Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Weekend assignment

I chose a mall food court as my experimental space.

The basis for my experiment was to approach the first employee that was offering food samples in front of their venue. I asked them for two numbers between one and ten. The first number I received is the number of venues further that I would proceed, and the second number is the item on that menu that I would purchase.

The objective to this approach is to order a meal without a subjective opinion of personal taste, experience, or craving. Equally important is the hope that something new could be tried that wouldn't be ordered otherwise.

This was the venue sampling food:

She gave me the numbers seven and one. I went seven venues further, and ordered the first thing on the menu.

This is the meal:

From the seventh venue:

Urban Algorithm-Adam Bonanni

Over the weekend the weather was less than ideal for urban venturing, so I had the idea to explore a familiar world to me with a few twists. In the game Left 4 Dead, the object is to cross town in the hopes of being rescued from an infected city much like every zombie movie in the past 20 years.
I had some ideas of how to kind of work against the foundation of the game in order to see how a living video game city would react. I'm very familiar with the maps and I wanted to put a new spin on the game to see what would happen if I worked outside how it was intended to be played.

1. Pistols only
2. Level must be completed backwards
3. No environment or health pickups allowed

The level had to be fought through once to start at the end, and playing it through backwards, it was interesting to compare the experience of the level how it was meant to be played versus creating your own experience. The game has an on-the-fly A.I. system that will throw hordes of zombies at the player if nothing is happening, and this was the only threat on the way back. It was a bit disappointing to see how relatively scripted the level was, but the challenge that we imposed for our team made things a little bit more lively.
I didn't get the experience I thought I would get of taking the level backward (disorientation, fresh-ness), but it mixed up the setting a bit, and our self imposed challenges insured that we didn't altogether make it to the end


Jason Sheck - Weekend assignment

For this assignment i walk around the temple area starting at 17th and diamond. I took pictures with my phone but i could not get them off, every time i try to send a picture the screen on my phone turns white and it resets itself. The rules that i followed were:
1.Turn at every traffic light or stop sign intersection
2.When you turn onto a one-way street, walk against traffic
3.When you turn onto a numbered street, ignore rule 2 and walk with traffic
4.When you turn onto a two-way street, turn right

I started walking on 17th street towards Norris and took photographs on every corner. I noticed a lot of houses, schools, and churches. I also noticed that a lot of the homes that i saw were rundown and abandoned. One thing that i noticed a lot was the overgrown plants and weeds that take up a lot of the rundown houses. I liked a lot of these overgrown plants, it was like a kind of natural art. One house that i photographed had vines completely covering the side of it, it really reminded me of art and kind of looked like it was meant to be a piece of art.

Neighborhood wondering

I traveled through south philly and just observed many people in their surrounding.
My rule was to turn right at every stop sign for a little random effect to occur while seeing the neighboorhood.
I met lots of people as my journey took me to places like the local acme and down tiny streets that were a close community. There were also so many kids playing on their blocks and hogging the streets. Many people I encountered were more about relaxing from a hard day at work, and keeping their neighboorhood nice.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Urban Algorithm - Michael Hearn

On Sunday, I walked from 15th and Market and 2nd and Market, which when I usually am around that area I walk straight along Market until I get to the specific destination I'm headed, but this time I wanted to branch out and go to separate streets and destinations sticking out of there. With no real thought on a map of Market street on mapquest, I added different side routes to go out of my way to before returning and continuing down Market. The map is to the side, with a blue path on Market street route and red paths on the side routes I added.

The rule of observation I decided upon was to look at other people and take note of their destinations or purposes in being there. Some pictures below detail some of those moments, and some other observations I took notice of.

This couple was near the beginning of my walk, the man is holding a camera in his left hand, and they took pictures of the setting around them.

This business couple went into the Philadelphia Convention Center to the side.

Up between 6th and 5th and Market, a small car accident had occured. The passengers were fine, talking to an officer next to a police car nearby, with another police car blocking off traffic on the other side.

An older couple up near 4th went into a nearby diner.

