Distributed Legible City

Jeffrey Shaw
Source: Jeffrey Shaw

Jeffrey Shaw

Distributed Legible City , ongoing
Co-workers & Funding
with Dirk Groneveld (script) and John Cook, Timo Fleisch, Adolf Mathias, Steven Petiffer, Andreas Schiffler, Armin Steinke (Hardware)
User software: Adrian West, Gideon May, Torsten Ziegler, Adolf Mathias

Production: ZKM in cooperation with University of Manchester
  • Distributed Legible City
    1280 × 968
  • Distributed Legible City
    1280 × 960
  • Distributed Legible City
    488 × 400
  • Distributed Legible City
    498 × 400
  • Distributed Legible City
    1280 × 960
  • Distributed Legible City
    1280 × 960
  • Distributed Legible City
    1280 × 960
  • Distributed Legible City
    960 × 720
This new version of The Legible City (1989) encompasses all the experiences offered by
the original version, but introduces an important new multi-user functionalty that to a
large extent becomes its predominant feature. In the Distributed Legible City there are
two or more bicyclists at remote locations who are simultaneously present in the virtual
environment. They can meet each other (by accident or intentionally), see abstracted
avatar representations of each other, and when they come close to each other they can
verbally communicate with each other. While the Distributed Legible City shows the same
urban textual landscape as the original Legible City, this database now takes on a new
meaning. The texts are no longer the sole focus of the user's experience, but instead
becomes the con_text (both in terms of scenery and content) for the possible meetings
and resulting conversations (meta_texts) between the bicyclists. In this way a rich new
space of co-mingled spoken and readable texts is generated. In other words the artwork
changes from being merely a visual experience, into becoming a visual ambiance for
social exchange between visitors to that artwork. As a result of the increasingly
ubiquitous nature of the Internet and the maturing of 3D interaction techniques, there
is a growing need to define aesthetic frameworks for the technological development of
new social interaction and interface paradigms for content rich, inter-connected, shared
virtual environments. The Legible City has been used as a context to explore these
issues, adding a space of distributed multi-user social engagement to the space of
interactive spectacle. This paradigm is a novel one for art, embedding and transforming
its representational practices in the the new and evolving net condition.
  • aesthetics
    • collaborative
    • installation-based
    • multi-user
    • navigable
    • virtual
    • visual
  • genres
    • installations
      • interactive installations
      • virtual reality (VR)
  • subjects
    • Art and Science
      • cartography
      • geography
    • Media and Communication
      • communication
      • writing
    • Nature and Environment
      • environment
    • Society and Culture
      • communities
      • urban space
  • technology
    • displays
      • electronic displays
        • computer monitors
        • head-mounted display (HMD)
    • interfaces
      • non-electronic interfaces
        • bicycles
Technology & Material
je Standort:
1 Pentium II PC mit Voodoo-Karte
Umgebauter Home-Trainer [mit Generator und Potentiometer]
Plattform für Fahrrad mit Halterungen für Monitor und PC-Box
Maverik Application