samples - handheld histories as hyper-monuments


1. Handheld Histories as Hyper-Monuments

HHHM thumb 2007 locative media art
by Carmin Karasic, Rolf van Gelder and Rob Coshow

Commissioned by for the 2007 Boston Cyberarts Festival


This artwork relates to the humann kaleidoscope installation conceptually. Handheld Histories as Hyper-Monuments presents 'social histories' mixed with 'official histories'. Participants literally put their spin on history by uploading their own stories, images, and audio clips associated with historic locations.

Handheld Histories as Hyper-Monuments addresses historic bias in Boston’s public monuments. HHHM uses GPS and mobile technologies to present alternate perspectives for selected monuments. The artwork gathers non-official stories to socially construct hyper-monuments. The hyper-monuments exist as digital doubles surrounding historic monuments.

Handheld Histories

When the user encounters a hyper-monument, a smartphone plays an audio alert and then plays a location-specific movie clip. For example, imagine you are near the Old State House in Boston, MA, USA. The smartphone plays an audio clip of part of the "Declaration of Independence" to get your attention. It then displays an easily identifiable image of the Old State House circa 2007, followed by images of the building that take you back in time. Finally you see the location as it was in its wild state: a wooded hillside.

HHHM is a website and mediascape designed for HP iPAQ 6900 series smartphones. You experience hyper-monuments via the iPAQ and other compatible mobile devices, and the HHHM mediascape. You can send text, image and audio content to the website from the monument location via any internet enabled device. Or use any internet browser to view and add histories to the hyper-monuments.

HP mediascaper is locative media software used to create content rich hotspots on GPS aware maps. Once the HHHM mediascape is installed on a handheld device, a GPS fix is required to automatically display the hyper-monument. WiFi internet connectivity is best for viewing and contributing to the hyper-monument via the handheld's browser.

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