Where does community begin?
It’s a question we’ve been asking ourselves a lot. With nearly all our projects, what we we’re aiming to do in cities is to help them use the Internet to harness the power of cognitive surplus — the concept of many people coming together to do big things.
This weekend we’re testing the concept at a small scale with a public art scavenger hunt at San Francisco’s Gray Area Foundation (GAFFTA), one of the nation’s leading organizations dedicated to furthering the use and advancement of creative technology for social good. GAFFTA is hosting an urban innovation weekend that’s all about Community Development and Public Art. We’ll be there tonight and all day Saturday, training scavenger hunters on our technology and cutting them loose on the streets of San Francisco.
If all goes well, the project will create a pilot community of public art curators comprised of artists, people who love art and passionate technologists (who are often artists at heart themselves) to help find and catalogue San Francisco’s street art, murals, statues, paintings, and installations. It’s also a chance to experiment with mapping geolocated, crowd-sourced mobile imagery — something we hope to integrate in our mobile art app project.
If you’re in San Francisco and have a smartphone, you are invited to participate regardless of whether or not you show up to the actual event (though we’d love to see you there!). For Friday, Saturday and Sunday, you can contribute Tweeting images of San Francisco’s public art and a quick message about the work (the artist, title, or why it moves you) to @publicartapp (our one direction is to stand close to the artwork so you can get the best location data.) You can also sign up to follow along with the progress of our project by emailing email@example.com.