SMSlingshot: reclaim the screens

SMSlingshot from FILE PRIX LUX on Vimeo.


As a follow-up of the spreadgun performance in 2008, SMSlingshot is an extension of VR/Urban’s digital intervention activism. The installation features a handheld digital slingshot device for spreading information on public screens.

Having the conceptual idea of the device already in mind a year before, white nights 2009 at Kim? (Riga) was for us the right opportunity to actually create, finish and present our first prototype of the mobile textgun.
Like the spread.gun installation for the media facade festival 2008 (Berlin), the SMSlingshot is a truely tangible, embedded interaction device for linking digital data with people acting in urban (real) space.

The Concept

Because of the increased commercial interest of paving public space with digital advertising screens the need for an accessibel intervention devices seemed obvious and necessary. The wish and habit to comment (tag) the surrounding world is also an ancient and still vivant phenomena we try to preserve. Our concept of VR/Urban aims for claiming back urban space and and give the inhabitants a tool for occupiing urban screens. People shall not
only remain as a passive audience, they must obtain the
privilege and beside that the right tools to create their
own multimedia content in the streets. The more and more
mushrooming media facades, LED supplied walls and huge
projections are interesting and worthy technical innovations
for the people, but in contrast to the old fashioned posters
in the streets, it is nearly impossible to create own content for these facades or even hang up your digital video.

The SMSlingshot is an autonom working device, equipped with an ultra-high frequency radio, hacked arduino board, laser and batteries. Text messages can be typed on a phone-sized wooden keypad which is integrated in the also wooden slingshot. After the message is finished, the user can aim on a media facade and send/shoot the message straight to the targeted point. It will then appear as a colored splash with the message written within. The text message will also be real-time twittered – just in case.