Stephen Wilson, 1997The present is a "magic" box with no wires that automatically sends images from wherever it is to others who are watching via the Web
People carry it with them for a short period in their life and then they give it as a present to someone else. They carry it down the street with them. They take pictures of friends. They take pictures of strangers. They take it someplace special. They take it someplace ordinary.
Whereever they go, Web viewers can see whatever the telepresent sees.
What to do with this present. Each person who gets the present must confront the questions of what to do with it and then the question of who to give it to next.
|Human Networks: Who do people give the present to and why? The electronic
networks are an aid in understanding the web of human relationships.
Access: The Internet and the Web reach only a very small proportion of the world's people. This gift allows anyone to have a telepresense regardless of what they know about computers and telecommunications. What will they do with it?
Freedom: The present works anywhere. It doesn't need electricity or telephone wires. What possibilities does this open up?
Mystery: Hisotry is full of stories of wanderers and explorers - of the mystery and romance of their journies. But the fear of being lost and out of touch with loved ones is also part. The telepresent lets everyone in the world know where it is at all times and even to see what it sees. Does this capability change the nature of the Odyssey?
|Surveillance: Privacy erodes and surveillance proliferates. Each person
with the present must make ethical decisions: What to tell the people who
come into its view? Where not to take it?
Solitude: Perhaps some times it is of value to be lost and out of touch.
Economics: World news organization such as CNN have long had remote capability. On one hand telepresent democratizes this a bit, but still it is dependent on sophisticated, not inexpensive equipment.
A GPS locator determines present latitude and logitude and downloads into the computer. The computer sends this information to its host server which then accesses an automatic Internet map and places the map on the Web server so viewers can see the present location of the present.
Quicktime movie documentation
(Note this is a 33 mb file - not advised for low-bandwidth)
Contact Information: Stephen Wilson, Professor, Conceptual /Information Arts Program , San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway, SF, CA, 94132. USA
415 824-0792(h) 415 338-2291(of) firstname.lastname@example.org
Main Stephen Wilson web page: http://userwww.sfsu.edu/~swilson