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

We received an extremely high number of submissions for the Interactive City. Each submission was read by at least five 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.

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!


Blue States

Mark Pesce

The city occupies two parallel spaces: the objective space of place and location; and the subjective space of relation and interconnection. We have maps to represent objective space; Blue States will offer up a chance to gather, visualize and permute maps of relational space.

Blue State generates a data shadow drawn from all network visible entities as they move through relational space; entities are recorded and visualized according to their relation to one another. Instead of an absolute plot of positions in locative Cartesian space, the map of relational space portrays the flow of individuals and the emergent social networks which are the true inner life of the city.



Germaine Koh

In an accessible public place is installed a blank telephone, resembling those used to make direct calls to customer-service centres. A sign on or beside the phone indicates (in the major local languages) that “When you pick up the phone, you will be randomly connected with one of a range of community members who have agreed to receive calls. Your conversation will not be monitored.” No further instructions are given. Some two dozen project participants willing to receive phone calls from strangers in open-ended experiment in public behavior will previously have been solicited through local media.

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.


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.


 Fête Mobile

Marc Tuters
Luke Moloney
Karlis Kalnins
Adrian Sinclair


he Movable Feast/ Fête Mobile features a robotic blimp carrying a short-range radio, a wireless file server, a video camera and an LED message board, as the centerpiece of a public art intervention. As the blimp flies through the streets it creates a wireless bubble of social activity accessible to those within its immediate proximity through wireless devices. Below the blimp, the project’s artists interact with the audience orchestrating the audience’s experience, whilst online, participants have a bird’s-eye-view of the event thanks to a wireless video link to the blimp’s on-board camera.

Filmmaking robot

Douglas Bagnall

The eyes consist of a small computer with a camera and wifi card mounted upon the front of a public bus collecting video. When an open wireless connection is traversed, wthe video is uploaded to the body. For about 12 hours a day the robot dwells on its memories, recalling well liked or pertinent imagery, and attempting to connect it through a sequence of frames, which is shown as video. Each frame is analyzed to give 20 numbers summarizing its qualities, and these numbers are treated as coordinates in a 20 dimensional space. Proximity in this space is used to determine similarity for the purposes of creating a video sequence. These numbers are also feed to neural networks which have been trained to like selections of fine art and images identified as well-composed by human subjects, and the response of these networks determines whether the robot likes an image. At the end of the day, it looks over its production, and picks out a few minutes to release as a finished film.

Free Network Visible Network

Clara Boj
Diego Diaz

Free Network Visible Network is an urban intervention project that uses the possibilities of the new technologies to create new landscapes in the public space by means of the visualization of the data that flow between digital networks. It changes our perception of the world with the “invisible meanings” that are around us. Free Network Visible Network is a project that combines different tools and processes to visualize, floating in the space, the interchanged information between users of a network. The people are able to experience how colorful virtual objects, representing the digital data, are flying around. These virtual objects will change their shape, size and color in relation with the different characteristics of the information that is circulating in the network.


Olga Kisseleva

Land-stream studies the density and the quality of electromagnetic fields. Using local graffers the team realizes an in-city fresco with the real time field’s capturing of EMF signals. Land-stream comprises a term "stream" which means "flow", or, in the data-processing terminology - the continuous flow of information in real time mode. "land" comes from "landscape", because this project introduces a new category of landscape’s representation.


Meier Jürgen

LICHtschwarm is a interactive approach to urban lighting and media. LICHTschwarm is a interactive group of communicating luminaires, which recognizes its environment through sensor fields. LICHTschwarm starts a time- and user orientated light interaction. Light changes with the speed and amount of users. It can reflect on noise or sounds, time, weather and surrounding light sources, mobile phones or animals, cars or birds. Luminaries forming swarms and change their groupings constantly according changing conditions. Looking from near, single lights take part in a big light performance. From further away light is architecture and architecture is light in a constantly changing flow.


Jeff Mann

LiveForm:Telekinetics creates experiences in transgeographic temporary performance zones, centred around wireless Internet access points that are now ubiquitous in the urban landscape. No longer tied to a terminal screen and keyboard, nomadic groups pack mobile feasts of sensors, antennas, robotics, food, and music, and head out on the town. Networked telepresence picnic parties unfold in vacant lots, roadsides, cafés, alleyways, bars, and hotel lobbies - wherever bandwidth is plentiful and security guards scarce. The events are not meant as entertainment for an audience, but as experimental and collaborative acts of creativity, research and development of new social forms, and interventions in public space.


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



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…


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.

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?

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...

Parking Spaces

Mobile Performance Group

For this project the Mobile Performance Group (MPG) investigates one of the most ubiquitous spaces in the United States, the parking lot. In “Parking Spaces” MPG will move through the city looking for empty parking lots to use as raw material to create improvised sound and image from and as a performance space. The formula for this performance is as follows; roam the city searching for parking lots, once an appropriate space is found record and collect both audio and visual material from that space. Using only recorded audio and visual material from that space the performers will create an improvised audio/visual performance using custom real-time audio video software. The improvised performance will be presented, at night, in the same space the material was found. Interested audience members can check our site for location updates, call for location updates or come across our performances by chance as they and we roam the city.

