Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hey Guys here are some pictures from my initial meeting with Bishop Barnes. Myself, the Bishop and one of his Ministers are going for a walk on this Sat at 8 am ( ugh I know), if you want to come along we are meeting at Dr King's statue on Lancaster - 38th I believe.


Project Title Ideas

Hey guys... I thought we could get some dialogue going on ideas for a name for our project. Hana mentioned "The Bottom" but I think a lot of us felt that that had too negative a connotation. I really like the metaphorical feel it has though.

I was looking at the map that James gave us and it describes Lancaster Ave as a "gateway." I thought that might be an idea, The Gateway.

Anyways feel free to post some ideas, hopefully we can come up with something we all feel invested in and that will represent our project well :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Possible Situations

I hope that nothing is “lost in translation,” so to speak. I will be interpreting parts of this subject’s life... and the viewers of this project will be interpreting my interpretations. This duality will either mend or be extremely uneven. It will be interesting to say which way it goes.

Regarless of what one is observing, it is important to not forget one’s individual epistemological constraints, especially since sensory ethnography is a fairly new phenomenon. This begs the question of to what extent someone can actually have an experience without touch and smell, two very important senses that will not be explored through this project.

The success of this project will be greatly determined by how deeply I will be allowed into the subject’s life. Since this is a bottom-up form of context awareness, the power is in the hands of the subject.

The accessibility of the project is important, especially if it is only on the street. The gallery will make it more accessible, but there is still the obstacle of not having a smart phone.

I also hope my schedule and the subject's schedule match up so I can get this started!

5 points

1. I could see this project helping Drexel students be able to go to local stores. I know that many of us have cars on campus and just drive to locations that we already know of to purchase goods and services. If more students knew what was on Lancaster Ave, they would be able to just walk minutes from their house.

2. Augmented Reality - After a few weeks about learning about augmented reality, I feel like I understand it much better. I think that some Drexel students would be able to pick up on it right away but I'm sure others wouldn't understand what is really going on. But I think we should put together a workshop or a webinar (or both) to explain the uses and how to use the application.

3. Smart phones - I could the fact that not everyone has a smartphone an issue. Would we have any other way people could go on this tour? I know we don't have the most time but is there anyway we could have an online version for people without smartphones?

4. The fact that we are using a few different people for our project will make the prespective different. If we were only using one person, then we wouldn't be getting the full affect. I'm excited to hear about other people's stories and learn more about the area I have attended school only minutes away from.

5. I really enjoyed hearing from Joe last week about the different things that the University City District works on throughout the year. I was not aware that they had that many different events going on. I would love to learn more and experience all that UC has to offer.

5 things interesting

5 Things that I found interesting from the readings:

1. I find it interesting the mobile devices are becoming a way of digital computing for the 21st century. It is interesting to see how RFID's such as a toll booth scanner can identify who a person is and know to either bill them or deduct money from an account that has already been set up.

2. augmented reality is really cool once you understand how it works. I know sometimes it's frustrating trying to figure out how to work the sheet of paper in the right way to read the scan bar. In the end, I think it's going to be really cool when we can go to a tag on Lancaster, scan it, and hear/see a story behind that area.

3. Perception is key. What we see in a certain spot is not going to be the same thing that someone like George, Joe, Kevin, or any of these other people are going to see when looking. We all have different perceptions of things and it's going to be really cool seeing what other people see. We are also giving everyone a chance to see the neighborhood how the people who grew up here see things.

4. Just because something is just space to us, doesn't mean it's not a place to someone else. Every space has meaning to it so it's not just space, but a place as well.

5. there can be consequences to locative media. Because it is on the computer, it has limited privacy and even with the strongest privacy settings, things can still get hacked. It's a changing world and technology changes it more and more every day.
Most of the issues that I think are important to address have come from our guest speakers.

1. Neighborhood separation - It's awesome that Drexel wants to collaborate with the Powelton/University City neighborhood. It seems, from what we've heard, that the community - especially the business community - welcomes our presence. But is the idea catching on with Drexel students? I'd say that it's an oral legacy that the "safe zones" on campus extend only to 36th Street to the west and Spring Garden to the north. Also, I can't stop thinking about the bar at 39th and Chestnut, Drinkers West. It's rumored that the "college nights" and use of college IDs to avoid a ridiculous cover have intended to drive out the local crowd and draw in the university crowd. Can we effectively reach a state of collaborative existence with (seemingly) deliberate efforts to keep the college population and the local population separate?

2. Digital divide - our project is based on the use of smart phone technology. Super cool. How can we avoid/overcome the fact that access to smart phone technology is a pre-requisite for experiencing this project? Who is our intended audience for the project, and are we effectively reaching them with our approach to this project?

