PDPal (2002)
mixed media (infrared beaming kiosk for Palm Pilots, interactive Palm application, bus stop shelter with two 67

PDPal is a public art project built around the PDA (personal digital assistant), using it as a mediating and recording device that reactivates our everyday actions, transforming them into a dynamic portrait of our urban experience. At the core of the PDPal application is an "Urban Park Ranger"(UPR) - an individual software persona who, once downloaded into a PDA, encourages the owner to log her momentary experiences (actions, proximities, and perceptual phenomena) in iconic broad strokes as she moves about her environment. The UPR helps to create personal and idiosyncratic maps of our "Temporary Personal Urbanisms." PDPal provides the tools to create maps as place-based memory shells or to stand in as a narrative shorthand, marking personal intervals of place and experience, which can be uploaded to a central website and shared as a kind of "communicity" blog.

PDPal was commissioned by Creative Time with additional support from the Walker Art Center. Technology provided by Palm, Inc. with additional support from hi beam. Beaming station designed by ORG. Thanks to: Jake Barton, Nancy Nowacek, Mark Podlaseck, Carol Stakenas, Sara Diamond, Steve Dietz, Anne Pasternak, Duggal, hi beam, Palm, and ORG.

Marina Zurkow is a polymedia artist whose work draws from character development and narrative inquiry in several contexts: the animated cartoon, the physical object, interactive space, and printed graphics. The physical objects that Zurkow makes address how her characteriological and pictogrammic languages can reside in the zones between digital and analog spaces, and between the handmade and the computer-made worlds.

Scott Paterson is an architect whose work seeks the possibility for "architecture" as a protocol between the virtual and the real, as an interface between the activity of our daily lives and the space of the internet.

Julian Bleecker did the programming for PDPAl. Bleecker is a technologist who works with technology as culture, writing both the machine and narrative codes that reveal provocative human/nonhuman entanglements.

Project Created: 
October 2002
People: Julian Bleeker, Marina Zurkow, Scott Paterson
Project Type: Data Visualization, Web
Tags: interaction, pda, place