Mark Shepard (US) is an artist, architect and researcher whose post-disciplinary practice addresses new social spaces and signifying structures of contemporary network cultures. His current research investigates the implications of mobile and pervasive media, communication and information technologies for architecture and urbanism. He is an assistant professor of Architecture and Media Study at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York.
Mark Shepard (USA), Serendipitor, 2010, applicazione GPS per iPhone (courtesy dell’artista)
Serendipitor is an alternative navigation application for the iPhone that helps you find something by looking for something else. the app combines directions generated by a routing service (in this case, the google maps API) with instructions for action and movement inspired by Fluxus, Vito Acconci and Yoko Ono. The artist came up with the idea reflecting on how people increasingly rely on machines as a substitute for their own human capacities (such as memory, handwriting, and now navigation, for instance). Shepard decided to explore this trend from the point of city navigation – and how it had led him come across things he did not even know existed. How can we use these technologies in ways for which they were not originally designed? The next step will be to give people the chance to share their experiences with others on a website where routes can be shown, commentary provided, and photos taken along the way posted.