3. How will this project benefit Drexel? I still don't have a clear understanding of the details, but it seems like this class is more than just an interesting special topics class. From what I can tell, someone in Drexel's administration wanted us to do this. What were they hoping to get from it, and are we delivering what they expected? How important is it that we deliver what they expected?

4. Earlier in the term, we touched briefly on how the potential of this type of technology could in some ways be used in ways that scare us, threaten our privacy, etc. Does our project and efforts like ours redirect the potential to show that good, creative, cultural things can come out of it all? Or are we just facilitating the mainstreaming of it, which may lead to its use in ways with which we are uncomfortable? (I think we're redirecting and exploring the potential, but I think this is an interesting thing to talk about when working with a new technology.)

5. That's all I've got for now. I'll come up with another tonight.

5 Points of Interest

  1. One point that I found very interesting was the idea that sensory ethnography exists on two levels; the body and the mind. This correlates to what we are doing because when we are walking down Lancaster there are certain things that we take pictures of simply because we like the way they look, whereas other things that we have captured have been for more theoretical or spiritual reasons.
  2. The importance of “place” in ethnography was another point I found interesting. This idea goes along with the different demographics on either side of 38th street as described by Joe in class.
  3. The point that was made about how locative media has helped emphasize the fact that digital content is placeless relates to what we are planning to do with our final project. By taking pictures and associating stories and other such things with them it is making these images more than just pictures but is giving them that sense of being an actual place not just simply a picture.
  4. I found the idea of social authoring to be very interesting because that is basically what we are doing with this project. We are taking an urban environment that many people would just look at as a bunch of building and are giving them character and personality through our work and insights.
  5. I was really drawn to the focus on mobile devices used to create locative media because that is what I have been exclusively using to document and research. With the creation of smart phones, I can now take pictures as well as take audio clips all with just my phone. I don’t need a camera to do these things anymore which makes it really convenient that I can do these kinds of things with something that I carry around on my all the time anyway. It saves money as well as frustration for not having to need extra equipment to do a project like ours.

Mobile Interface theory post

Hi guys here are a few of the interesting take aways I got from the reading.

1) Papyrus is a form of mobile media this is more of a comment on my own ethnocentrism when it comes to mobile media and how I automatically characterize as digital media - smart phone.

2)The author used the pocket watch and clock tower as an interesting example of social stud within the concept of technology and the compression of spatial boundaries and the discussion of "local time"

3)Tension Between proximity and distance and the relative nature of the usage. The idea of using it as a social cacoon and also as an opposite, the ability to bring those who are far closer.

4) pervasive computing - the idea of a shift is social norms where the author commented on an article about how one day he noticed that people were staring into their phones as opposed to speaking into them.

5) Transformation of location into an information interface - portable mobile device to acquire information - our project.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


I tried to make a story on Zooburst. I found it pretty easy to navigate. When making the captionings I had some difficulty getting them to save. Even though I would click save twice every time I typed a caption, when I made a new page and went back it would disappear. I would have to retype the captioning in every time.

Once I created my story I found my pages to be completely flipped from how I saved them. So the bigger images I put in the background blocked the images I saved in the front. I tried editing them and rotating it but it still came out the same way. I found I could rotate the pages as I was viewing the story. That was a little frustrating. I did like how there were a ton of images to choose from and they gave me ideas for my story. Did anyone else have the same problems I did?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Extra Suggestions

1. Avoid having too many objects intersect one another. Junaio doesn't do well will occlusion and you might get weird effects on their end when you try and have two objects occupy the same space.

2. The height feature in ZooBurst is new, and as such the drag and drop functionality for objects that are above the "floor" of the AR world is less than great. Craig needs to do some more coding on the ZB side to make this work, but for now know that if you are moving "floating" objects around you might have to play with your mouse a bit before you can actually grab onto the objects (it's totally do-able but it can be weird at certain angles)

3. Currently we only can support rotation around the Y axis in Juanio (up/down) -- Craig is working on getting the other two axes to work, but Junaio is totally weird when it comes to programming 3D objects and they never quite behave.

How to view your Zooburst "book" in Junaio

1. Scan the QR code below to open up the Drexel Neighborhood Storytelling channel on your phone
2. Each marker should render a small doorway graphic (this can easily be changed). Tap this doorway to load up the ZooBurst book associated with that marker. (Originally I had the books automatically loading up, but Juanio has a limit of 200 points of interest that can be loaded at the same time -- we ran up against that limit pretty quickly, and load time suffered, so I opted to go for a click-through implementation)
3. If an item has a speaker floating about it you can click on the speaker to play the associated audio clip. This graphic can be changed.
4. If an item has text associated with it you can tap on the item to display it. Currently we don't have an indicator for text elements.

