Colony is an exploration of how we navigate public space: a small group of people each carry a landscape-reactive 'creature' that uses real-time processing of GPS data to generate either a claustrophobic or claustrophilic…
Nikki Pugh works at the intersection of people, place, playfulness and technology. Starting in Summer 2014 Nikki has joined us for several periods of residency at Pervasive Media Studio to develop different aspects of her ongoing project Colony.
Colony is an exploration of how we navigate public space: a small group of people each carry a landscape-reactive 'creature' that uses real-time processing of GPS data to generate either a claustrophobic or claustrophilic personality.
Responsible for its well-being, can you find a route across the city that minimises the enclosed or open spaces that distress your creature? How do you balance the elastic pushes and pulls acting on you: guardianship for your creature; the need to get from A to B; the desire to stay with the rest group; the points and stares from onlookers observing your unusual behaviour?
Colony has been developed through a series of prototypes and playtests. Early experiments saw people carrying vibrating bundles of bubblewrap through the post-industrial landscapes of Birmingham, finding excuse and entitlement to explore slightly grimy alleyways or listen to what doorways felt like. A later iteration explored assumptions about secrecy and convenience with large, heavy, cumbersome wooden tubes that hammered out signals according to how built up the surrounding were. Landscape-reactive Sashes explored what it was like to move as part of a networked group.