Portage

How can users of a public urban space engage in a multi-sensory, multimedia outdoor experience? PORTAGE is transforming John Street, in the heart of Toronto's entertainment shopping district, into a Broad Locative Environment (BLE) - a space that will allow visitors to engage with outdoor multimedia installations and other mobile users.

Users will be able to navigate from Grange Park down John Street through a GPS and Wi-Fi-enabled virtual theatre. Along the way they will interact with installed musical sculptures, create and share interactive audio components, trigger swarms of electronic cicadas residing in city trees and view themselves on surveillance camera which they themselves control.

Through this installation Portage will investigate how cultural content delivery is made possible by emerging multi-capability mobile devices. These devices include cell phones, handhelds and PDAs with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and GSM access. Portage will also examine the processes by which these technologies can be used in conjunction with each other and with environmental sensors and displays to move the mobile experience beyond the phone and to create an interactive and immersive environment.

http://www.mobilelab.ca/portage

Publications

Gardner, P., Shea, G., and Davila, P., Locative Urban Mobile Art Interventions; Methods for facilitating politicized social interactions. Aether: The Journal of Media Geography. 5B, 2010
Geoffrey Shea, Portage: Locative Streetscape Art, International Multimedia Conference, Proceeding of the 16th ACM International Conference on Multimedia, Vancouver, 1131-1132, 2008
Geoffrey Shea and Paula Gardner. PORTAGE: A Locative Streetscape Theatre, at Bauhaus-Universität, Weimar, Germany, 2007
Paula Gardner, Geoffrey Shea, Patricio., Davila, P. PORTAGE: Locative Media at the Intersection of Art, Design and Social Practice, University of Siegen, Germany, 2007
Geoffrey Shea, Sound as a Basis for Locative Media Experience, Interacting with Immersive Worlds Conference at Brock University, June 2007
Shea, G. “Inside Out Experience Design”, in Ladly, M., and Beesley, P. (eds). Mobile Nation, Canadian Design Research Network, March 2007
Shea, G. Art, Design, Education and Research In Pursuit of Interactive Experiences. Proceedings of the 7th ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems, Cape Town, South Africa, 342-349, 2008
Shea, G., Donaldson, T., Gardner, P., Using the Mobile Experience Engine (MEE) to Create Locative Audio Experiences, 5th International Conference on Pervasive Computing at the University of Toronto, May 2007. Published in: Advances in Pervasive Computing, Austrian Computer Society, 2007
Shea, Geoffrey. Artifact or Experience: Presenting Network Mediated Objects, Interacting with Immersive Worlds Conference, Brock University, June 2009
Shea, Geoffrey. i = i + 1: Participatory Art and Design, Inter(pr)axis Conference, Toronto, 2008
Shea, Geoffrey and Patricio Davila. Catastrophe, conference presentation at DigiFest, Design Exchange, 2008

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Sponsor(s): 
Portage Banner
Saturday, February 23, 2013 - 4:30pm
Lab Member: 
Paula Gardner
Geoffrey Shea
Martha Ladly
David McIntosh
Patricio Davila
Ken Leung
Peter Todd
Leighanne Pahapill
Jennie Ziemiannin
Bryn A. Ludlow
Yvon Julie
Serena Lee
Jennifer Johnson
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Fetal Alcohol Visualizing

Working with large sets of intricate and comprehensive data, this research takes a highly interdisciplinary approach to dissecting the discourses that surround fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). Novel correlations across data collected from stakeholder groups, derived using advanced visual analytics tools, help to better inform new strategies for communicating FASD. The interdisciplinary approach to this project grants the researchers with the ability to employ creative methods of study; the design of striking infographics and innovative simulation technologies will serve the production of provocative public performance in an effort to refresh the dialogue on FASD.

 

Red and green DNA testing visualization
Friday, April 12, 2013 - 3:30pm
Lab Member: 
Paula Gardner
Patricio Davila
Lawrence Kwok
Tim Bettridge
Maggie Chan
Marjan Verstappen
Harjot Bal
Shuting Chang

Portage: Cell Phone Xylophone

Cell Phone Xylophone was originally developed as part of PORTAGE, an artist and designer driven research project, led by Geoffrey Shea and Paula Gardner in the Mobile Experience Lab. It allows participants using a simple cell phone to control and play a networked, mechanical instrument.

