The assignment of this two week class was to create a space that explores the concept of telepresence; and connects alumni and affiliates of CIID, who cannot make it to the 10 year anniversary, with the attendees in Copenhagen during the event.
The installation is based on the simple key element of direction, and inspired by the Hajj – a traditional pilgrimage to Mecca, which every Muslim has to undertake at least once during their lifetime. Even after they leave Mecca, they turn to face the direction of the Kaba for their daily prayers. With this installation, we try to instil a similar sense of directional closeness for remote participants.
Caba consists of two parts: an iPhone app that allows you to send your geolocation to the installation in Copenhagen – which is activated once you turn directly facing toward CIID; and the installation itself. Once the installation receives the signal, the person’s name and a line in the corresponding direction are projected onto a circular surface bounded by 180 nails, each representing a different longitude.
Following the principle of Mechanical Turk, and encouraging participative action, a bystander is then prompted to connect the center point – that stands for CIID – with the endpoint of the projected line, using a rubber band. They can then activate a camera mounted on the ceiling to take a photo of this action. The overhead photo displaying the newly forged connection is published on the Facebook event page.
Over time and with the help of the visitors, the rubber bands will form a physical data visualization, that represents the CIID network.