James Rouvelle, Joe Reinsel, Steve Bradley: URBANtells

  • ©2006, James Rouvelle, Joe Reinsel, and Steve Bradley, URBANtells



Artist(s) and People Involved:



Creation Year:


Artist Statement:

    URBANtells participants explore the neighborhood through sound art and verbal information using a diviner. The information addresses community-based histories of the urban experience, how these histories inform our concept of location, and how these understandings influence our behaviors. Upon returning the diviner, participants will receive an interactive Google map of their walk via email, containing the sounds and images of their walk.

    In a public location a simple kiosk labeled URBANtells will be set up. A participant will provide their cell phone and email address to an attendant. In return, they will receive a handheld device (working title: “digi-diviner”) and instructions to walk and explore the neighborhood. A minute after they go outside, they will begin to hear a real time mix of sound art and verbal information triggered by their location from a speaker on the diviner. The content will come from interviews and research we will undertake in the months preceding the conference, as well as input uploaded from actual users. The information will address the complex layers of histories that comprise the urban experience and the degrees to which these histories intersect to inform our concept of location and how these understandings influence our behaviors. The verbal content of the audio stream will be a mix of the languages spoken in the neighborhood. Upon returning to the kiosk, participants will receive an interactive google map of their specific walk via email, containing buttons to play sounds and view images and sounds they may have uploaded during their trip. All data will be logged and made available via website for anyone to explore and mix during and after the close of the conference.


    With support from HP.