Thursday 25 October 2012

MomoSho: Mobile technology: art or science?

The second Mobile Monday Shoreditch (and my first). I think Helen (@technokitten) is aiming for these sessions to have an edgier, less corporate feel than the bigger Mobile Monday London events. The sofas for the panel certainly made it feel more intimate — and there were many fewer suits in the audience than at the typical Momolo. I’ll be coming back!

Vic Keegan @vickeegan

Alfie Dennen


  • QR codes feel clunky
  • Layar is pretty but do you use it after the first couple of times?
  • Google Glasses
    • hipster nightmare - being followed by a million bots
  • bionic contacts
    • closer than you think: a man already has an electronic camera eye!
  • makies
    • can extend with arduino & raspberry pi
  • the whole of human history has been about craft
    • we’ve stopped crafting in the last couple of generations
    • 3D printing may be bringing this back
  • Bus Tops
    • computer art in local context
    • project unfortunately coming to an end
  • Big Art Mob
    • attempt to catalogue all public art in the world
  • Street Ghosts
    • take pictures of people from street view and paint them on the wall of the actual place
  • mobile is more an extension of computing into ubiquitous technology than anything different by itself



  • AB: agile & lean seem to get rid of creativity - it’s seen as waste
  • JN: coding is creating too, not just visual
  • BK: anyone can create something now
  • AD: it normally just starts with a stupid idea!
  • BK: always looking to innovate within boundaries
    • would love to start with just a crazy idea but would probably get lynched!
  • JN: boundaries & constraints often inspire creativity
    • demoscene, 5K awards
  • AB: a creative person should know their tools
    • just coming up with an idea and having no idea how to make it doesn’t work as well

Alfie: “All mobile art is shit!”

  • AD: the art for mobile should involve using the sensors that make mobile different from desktop — otherwise just digital art
  • VK: not completely true: using a phone to draw & zoom in to add detail
    • also poems made for phones — short and fit the screen
  • JN: Japan has lots of book written for and on mobiles
    • J├╝rgen Scheible mobispray: virtual spray can using a projector and an N95
  • AB: for me, art is in a room with lighting
  • BK: guy using darts to recreate a Jackson Pollock style piece of artwork that others can join in to create


  • BK: iAd platform hooking into gestures & gyroscope
    • improving engagement
    • recent project — recreating a universe with gyroscope: achieved 90s engagement per unit
  • AB: brand slickness can get in the way of creativity — afraid to show things internally without making the UI slick
  • JN: a lot of people have a hard time imagining low-fi mockups as the real thing

Ilicco Elia: has anyone seen any decent mobile ads?

  • Mobile is like TV advertising at the beginning — started as presenters reading out adverts on air
    • seems to be web ads squeezed down into mobile screen
  • JN: South Korea — lunchtime sun sculpture
    • at noon, the shadows made a QR code that gave you a voucher
  • BK: hooking in to where am I and what is my context?
    • how can consumers create content that feeds into the campaign?
  • AB: don’t want banners — haven’t clicked on one for years
    • create a service, a site, an app that does something useful to engage people
  • VK: people don’t want banners on mobile
    • location-based advertising full of potential — and will be full of potential for years to come…

What in the last week, created by mobile that stuck in your head?

  • AB: lenticular image, move the device to see around
  • AD: art spotter
    • not focussed on selling stuff
  • JN: robot game that just looked so beautiful
  • BK: creatives project — james alloban
    • using your voice to select objects and create art

Social input?

  • HK: Tracey Moberly — artwork from instagram
  • AD: Normalize: the de-instagrammer app
  • BK: ascii art through twitter — playing out a car journey
  • VK: making art out of the spare bandwidth in QR codes
  • HK: social is reinvigorating arts & crafts
    • we can share the learning — it’s on the internet
  • JN: open source & creative commons
    • created an open source RPG with various international collaborators

some of the best art comes from taking a poke at society

  • harder in mobile? squandered due a need to monetize
    • flashmobs one counterexample
  • HK: rich people sponsoring art?
  • VK: certainly, but other sources of revenue available
    • last column in Guardian: can you make an app cheaply?
    • cost £300 in total
    • profit share is an alternative (Ed: but still profit driven)
  • JN: lot of people just create stuff for fun or a hobby
  • AD: technology has decimated artistic creativity
    • artists left behind by technological development
    • arts trying to address it through Digital R&D fund
    • trying to retrain visual artists digitally
    • my projects funded by people who will give me money for them!
    • starting with friends
  • BK: technology is not expensive, ideas are free, the hurdle is learning
    • “just learn enough to get you over the next hurdle”

gamification & serious games?

  • AD: Jane McGonagall turns the whole world into a game
    • academically led premise
  • AB: contextual tips as you’re playing are a great way to learn
  • VK: toby roland games manufacturer
  • AD: game where you play a real guitar at the device to progress (Rock Prodigy?)

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