Mobile Mobile: Upcycled Phones Make Music

To cut a long story short, after a company-wide upgrade the agency had a lot of old mobiles gathering dust. Lost Boys International took these, built and hoisted a gigantic interactive chandelier/mobile that plays christmas jingles in their reception area.

When no one interacts with the sculpture, it plays “Carol of the Bells”. But you can also play with it. You can control it through this website or you can send a tweet with #lbitree and it will react to it.

Given some upcoming projects that we’re going to be tackling are going to be a bit more technology intensive, and in one instance is actually going to use cell phones (though not in this capacity), I thought I’d post it to add to the research archives. What’s really great is that LBI creative director, James Theophane, offers a quick breakdown of how the installation works, well worth a read to get an idea of some of the magic behind the installation. Also interesting is the Ning project site that was used by the folks making the installation as it happened in real-time.

[via today and tomorrow]

Terrafon Amplifies the Earth


This is the Terrafon, which is basically a huge turntable for the earth. Designed by artists Olle Cornéer and Martin Lübcke, the Terrafon premiered at the Volt Music Festival in Sweden.

The sound of the Terrafon is pretty much what you’d expect from something being dragged across the ground. The video does a good job at capturing the variations in sound, but mostly it’s the sounds of rocks or gravel being rubbed against something. It reminds me of when I was a kid and would drag things behind my bike.

The look of this thing is very cool and made me think of other ways to use something like this, rather than necessarily making it performative, what if there was something large and industrial-looking like this installed along the river, or at the entrance to old industrial buildings, what sounds would it make?

[via Inhabitat]

Drive-Thru Symphony + Border Bookmobile + Laboratory Ecologies

Nature Bridge Pedestrian Overpass, Windsor, Ontario

TODAY in Windsor, there’s an incredible amount of activity happening. The Green Corridor will host a talk / workshop from Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council grant officers, two artist performances, and one huge outdoor event to bring culture to the NAFTA freeway.

Lee Rodney will launch her Border Bookmobile—a Windsor-made 1993 Plymouth Voyager stocked with a collection of artist books, theoretical texts, maps, and ephemera about the urban history of the Windsor-Detroit region and other border cities around the world.

Jennifer Willet will conduct ongoing laboratory research and hold a bio-art workshop with the general public in the presentation of her work InsideOut: Laboratory Ecologies. This piece explores the laboratory removed from its sterilized artificial setting and placed in an outside world full of environmental organisms and ecologies.

The Green Corridor along with composer Brent Lee, visual artist Sigi Torinus, Assumption High School musicians, What Seas What Shores, CJAM 91.5fm, and others will create a one-hour performance of music and visuals that interact with the passing traffic on Huron Church Road near the Pedestrian Overpass. Drivers can tune-in to the performance in near-realtime and contribute to the Drive-Thru Symphony by honking their horns, or revving their engines, or generally making noise. Broken City Lab will also be contributing through a number of projects by us as individuals.

Here’s the schedule:

1:00 – 2:30 – Canada Council and Ontario Arts Council
Integrated Arts Programs Information Session
Room 115 LeBel Building, University of Windsor
3:00 – 6:00 – Border Bookmobile, Lee Rodney
InsideOut: Labratory Ecologies, Jennifer Willet
8:00 – 9:30 – Drive thru Sympony Performance
Nature Bridge Pedestrian Overpass,
Huron Church Rd. at Millen St.

1:00 – 2:30 – Canada Council and Ontario Arts Council / Integrated Arts Programs Information Session / Room 115 LeBel Building, University of Windsor

3:00 – 6:00 – Border Bookmobile, Lee Rodney / InsideOut: Labratory Ecologies, Jennifer Willet

8:00 – 9:30 – Drive thru Sympony Performance / Nature Bridge Pedestrian Overpass / Huron Church Rd. at Millen St.

This is going to be an amazing event, dare I say, history-making. You need to be there.



In a vacant lot of downtown real estate in Berlin, eight BMWs drove around in a perfect circle roped together like a carousel, while “This Land Is Your Land” by Woody Guthrie is playing on their radios – remixed for an amusement ride sensation. Every couple rounds the drivers systematically stop to pick-up and drop-off spectators and riders. Just before dusk, a fire is lit inside the circle.

The project, which was part of the 5th Berlin Biennial and sponsored by BMW put the sponsorship and the spectators themselves on display in a lot destined for more high-end development.

Maybe the reverse of this—that is, rusting and broken down domestic cars being pushed in a circle on a vacant lot in the west-end, might be fun … or even more offensive.

[via vvork]

Improv Everywhere’s MP3 Experiment


As part of their sixth annual MP3 Experiment, Improv Everywhere used Roosevelt Island, situated in between Manhattan and Queens on the East River.

To participate in this year’s experiment, “agents” were given these instructions. Everyone synchronized their watch to the clock on the instruction page, downloaded the mp3, wore a red, blue, yellow, or green shirt, and then traveled to the island. At exactly 4:00 PM, everyone would press play from wherever they happened to be on the island.

Another amazingly fun gesture from Improv Everywhere, with the scale of this “mission” being particularly incredible.

[via Urban Prankster]