• Irene Albino

Interactive Installation Digital Interface + stone mosaics The poetics of wonder, of ingenuity, of the metaphor, tend to establish this inventive task of the contemporary human, who sees in the work not an object or a space of obvious relationships to enjoy as beautiful, but a mystery to investigate, a task to be pursued, a stimulus to the vivacity of the imagination.’ (Umberto Eco, The Open Work, 1965) Antipolis is an interactive landscape installation that enables the citizens and visitors of the town to have access to historical and cultural information as well as to participate more actively and directly in the public affairs of the city they live in. In a playful hybrid version, the installation is part digital- situated on the web- and part physical, situated in 12 chosen key spots in the city, that are of cultural, historical or touristic importance. The spots are 'marked' by rectangular plates of QR codes made out of stone mosaics, based on the local tradition of mosaic craft. Artists, designers, historians and the wider audience will be contributing to the online expansion of the project while interacting with the physical installation.

What if we could combine the creative power of collaborative artistic experiences with the development of an efficient information network, that would not only guide but also collect important insights on one city’s own inhabitants?
What if this landscape interaction could also be open to a direct response, a way for citizens to have a say on what is of particular relevance to them?
Volos is the 4th biggest commercial and touristic port of Greece. The city is built around a historically and culturally important landscape that is not easily perceived in one’s short term visit.
Younger generations, in particular, often lack understanding or interest in the city’s cultural heritage.

The project stems from the need to re-acquire familiarity with public land, to re-appropriate the fragments of one’s daily life, to feel one’s city as a place of belonging, sharing, relationship and creation.
Through the advancement of technology and the almost uncontested subordination of our human relations to them, public spaces have become increasingly alien to us.
Art, which was born as a fundamental means of expression and com- munication, with time, has moved the problem of “seeing” to “living” the artistic project.

Inspired by Umberto Eco’s concept of “The Open Work”, the project’s enhanced experience aims to use these new communication dynamics in its favor and build upon neglected spaces by inserting the lives of citizens of an urban space in a network of growing interconnection, communication and awareness, through an active participation.
The project was born as a brief set by the Municipality of Volos (Greece) to the DIIEK Volos School of Applied Arts, during my Graphic Design Foundation course. After winning the pitch, I was commissioned to develop the initial idea, lead the presentations to the Council and put together a team of students and Design staff that would supervise all further development, in collaboration with the Head of the School.