Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Paul Driver - Cities, communities, memory and culture

Paul Driver, who has been nominated for an ELTon for his game Spywalk, started his presentation by sharing his love of drawing architecture whenever he visits a new city. Whenever he does this, locals often come over and talk to him, telling him their life stories and talking about the place.

There is an inter-twining relationship between people and the cities they live in. Showing a map of New York, Paul talked about trying to understand. City by looking at an aerial view.

Maps, Paul stated are things we often think of as objective, but maps are never objective, they are always subjective and show things that the map-maker decides to show. Maps have often been used for propaganda devices.

Talking about memory and identity, Paul reminds us that memory is often augmented in many different ways - through written notes and latterly, our phones, and even things like smells and tattoos. Our memories are also shared with family and friends, often distributed among a number of different people. Memory I Ali embodied and embedded. If you look at movies, for example Memento, you can see examples of this embodied memory, with the main character, Leonard, who suffers from memory loss, uses photos, notes and tattoos as aids o his memory.

Nowadays there is often a fear that we rely too much on our phones and other devices to remember things. For instance, know many people in the audience now know their own telephone numbers. Many in the audience recognized that they didn't. We are now often experiencing the world nowadays as it is presented to us through our screens.

Augmented reality is an example of

The new aesthetic movement has emerged to categorize and critique this change in society. An example of this is the "cell trance" and the "obsessive checking" of mobiles for messages. Adam Bartholl's change project ( is another example of how the digital interfaces with the real.

The yellow arrow project is a new form of city markup that sees people post yellow arrows on things they think are culturally relevant. Another interesting project is guerrilla gardening - a hands-on approach to improving the spaces where we live. Guerilla gardeners reclaim land ( and plant food or flowers to improve quality of life.

Paul drew all of these ideas together sharing his Urban Chronicles Project using an app called Moveable Feast ( and finished by showing an example of one of the student's work


  1. I loved this presentation/ So inspiring! Btw the link is

  2. Thanks, Tracy - I've now updated it

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