Viewers simply dial a toll free number and are then prompted to enter key presses. The patterns they enter correspond to arpeggios and loop several times. Their phone connects to a VOIP service which delivers their key presses to an Asterisk server which relays them to the control machine wired up to the xylophones custom controller board. This version was presented at MobileFest in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Exhibitions

MobileFest, Museum of Sound and Image, Sao Paolo, Brazil, 2008

Interactive Arts, ACM Multimedia, Science World, Vancouver, British Columbia, 2008
 

Publications

Geoffrey Shea, Portage: Locative Streetscape Art, International Multimedia Conference, Proceeding of the 16th ACM International Conference on Multimedia, Vancouver, 1131-1132, 2008

Geoffrey Shea and Paula Gardner. PORTAGE: A Locative Streetscape Theatre, at Bauhaus-Universität, Weimar, Germany, 2007

Paula Gardner, Geoffrey Shea, Patricio., Davila, P. PORTAGE: Locative Media at the Intersection of Art, Design and Social Practice, University of Siegen, Germany, 2007

Geoffrey Shea, Sound as a Basis for Locative Media Experience, Interacting with Immersive Worlds Conference at Brock University, June 2007

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Sponsor(s): 
Xylo Banner
Sunday, February 24, 2013 - 4:30pm
Lab Member: 
Paula Gardner
Geoffrey Shea
Ken Leung
Peter Todd
Leighanne Pahapill
Patricio Davila
Jennie Ziemiannin
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Body Editing

Body Editing is a gesture and biosensor platform that returns feedback (in the form of music, sound and visuals) to users. Users can move, gesture or provide biometric data, for example, to paint a picture, form a fractal, create a sound scape or musical composition. It explores the relationship between the experience of movement, of biodata, and the generative production of data aesthetics. In this installation, users are tracked in the installation space, and as well, passersby are captured by a motion capture camera to contribute to the feedback; together they create a layered data visualization experience. 

 

Person waving their arms interacting with the work
Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 4:00pm
Lab Member: 
Paula Gardner
Hart Sturgeon
Katherine Meyer
Andrew Hicks

Mindfulness Technologies: The ACT App

Exploring the potential of mobile technology to aid acceptance and mindfulness therapy outside of the clinic, this interdisciplinary investigation empowers youth suffering from anxiety and depression by collaborating with them design sound and imaged-based applications for mobile devices.  These applications enable youth to externalize their personal sources of anxiety in a manner that reflects strategies they have found successful during acceptance and mindfulness therapy.  Participants will be able to use the applications to practice acceptance and mindfulness therapy during a moment of anxiety outside of therapy; a fresh a creative use of mobile technology to aid a complex and difficult healing process. 

An image from the Mindfulness Technologies: The ACT App
Friday, April 12, 2013 - 3:00pm
Lab Member: 
Paula Gardner
Marjan Verstappen
Lindy Wilkins
Dora Poon
Mike Lovas
Symon Olivier
Fareena Chanda
Heather Nicol

Hyper-Migration

Over the past decades, we have witnessed massive global migration resulting from regional conflict, environmental disaster, gender-based violence, poverty and economic collapse, immigration law, and more.  Stories of displacement are often told by experts via timelines or spatial maps of movement from place to place.  Time and space based maps, however tend to erase the human dimensions of migration, and make invisible reasons, impacts and the personal.  The Hyper-Migration project offers a terrain of personal texture, in addition to time and space scales, to convey the multi-dimensional realities of migration. For journeys that encompass forced migration, violence and conflict, the path is never so simple as going from A to B.

These journeys are spurred by a politics of boundaries and location that escape linear definition. Displacement has many causes, trauma exists at a scale that exceeds the political, and memory is a nonlinear tangle of associations. The Hyper-Migration project invites users to input their personal stories of migration, according to date and place, but also as personal topographies of displacement, trauma, and memory to testify to these multidimensional realities, building these accounts for themselves and for visitors.

Migrants are positioned in Hyper-Migration to tell their own stories.  They can choose to map their migration paths in time over space, but also to layer in context-- adding video, audio stories, snapshots, and written narratives to provide detail, context, colour, and rich understandings of both “cause” and experience. These maps counter the faceless, homogenizing maps of human displacement that offer simple geographic or time-based explanation.   As they are built, the maps reveal many things: global patterns of movement; common regional conditions that bring displacement; and varied personal experiences of trauma and recovery, roadblocks and resources, moving and resettling.  Users visiting the site are offered a rich landscape of migration through which to navigate, read, and visually comprehend personal stories of displacement, as well as common global paths of migration in context, space and time.

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Map with arrow from Africa to North America
Monday, April 27, 2015 - 3:00pm
Lab Member: 
Paula Gardner
Dora Poon
Katherine Meyer
Scott Nason