Ping Genius Loci

Adam Somlai-Fischer
Bengt Sjölén

Ping Genius Loci is built up from 400 radio networked, solar powered, self sustainable intelligent analogue pixels, that are placed on a 20 by 20 meters grid. These pixels function in the bright sunshine, and are interfacing the people walking in the grid. This installation explores scales that can be reasonably designed and built with embedded sensors, communication, to create programmable sites for natural interaction in public spaces.


Pioneers Hitchhiking in the Valley of Heart's Delight

Julie Newdoll

Pioneers Hitchhiking in the Valley of Heart's Delight consists of five life-size cutouts painted with the portraits of people that were responsible for advancing the technology that drives Silicon Valley. These cutouts will be implanted with small GPS devices and then abandoned in public places in and around San Jose with a request for passers-by to deliver them to a prescribed location. Real-time information about them and their whereabouts will monitored and reported.

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.

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."


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!



Marc Fournel

SKIN-PÔ proposes an interactive environment integrated in urban space, such as a public square. People will be able to interact with the visual and audio elements of SKIN-PÔ via physical wireless interfaces (balls and other objects of different forms) which will control video projections on buildings and the creation of distributed sound in the square. SKIN-PÔ explores and confronts the different modes of appropriation of our architectural space. SKIN-PÔ will make us take a distance, it will make us take a changed perspective toward our condition as urban actor. SKIN-PÔ aims at the democratization of the gesture of creation and invites citizens to appropriate their urban space.

Social Memory Columns

Derek Lomas

Five 8’ high by 2’x2’ square white wooden Memory Columns are placed throughout the metropolitan area, each seeded with the same text and imagery. These Memory Columns induce passerby dialogue conducted via Velcro-ed permanent markers. A physical and virtual social interaction develops around each column, as thoughts and sentiments flowing by are deflected from their usual path and are projected onto the column. After a 3 day exposure period, each column will have effectively captured a snapshot of the local collective memory. By deploying multiple columns within different parts of San Jose, we are able to probe the various cultural consciousnesses that flow throughout the city.


Jessica Thompson

SOUNDBIKE is a portable sound piece that uses motion-based generators mounted to an ordinary bicycle to broadcast the sound of laughter as the bike is pedaled through the urban environment. The laughter is generated by playing sequences of short source clips that start when the bike reaches a cruising speed and then respond to the bike's velocity. The piece is exhibited by loaning the bike on an honor system. By broadcasting sound directly as a result of his or her motion and gesture, the rider simultaneously occupies the role of controller, performer and audience, becoming part of the acoustic ecology of the city through technological intervention.


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.


Heiko Hansen

The project SURF is an extension of the work TRAIN, a series of working prototypes installed on existing, abandoned or partly unused railway tracks. The installation consists of multiple vehicles that resemble the design of a surf board. The vehicles can be freely placed by the public audience on the tracks of the San Jose Light Rail system and operated by simply stepping onto it. The electronic surf board accelerates by leaning forwarded and stops by leaning backwards or jumping off.


Amy Alexander

"SVEN” (Surveillance Video Entertainment Network) is a system that can be set up in public places - especially in situations where a CCTV display might be expected. The system can be configured for either a mobile unit or stationary location, and consists of cameras, monitor, computers, speakers and software. The software consists of a custom computer vision application that tracks pedestrians and detects their characteristics, and a real-time video processing application that receives this information and uses it to generate music video-like visuals from the live camera feed. The resulting video and audio are displayed on a monitor in the public space, interrupting the standard security camera type display each time a potential rock star is detected. The idea is to humorously examine and demystify concerns about surveillance and computer systems not in terms of being watched, but in terms of how the watching is being done - and how else it might be done if other people were at the wheel.

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.


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.

WiFi ArtCache

Julian Bleeker

The ArtCache is a free floating 802.11 WiFi node and is deliberately not connected to the public internet. WiFi.ArtCache consists of a WiFi node containing digital art objects retrieved by attendees via an embedded access point. These art objects are interactive and programmed in Flash or Processing in such a way as their behaviors and interactivity can be articulated based on the physical and virtual activity of other attendees who are interacting with the node's art objects. For instance, each art object can access variables and functions that specify such things as how many people are currently interacting with the ArtCache and thus alter characteristics — color, tempo, shapes, animations — based on a range of variables that, ultimately, indicate the kind and level of social activity in and around the ArtCache.


Karolina Sobecka

At nighttime projections from moving cars are shone on the buildings in the industrial/abandoned part of town. Each car projects a video of a wild animal. The animal’s movements are programmed to correspond to the speed of the car: as the car moves, the animal runs along it, as the car stops, the animal stops also. Aggressive driving is reflected in the aggressive behavior of the animal. The animals are avatars of the drivers, who, enclosed in their bubble of safety, are separated from the stark and dangerous world of urban reality, as being in a different universe. The projections both expose the starkness of the urban landscape, and transform it into a world of dark fantasy.

Yellow Chair San Jose

Anab Jain
Tom Jenkins

Two local households from different neighborhoods in San Jose will to extend their wireless internet connection beyond the confines of their home to the public space outside. The two chairs will sit in the path of directional antennas, creating a spatial, visible area of connection. These two nodes will also be able to communicate with each other through a central server and exchange files, conversations and services. Thus the person sitting on the chair will access the world wide web as well as the yellow chair network. This re-appropriation of existing technology will create new channels of day-to-day contact for people in the city, and might lead to a more significant socio-political debate depending on the location of the family in the city.

includes jury members from both early and final rounds of reviews

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
Bill McDaniel
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
Ron Golden
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.