How to build an experience in Zooburst

Here's how to build / change the experiences:

1. Log into ZooBurst using the information provided
2. Click on the Books link at the top of the screen
3. Click on the Build button next to the one book in student's library
4. Make whatever changes you'd like using the interface -- click the Save button when done

If you have a smartphone and are using the Junaio tags that were assigned in class:

5. Re-launch Junaio and you should see your changes automatically reflected in Augmented Reality


Special Subject:
Neighborhood Narratives
Summer 2011, Drexel University
COM 380
Mondays 6:00 – 9:00
PSA Building
Instructor: Hana Iverson
Phone: 646-207-0759
Office Hours:  On day of class, by appointment.
Skype available appointments on other days.

Neighborhood Narratives uses alternative technologies, basic mobile recording devices, on-line open-source tools such as blogging, folksonomies and Google Maps along with analog resources such as sketch maps to produce context rich stories that portray the neighborhood. It explores the real and metaphorical potentialities of mapping, walking, and wayfinding as methods of developing attachments, connecting, and constructing narratives in a virtual and spatial locality. Neighborhood Narratives offers a specific and unique situation from which to critically consider the locative arts and locative media in relation to the context of the city and to explore new and old models of communication, community and exchange. The project invites public participation, engages interactively, and encourages participants to consider their vocabulary of movement in space. Neighborhood Narratives does not obligate sophisticated technology or design skills into its methodology. Instead it asks students to conceptually understand some of the processes of the mediated city such as negotiating geographic, political, ideological spaces and reconsidering the issues that they deal with in everyday life – the things they carry with them, the cell phones they use, the soft city they walk in, etc. To reconstruct their everyday assumptions in order to use them as a vocabulary and set of tools for looking at themselves and the world creatively and to articulate a personal vision in that form as a final project. Students in this class will participate as a team in the creation and production of a Powelton/Mantua/Belmont Neighborhood Narrative project. By participating in all aspects of this project, they will get a hands-on approach to addressing and solving the design and content questions of a transmedia art project. No prior technological expertise is required.


The class is 3 hours long once a week. The class will introduce methods of collecting data and artifacts, internet and field observation, mapping and scoring, "show and tell" and the examination of project presentations with rigorous discussion. Mobile city-wide exploration (public transportation, on foot) will include the presentation of the final project on location in the city. The class will also engage in peer dialogue and interdisciplinary teamwork, to extend the breadth of a project through collaboration. Students will keep semester long blogs including observations, photos, video and audio recordings (where equipment and resources allow) - a personal diary of the Neighborhood Narrative experience.

Internet Access
All students are expected to have frequent, dependable access to the internet.  It is essential that you have an active email account that you ACCESS FREQUENTLY, for email with faculty and with each other. IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT YOU CREATE AND ACTIVELY MAINTAIN A BLOG. If you have any difficulties with either Internet access, your email account or your blog, please see the instructor after the first class.

Technology requirements

You will need some form of memory stick to save and transport your work.  Access to a mobile phone and digital camera is recommended.

Readings will be PDF’s or web sites, available on line as listed.

Course costs

As expected with production courses, you may need to purchase supplies to produce your final project. Also, while it is not required, I would like to encourage you to use the communications features of your mobile phone: costs for voice calls and text messaging will depend on your phone plan.

Instructor Contact

The best way to reach me is by email. I am on campus once a week and am available to set up individual appointments, if requested.

Attendance and Lateness Policy

Attending the sessions outlined in the schedule is a requirement of this course.  More than two unexcused absences will decrease the overall grade by one unit for each additional missed class. Five absences will result in a failing grade for the course.  If you are going to be absent, please inform me by email at least 24 hours in advance. If you are absent, it is your responsibility to make up any work in a timely fashion. Three times arriving late will be considered as one unexcused absence. Being more than 10 minutes late will be counted as an absence. 

Schedule of Classes and Assignments


June. 20
Introduction: What is Neighborhood Narratives? 
The history of the class, case studies. Outline of special project: Powelton/Mantua/Belmont neighborhood portrait. Laying out a wireframe design. Review of Cross/Walks: Weaving Fabric Row http://www.cross-walks.org/
Assigned Reading: The Neighborhood Narratives Project from http://hanaiverson.com/publications.html
The Pathways of Locative Media:
Assignment:  Photo assignment: UrbanPoem/Invisible City http://hanaiverson.com/dvl.html: Powelton/Mantua/Belmont

June. 27
Introduction to Locative Media and Locative projects
Psychogeography: One Block Radius (GlowLab)
Case studies of Urban Research Projects:  Proboscis
Review of assignments.  Further elaborate design ideas for overall project based on results of assignment.
Assigned reading: http://mobileinterfacetheory.com/ch-2/
Locative-Media Artists in the Contested Aware City; Views from Above: Locative Narrative and the Landscape PDF
Assignment:  Capturing Sound.  How-to, team sound projects. 

