I’ve received the following invitation from Marcus Kirsch and Jussi Ängeslevä and other friends at V2 in Rotterdam. The text is so well-crafted, and the project is so insane, that I’m simply reproducing it here as is.
“The urban rock dove (columba livia) is part of every cityscape. More hated than loved due to malnourishment based on fast food left-overs, the “flying rat” is very likely here to stay in our urban scenario. The urban pigeon population can be seen as an indicator of the city’s atmosphere. Bottomline is, just as every other behaviour pattern and network in the city, we are connected to it as we share the same space. In a mixture of revived shamanism and panoptic view that might challenge the artificial network of CCTV cameras, the pigeon population’s unpredictable movement patterns offer a set of eyes that could offer a unique view onto unknown places. Based on the Bavarian Pigeon Corps from 1903, where homing pigeons were equipped with tiny cameras to take aerial shots from behind enemy lines, Urban Eyes uses RFID and wireless technology to turn the once able urban pigeon into a chaotic agent and messenger of visual impressions from the road you never took.Perceived as a critical design concept and public art installation, Urban Eyes accesses the live network of pigeons to expand what you know about your own city and reclaim the exploring stage of citylife. In 2004 the project proposal of Urban Eyes won 3rd prize at Fusedspace, an international competition for innovative applications for new technology in the public domain.On Thursday 24 November at V2_, media artists Marcus Kirsch and Jussi Ängeslevä will present Urban Eyes with an introduction to the project’s origins and concept and the findings of Kirsch’ research during his V2_residency. The presentation includes an example run of the prototype built in and with the help of the V2_Lab over the last two months as well as perspectives on Urban Eyes’ future”.