storytelling, visualizing or sound recording—and team up with other folks who do the rest. There's just one catch: you'll have to keep it SHORT. Become an auteur by creating an instant screenplay on the SJIFF website. Visual types with cameraphones can sign up to receive shooting assignments via SMS. Want to be a voice actor or sound recorder? Sign up for sound assignments and record them by leaving us a voicemail. Oh, one more thing: Until your complete movie premiers on the website, you probably won't know who the other members of your film crew are or how they interpreted their assignments. So roam the city and follow your muse, be it Hitchcock, Kurosawa or America's Funniest Home Videos. What emerges will give a whole new meaning to the phrase "surprise ending."


Adriene Jenik

SPECFLIC is an instance of speculative distributed cinema: a cinematic form which envisions & performs our near future through the lenses of our current technological landscape. Focusing primarily on the changing state of public institutions, SPECFLIC: version 2.0 San Jose will be experienced throughout the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Public Library.

SPECFLIC takes advantage of cutting edge transmission and display technologies to expand a critical dialogue (begun in speculative fiction literature) about the social effects of these very technologies. Throughout the piece, the performers reflect the ways in which we adapt our gestures, languages, and styles of communication to the technologies we use.

Over the course of the durational performance, SPECFLIC performers improvise their characters' activities within an overall narrative arc. Community-produced text and photo streams merge with the site-specific performance to stimulate creative expression and critical thought concerning our shared future.

Paper Cup Telephone Network

Matthew Biederman
Adam Hyde

The Paper Cup Telephone Network is open and free communication for the people. The PCTN literally connects you to your friends, family, clients, co-workers, and even strangers. The calls are free, the technology is open, and the interface is intuitive.

While using the latest open softwares, PCTN lowers the technology threshold for participation. To make a call simply pick up the cup and talk. If you don’t know the person on the other end of the line, maybe they know someone you do. Don’t speak the same language as the person on the other end? Ask someone on the street to help you translate. PCTN offers the community a media they can use to communicate.

Make a call anywhere, anytime. You might not get who you were after but then again, maybe you’ll like them anyway...


MC3 (Mobile Commons Command Centre)

Marc Tuters
Luke Moloney
Karlis Kalnins
Adrian Sinclair


The Mobile Commons Command Centre is a mobile new media performance space for urban exploration. From aboard a vintage research vessel, researcher from Team MC3 lead "away teams" in gathering data pertaining to the Geo-Locative, Spectrum and Creative Commons. A variety of self-produced and curated mapping applications are then used to visualize these "networked publics". Visitors will be invited to take part in a variety of interactive experiences aboard the research station, including war-boarding radiometric maps of San Jose, conducting remote surveillance of city via a robotic blimp, and engaging in R&R in the crew quarters. This project employs the rhetoric of the Commons in order to ignite debate around the value of a digital public realm in an era of increasing corporate control and state censorship. MC3 is conceived of as a tactic for connecting an archipelago of local exchange economies which have become disconnected from Internet as a whole.


SimVeillance: San Jose

Katherine Isbister
Rainey Straus
with the support of:
Georgina Corzine
Chelsea Hash


Are you being watched as you travel the streets of San Jose? Probably--our everyday lives are increasingly captured by cameras in public spaces. Simveillance:San Jose puts a spin on this phenomenon, using footage from surveillance cameras mounted in a San Jose public square as the basis for crafting 'sim' people that wander a virtual version of the same square, within the game The Sims 2. You might find yourself on screen, as the artists will update the piece to incorporate people who've passed by during ISEA. Consider the implications and come find your Sim self!


Tad Hirsch


Tripwire is an "urban defense" system that alerts residents to hazardous noise events. A series of remote sensing stations continuously monitor sound levels in the city. Project participants who register their cell phone numbers with the service receive phone calls and/or text messages whenever excessive sound levels are detected. These calls inform participants of the location, intensity, and probable cause (determined by signal analysis) of the noise event. Data from the project is archived in a public database - available via the project website - that enables amateur participation in interpreting noise data and determining noise abatement policy.

Traffic Island Disks

Saul Albert
Michael Weinkove

a.k.a The People Speak

Traffic Island Discs is a radio show about music, people and spaces. We roam the streets looking for people wearing headphones, stop them, and interview them while recording whatever they are listening to. The result is a tour of an area of the city, heard through people's personal tastes and rhythms.

For ISEA 2006, Traffic-Island Disks will be experimenting with other parts of the radio spectrum, webcasting live from specific locations in San Jose that provide wireless internet access, as well as archiving and re-publishing those streams on the local wireless network, building up a repository of street-level soundtracks to the city.


Eric Paulos (chair)

Adrian David Cheok
Amanda McDonald Crowley
Amy Franceschini
Anne Galloway
Anne Nigten
Annika Waern
Anthony Burke
Atau Tanaka
Barbara London
Ben Hooker
Bill Gaver
Chip Lord
Chris Beckmann
Christiane Paul
Clay Shirky
David Cranswick
Ed Osborn
Elizabeth Goodman
Ellen Pau
Fabian Wagmister
Giselle Beiguelman
Golan Levin
Howard Rheingold
Ian Clothier
Jane McGonigal
Jeffrey Huang
Jill Miller

Joel Slayton
Jonah Brucker-Cohen
Julian Bleecker
Jussi Holopainen
Ken Anderson
Marc Tuter
Matt Jones
Matthew Chalmers
Michael Connor
Michele Chang
Michelle Kasprzak
Mike Liebhold
Mirjam Struppek
Paul Dourish
Peter Droege
Richard Lowenberg
Sara Diamond
Scott Klemmer
Soh Yeong Roh
Steve Benford
Susan Hazan
Tad Hirsh
Teri Rueb
Tom Igoe
Tom Jenkins
Trond Nilsen
Warren Sack

Also many thanks to Mamie Rheingold for organizational assistance with the Interactive City committee and artists.