Alpha 3.0: GPS Piece & Web Walkabout


By (Charles Lim, Melvin Phua & Woon Tien Wei) in collaboration with Tang Fu Kuen, curated by Gunalan Nadarajan was presented at the Earl Lu Gallery, to launch the New Media Arts Fund by the National Arts Council.

“In this work, the urban movements of a performer carrying a Global Positioning System (GPS) device are translated into real-time web browsing operations in net space. The performer will be navigating different parts of the urban landscape of a housing estate, specifically that of Tampines. These physical movements of the performer seek to create complex narratives that connect the aesthetic, architectural, historical and socio-cultural features of that environment with a range of thematically related web sites, including several generated by and for Tampines residents.

The exhibition space consists of three wall projections that provide a simultaneous depiction of the movements of the performer. The projections present three aspects of the performer’s movements, namely: his physical movements in ‘real’ space which will be tracked and captured by a GPS device; the browsing movements on the web triggered by his real movements along with fleeting video images of the performer in the city; and the movements of the programming text that synchronises these two movements. The work shows the complex levels at which net communities overlap with real communities as well as of how real space interacts with web space. The work also explores the ways in which technological devices like handphones, GPS systems and web tools conflate and expand the different notions of space, time, distances and the bodily engagements implied by them.” (From the curatorial statement by Gunalan Nadarajan).

This cyberart "work-in-progress" will be featured in the cyberarts component of the upcoming NOKIA Singapore Arts 2001/02 exhibition. The Cyberart Research Initiative of the University Scholars Programme will be the official web-server and one of the technological partners of this major biennial event. The Initiative's Artist-in-Residence Programme will also be adopting some of the local artists chosen for this groundbreaking Cyberarts Exhibition to be held in December this year at the Singapore Art Museum.