John Curall-Algorithmic City Wandering-Design Study II

Rule of 10's:

Start out at 15th and Market

Movement 1 = Go 5 blocks west, then 5 blocks south

Movement 2 = Go 7 blocks east, then 3 blocks north

Movement 3 = Go 4 blocks west, then 6 blocks north

Movement 4 = Go 8 blocks east, then 2 blocks south

Movement 5 = Go 9 blocks east, then 1 block north

At each stop: 1- record where I am

2- record what I see

3- record anything interesting

4 take pictures

General Notes: I was able to see the full spectrum of parts of center city, historical, business, trendy, ethnic, and residential. I saw a lot more for sale and for rent signs then I remember seeing the last time I walked around Center City. It must be the economy. There were a lot of shops with "recession sale" signs. There was even a restaurant with a "recession menu" on certain days. Yet with all these recession issues I saw not one, but 2 stores devoted to freakin dogs. I find that very disturbing! Sorry dog lovers! I noticed the dog stores didn't have any "recession sales". I also found that approaching areas from a different direction and not planning on going there gave areas I had been before have a different perspective. Sometimes it took me a second or two to realize I had been somewhere before. Walking a total of 50 blocks in 2 hours is way more exercise then I was interested in! I saw several shops, restaurants, and locations that I had not seen before that I might want to explore later.

Journey: Started out at 15th and Market at 4:48pm. There was the usual level of activity a lot of business people, etc. moving about, nothing out of the ordinary there, just business as usual. I took movement 1 and arrived at 20th and Spruce at 5:07pm. This area was more residential, row homes and a few small restaurants and shops as well as a small grocery store. There were a lot of for rent and for sale signs. I took movement 2 and arrived at 13th and Samsom at 5:30pm. There were several trendy restaurants in this area, a construction zone where a bar used to be, and one of those freakin dog stores I mentioned earlier. I took movement 3 and arrived at 17th and race at 5:52pm. This area was a bit quieter than the previous ones, a lot less people. There was a vacant storefront, a church, an office building, and the rear of a hotel and a school. There was a big truck loading dock at the hotel. I took movement 4 and arrived at Arch and 9th Street at 6:16pm. This area was on the outer edge of Chinatown. There was an Asian bank, the police and fire credit union, a parking lot, and various Asian restaurants and shops. I took movement 5. I ran into a problem on this one as I ran into a dead end where the Interstate was so I did not follow the rule completely. I arrived at my final stop at Race and the Interstate at 6:40pm. There were no people around here, just cars, the interstate, and a couple of buildings. It wasn't the most eventful trip, but I did see a few things I might not have seen otherwise and may explore more of later.

I took 30 pictures, which would be too much to post on here. Here is a link to a Flickr webpage where you can view my pictures:


Weekend Assignment


Urban Algorithym- Brian Panebianco

I decided to take a drive around philly, During my day i skateboarded with friends but between spots i filmed graffiti.  That was the only rule i chose and i got some good shots. Although i do not know how to write graffiti i still take interest in it a little bit. It is art that is always around us that we may choose to ignore or to look at. Its everywhere i had to many shots i picked some of the best ones i got.

Urban Algorithm -- Weekend Assignment

For this assignment, I chose to go to Haddonfield, NJ. The town essentially prides itself as being historical, preserving many of its elements from years past. There is some sort of "olden times" feeling when walking through Haddonfield and I decided to make it the focus of my project. I narrowed down my area of exploration to Kings Highway, which is one of the main streets in Haddonfield. Several shops and restaurants are strewn about either side of the road, making it an ideal location with several points of interest. It is also literally peppered with several benches along the street, and I decided to utilize this fact. Here were the rules I set upon myself:

1) To start, choose a bench and sit down. Then look for something that represents history, or has an air of history behind it. Take a picture.

2) The picture should be in black and white. The effect adds to the historical feel of the project.

3) Walk towards the image you just captured, and find the nearest possible bench. Repeat step one.

Onto the images:

One of said benches. I thought it was interesting because every bench is dedicated in memory of someone.

This bell tower caught my eye after sitting at the first bench.

I snapped this photo after getting to the second bench, just across the street from the first. The church has apparently stood there since 1818.

I took this photo because you don't really see too many shoe repair shops anymore. Let alone one that bears the name, Quaker.

I guess you could call this a "landmark" of Haddonfield. This dinosaur sculpture is actually sort of famous. And the mere mention of the word dinosaur has a historical connotation.

I ended up past the Haddonfield speedline, and eventually saw this set of stairs. Kind of run-down, falling apart, and old-looking.

I realize that there is a vast degree of randomness and the path taken depends completely on the eye of the participant, but the project lends itself to several permutations.

--Mike L.

Character of Geography

Iexplored Trenton, NJ and had an interesting time. The city is much smaller and much less busy than Philadelphia and certainly New York. There were many people out and around just finding things to do. The city's architecture is quite nice in some areas. The locals are very sharp in pointing out outsiders. Most of them were friendly. We ate at a friend of mine's pizzeria called "Matteo's" There we had pizza and fried oreoes and chatted with some neighborhood people. Being so close to Philadelphia, many of them were watching the ESPN and we talked about the weekend's upsets and victories for Philadelphia sports teams.

1. I didn't talk to people unless they prompted a conversation.
2. We stayed in the car as much as possible.

3. The camera was used with limitation, and much of the research was through verbal exchanges.

There were a whole lot of people sitting around. The troubled economy seems to have left many unemployed. Some areas were nicer than others. The downtown area was more business-like and more comfortable, but we also viewed a penitentiary, which I have no doubts housed quite a number of the locals. I would not want to live in Trenton. There are some nice things, but the city is made for certain people. Only an area like Temple University is a comfortable city environment for an outsider.


Urban Algorithym--Matt Regan


For my activity I chose center city. I figured that if i was going to attempt at social interaction the city would be the best possible place for it. My rules that i had to follow were:
1.At every red light I must strike up a conversation with someone else waiting to cross.
2. My field of vision was to be restricted to the frame of the camera. I could not look up to make sure I was not going to walk into something or someone.
3. My destination had to be somewhere I had not been to before. I chose Urban Outfitters.

Surprisingly most of the people who i approached were willing to talk and answer questions but all refused to be put on camera. Many felt uncomfortable being video taped by a stranger on the street and others were concerned with being posted online. Even though I could not shoot our conversations I had gotten most walking away. I had talked to five people. Stacy a student at the art institute, Rebecca a stay at home mother, Steven a worker for Wachovia, Rachel a Temple student, and Samuel who claimed "was working day to day to survive." I enjoyed this activity because it puts people outside their comfort zone. Most people go through out their life just passing by people and places and not really focusing on the surroundings, only worrying about their destination. A walk that should have taken me 15 minutes tops ended up rounding out to about 35-40 minutes because of some wrong turns taken while walking to the view of my camera.

Urban Algorithm - Nick Sulikowski

My idea for this was to explore an area I've been through countless times, but try to travel through it in such a way that it feels new and alien. I chose the Oxford Valley Mall in Langhorne, PA. I had one rule for how I would move about: whenever I came to a kiosk, stand, or any kind of booth that wasn't part of the built in stores I would alternate between turning left and right. So left at the first booth, right at the next, and so on. If I came to a corner, I would just follow it around. I came to no walls though. The result of this was that I ended up travelling in a couple loops around places that I'd been before, but the route take to get there was so different that I unconsciously felt a little lost. It was something as simple as being on the other side of the second floor mezzanine while passing by Radio Shack. I won't post all the booths as there's a considerable number, but I will say that eventually left turn left me walking straight into the entrance of a Forever 21, a store I've never been in, and probably wouldn't have were not for this. I couldn't prevent it as it wasn't a solid wall or a corner, but the door itself, right in front of me. At which point all I could do was keep walking straight through the store, where I decided to end my game.

Overall the experience was one of making a very familiar location feel totally unfamiliar, just by the routes taken to get to frequently visited stores.
Here's the first turn I made at a directory sign. I apologize for the blurry quality. I turned left, coming to a jewelry display, seen here on the far left

Here's the display itself where I hung a right, which from the perspective of this photo, would be forward.That turn would then bring me to a Bank of America ATM. This was an awkward moment as there was a man using it at the time, and I didn't wish to snap a photo of his pin. Hung a left here, which would a 180 from the perspective of this photo. That was another thing about snapping photos in a mall, which was that people were always within frame, potentially leading to awkward questions about what I was doing. Somehow that never happened though.

Here I took a right...

Which brought me to a corner, which I had to follow around,

until I was facing the Food Court again. The Bank of America ATM is behind the tree on the left.

After all this I think I think you get the general idea, so let's skip to the end:I'd actually passed by the Forever 21 multiple times during the experiment, and turn at that light blue stand several times. But it was this particular time, when I had to make a left, that I was forced to go straight inside. Entrance seen above.

Urban Algorithm - Zach Rocchino

For my Urban Algorithm mini-project, I decided to check out the Pennypack Nature Preserve on Terwood and Creek roads in Huntingdon Valley. I wanted to take a look at the way in which people exert their effect on this peaceful, quiet natural place.

My rules were as follows:

1. Scan the ground for cigarette butts and walk over to them
2. Take a picture of the object/area that the cigarette butt was on or near
3. Multiple cigarette butts around an object means you must take multiple pictures

The first thing I noticed was that people seemed drawn to trees when engaging in their smoking and tossing of the butt. It is also interesting to note that most of these trees were oaks.

Smokers also seemed drawn to large patches of grass. Many butts were found scattered amongst the grass.
Also, smokers seemed drawn to places where one could sit down, as evidenced by the stump and picnic table.
Seeing how many cigarette butts were littered around the landscape made me realize how many people had been through the trails I was walking on. I found myself wondering what was going through their heads as their were smoking and what possessed them to influence this natural environment with something so unnatural and manmade. What does that imply? It's definitely something to think about.

Weekend Assignment

I wanted to intertwine the urban algorithm with the whole psychogeography experiment to explore the neighborhood around my house on campus, near the corner of 15th St. and Norris. Instead of always heading east to cross broad towards campus for classes, food, etc. I decided I need to explore westward of my house, to see what the neighborhood had to offer my psyche. The rules I set forth consisted of turning right when I come to stop signs, turning left when I come to traffic lights.

I began on the corner of 15th and Norris, turned right and headed out west…

Apologies for the lighting... (camera phone)

My first eye pleasing observation, right on my block. A mural of multiple little scenes along the bottom of the house and steps.

Turning Left (south) on 16th St. and Norris

On 16th street I passed some real interesting artwork I had no idea existed only 2 blocks from my home...

I started thinking alot about what this mural might mean. especially when considering the location, the neighborhood, and the city...

"We must be the change we want to see in the world..."

*Note: not far from the previous mural.

The next intersection I came to was with Berks street, but it was a traffic light that you could not turn left on, and with my experiment's rules I could not make a right unless faced with a stop sign, so I skipped on to the next block, Montgomery, which was yet another light.

Making the Left off of 16th st. onto Montgomery

A pile of various parts and pieces. Mostly cement. Pieces of a past structure or future building blocks...

It wasn't long before I discovered the flaw in my algorhithm's rules. As I came to the corner of Montomgery and 15th St. I noticed that I was making a giant loop right back to where I had started by making three consecutive left turns. I guess I should have planned ahead for something like this happening, but I thought I had just as a good a chance at coming across stop signs too...

Making the left onto 15th street from Montgomery

An interesting structure observed otuside a building on 15th st. heading back to Norris

Although the trip was short, I thought it was a valuable one. Not only did I learn a lesson in planning an urban algorithm, but it was the first time I just aimlessly walked around my neighborhood this year, taking in my surroundings, and I found a real enjoyment in it. It gave me an appreciation for the area and a desire to explore further and see what uncovered gems may lie just around the corner. . .


basically, for my project, I wanted not only the experience to be in a way algorithmic, but I wanted the end result to be too. So, like most people, when I hear "algorithm", I think of math. What is the best and easiest way to experience math? With numbers. So, with that, I devised a set of rules that comprised of the following:
1. I would take a walk from my dorm room to the Saxby's on Liacouras Walk. Along my way I would take pictures of anything and everything that had the number 2 in it that I saw along the way.
2. I would not be allowed to stop unless already seeing a "2". I would not be allowed to stop and look. If I didn't see it while walking by, I simply did not see it.
3. Along the way, I would take every full number I saw it as a part of (ex: 1932) and add them up. To make it more interesting, If the final result ended in a two, I win, if not, oh well.

Heres some of the numbers I took pictures of.

So far, pretty simple. 2+2=4. (Hooray for the first grade!)

By the way, this is the second floor of 1940.

And more of the same...boring...2+2+2=6.

Ok, a little better. This is for 2010. So, now we have 2+2+2+2010= 2016...

Nice picture If I do say so myself, but boo simple 2. Not even gonna write it out. We know. 2018.

Now I'm FINALLY outside, where I know, as shown, there will be more interesting numbers than floors. Here we have a nice 1932 (Sounds like I'm talking about wine) number.

Also, there's a bunch more of these which I doubt I'll post cause they're redundant but I will include them in the final equation.

So...2018+1932= 3950

Ha...kind of a joke...but I will nonetheless include it as a #2. 3952 is our total. (This is the hours sheet on the door of New Wok)

Knowing that if I include the ".25" it will screw up my entire chance of ending in a #2, I decided to pretend I'm in europe and so it will be considered "2,250". (Also assuming theres a zero after the 5) So our total is now 6202.

24 hour sign for 7-Eleven. Enough said. 6202+24= 6226.

For this one I had to be incognito as I peered through the window of the 7-Eleven with the zoom lens. However, I did see the box when I was walking by so I had to do it. 6226+25= 6251.

This is the last picture I'm going to put up cause I think you all get the idea...but I liked this picture too. So, of the pictures, we have a grand total of
6251+2009=8260. In the pictures I didn't post, there was an additional 1902, 249, 1926, 1912, 1902 (The Saxby's), and a "2K10" which i counted as 2000. So, overall that gives us 8260+1902+249+1926+1912+1902+2000= 18,151. Well, I guess I lose. I thought it was cool to look for one particular thing on this path because that demands you to look in certain places you wouldn't normally look if you had a set destination.