MetroCode: Vancouver Biennale

About the project

As MetroCode, an offshoot from Ubiquity Interactive, Leora and I conceived the idea of a cellphone tour of the Vancouver Biennale outdoor sculpture exhibition. 

Client location:

Vancouver, BC

Working with ideas to address how a casual audience could experience cultural content in busy public spaces, we created content designed to feel like eavesdropping. The notion that “less-predictable speech is more distracting for a listener” explains why we find the conversations of strangers, whose speech we can’t easily predict, fascinating. The cell phone tour leveraged this effect. Leora worked with a pair of well-prepared actors with a background in comedic improvisation to capture these playful conversations. The conversations were edited and formatted to fit inside the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) framework

From May 2006 to May 2007, anyone with a cell phone could access interpretive content about works by some of the world’s most renowned contemporary artists, such as Dennis Oppenheim, Sorel Etrog, and Yoko Ono, on display in the public walkways, parks, and open spaces of Vancouver. People could access audio commentary to learn more about the sculptures, leave comments via audio, text, or picture/video messaging, and vote for their favourite sculpture.

MetroCode received a Gold Canadian e-Tourism Award.

Big ideas

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