AlgoMantra, b. 2005

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Saturday, October 04, 2008
Someone Please Tell William Gibson...
....that our work Cellphabet is pretty much what he's describing while talking about his novel Spook Country:

Jill: Is there anyone practicing the kind of locative art you describe in the book?

Gibson: I made that particular kind of locative art up, but in making it up, I think it can be done. Something that I had to change at the very last minute, before the actual book was going to press... Someone read the bound galleys and said, "This locative art is very cool, but you know, you wouldn't be able to do it indoors. There's no GPS indoors; it can't go through walls." I said, "Uh-oh."

Happily, my informant explained that if you wanted to do it inside, you would have to triangulate on the three nearest cell phone towers. It would be possible to build a program that would do this; you'd actually be able to bring your locative art into the gallery. In the final version of the text, that actually helps considerably to explain why all those artists are so dependent on Bobby Chombo for something that they really should be able to do themselves — he can get your art into the gallery. Otherwise, you'd have to have it in the flowerbed outside the Marmont.

But other than that, I think that what I described is kind of doable. You could buy all the parts on eBay and put it together. But I've never seen anything like that described in real life. If you google "locative art," you get a gazillion hits, and a lot of it is very, very conceptual. It's sort of postmodern mapping. I have to say, it's kind of over my head, most of the locative art stuff. I just didn't get it. [Laughs] My idea of locative art would be the locative art that people in Juxtapoz magazine would do. It would be lowbrow: deliberately, self-consciously lowbrow with a capital L.

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