July 4
No class

July 11
The Sonic Environment
Presentation of sound projects, sound maps.  Hipcast and other mobile sound authoring systems.  Janet Cardiff, [murmur]Toronto + others
The Physical Environment
Review of sound projects
Richard Long.  Sculpture in the landscape, tagging.
Sculpture, space and site specific
Form made tangible. Introduction to line, shape, volume and texture.
Religious, mythical and historical references, Image Making. Clarity and ambiguity, Abstraction
Suggested Reading:
Miwon Kwon, One Place After Another: Site-Specific Art and Locational Identity; Introduction: Site-Specifics,
Assigned Reading: Sarah Pink, Doing Sensory Ethnography
Chapter 3: Perception, Place, Knowing, Memory, Imagination; Chapter 5 Articulating Emplaced Knowledge PDFs
Assignment: Create psycho-geographic sound walks

July 18
Design, politics and economics.
Reviewing the projects from the Cooper-Hewitt Design Triennial and assessing ideas that might be relevant to the Powelton Neighborhod project
Review: Sound walks
Brainstorm: Full design layout of final project, based on the results of the first assignments and best-case scenarios. Information Architecture; Interaction Design; User Experience
Assigning roles/teams for final product. sound/image/web/map/psychogeography/ethnography/documentary
Assigned Reading:  Background on Powelton/Mantua/Belmont neighborhood; In-depth look at Why Design Now web-site
Assignment:  Team design layouts

July 25
Workshop Class presents key issues raised in neighborhood; evaluation of projects. Design scheme determined:
Assignment: Working in the Powelton/Mantua/Belmont neighborhood
Assigned Reading:  Critical Vehicles, Krzystof Wodizcko

Aug. 1
Public Art. Kystof Wodizcko and “Public Address”.  Public memorials, counter-memorials.
Workshop: Assess the results of the week and continue to refine project
Assigned Reading: TBD
Aug. 8
Assess the results of the week and continue to refine project

Aug. 15
Assess the results of the week and continue to refine project

Aug. 22
Testing Project on-site/Trouble-shooting
Assignment: Fixing trouble/Re-test

Aug. 29
Final Evaluation/Critique Roundtable: invited guests
Final Exam will be a Final-exam-manifesto.

Evaluation and Assessment


Research, attendance and participation    35%
In class assignments                              30%
Final project                                          35%


Late assignments and exercises will not be tolerated. Failure to hand in an assignment by the due date and time will result in a zero grade for that assignment.

Research, attendance and participation

Group work, communicating and sharing knowledge through discussions, posting to the class blog, in-class presentations, and overall student participation are an essential part of the process of understanding course material.

Readings and blog postings are mandatory.

Prior to each class you will be required to complete a short reading and make notes of relevant points to bring up in class discussion.

Blog postings
Each week you will be required to a) make one post to your NEIGHBORHOOD NARRATIVES blog and b) to comment on at least one other student’s blog. Your post can be on: 1) a locative media project and your reaction to it or 2) a new media technology and how it relates to former ideas about photography (e.g. Spellbinder) or 3) if applicable, one of the required assignments.

Solving frustrations is integral to the creative process!

Assignments and Final project

The remit for the final project is to create an urban, on-site, locative (cell phone, GPS, mapping, sensory altering) media art project that engages visual as well as embodied (spatial + body) ideas.

The assignments will provide you with the skills and knowledge required to realize your final project.
Academic Integrity, Plagarism and Cheating

Students with Diasbilities
Course Drop Policy
Course Change Policy

Monday, July 11, 2011


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Lancaster-ish, a set on Flickr.

Scan Life and Junaio

Hi All,

Please download Scan Life and Junaio onto your smartphones.  Those of you who have laptops, please bring them to class with some images of the neighborhood on the desktop and ready to play with....

Thanks, Hana

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Video and Sound

In class we talked about taking videos or recording sound on Lancaster Ave, in additional to all our photos. My friend posted this link on his facebook account and it reminded me of our project relating to video and sound. I also thought it was kinda of a cool video. You can see it at the link below:


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Lancaster Walk

Hey guys here are some pics from my last walk about on Lancaster. I tried to make it more interesting then last time. Has anyone notice the Belmont neighborhood mural on lancaster and and 40th? This might be a good spot to place a tag and have images of the 5 neighborhood buildings pop up. The actual buildings are spread out within the neighborhood and in some pretty cray locations so it might be an interesting way to bring the neighborhood into the project and add to a site that already exist.
Lancaster walk is the set name at