SMSlingshot was created as an extension of VR/Urban’s digital intervention activism. The installation features a handheld digital slingshot device for spreading information on public screens.

The SMSlingshot is an autonom working device, equipped with an ultra-high frequency radio, hacked arduino board, laser and batteries. Text messages can be typed on a phone-sized wooden keypad which is integrated in the also wooden slingshot. After the message is finished, the user can aim on a media facade and send/shoot the message straight to the targeted point. It will then appear as a colored splash with the message written within. The text message will also be real-time twittered – just in case.

In the not yet digitalized streets and places we had set up a projector and our SMSlingshots and gave the people the opportunity to hit the walls with their messages. It is important, but not that essential to cross existing screens. Going for walls, shows the people that they can articulate in the same way as big advertisers do. We also recognized that the metaphor of the slingshot is practical to spread the idea of reclaiming a space.

The Concept:
We still believe that we live in a motion-media dominated public sphere. Our practical work with the SMSlingshot demonstrated to us very well that the people in the streets are in a need for visual reclaiming tools. They are increasingly frustrated and blunted from the strong image machinery surrounding them in everyday life. The way of passive perception leads and keeps the people in a consumer role. No uprising included or comment allowed!
Our basic idea of hitting urban media screens didn´t really worked out. Too strong surveillance systems, to much criminalisation of in fact visual activism. The screens are also even too bright to cross them with light. We would have not won this contest of the strongest projection technology. So we moved a bit.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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