“I am longing, shocking and unequal. Also imminent and square. I am lost.”
These are the words of @shipadrift - a virtual floating boat that navigates the intersections between the material and virtual palimpsests that make up our being-in-the-world. If you haven’t yet seen the project, I highly recommend you check out both the ship’s current material/virtual location and its travel narrative published through a Twitter account.
The way the project works is that the ship’s direction and speed are calculated based on a wind speeds in London: allowing the ship to always have movement and position in material space. This is supplemented by scraping all of the augmented layers of place that exist over the ship’s particular location: Wikipedia articles, personal ads, photographs, etc. The project is simply brilliant and I can’t think of a better way to visualise and explain the digital augmentations of our planet.
I actually learnt about this project recently thanks to a video sent to me by Martin Dodge. The talk, by James Bridle, discusses the ‘shipadrift’ project, but also delves more broadly into what it means to live in co-created spaces; spaces that we share with bots; hybrid spaces that are shared between our physical presences, our imaginations, and the broader network. There are a lot of parallels here to some of the work that Matt Zook and I have been doing on augmented realities, Martin Dodge and Rob Kitchin have been doing into code/spaces, and Stuart Geiger has been doing into the lives of bots. Bridle nicely brings all of these themes together and I definitely suggest that you check out his talk below: