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grindruberairbnb.exposed – Network and invisible systems of control

Created by Jonathan Chomko, ‘grindruberairbnb.exposed‘ is an exploratory project into networks’ ability to guide movement through physical space – the name concatenates three popular digital services which perform acts of choreography on a mass scale. While aiming to ‘expose’ these as systems of control, the project also aims to create a vision of collective action enabled by the network.

Using a custom designed app, performance guides participants into a choreographed movement. Visiting the website on a smartphone, participants receive a series of interactive guides which invite them to perform specific gestures and movement. Performed together, these gestures and movements reveal a synchronised choreography.

The work is created both for the participants and an audience. As a participant, the experience is one of being brought in and out of sync with the group, feeling a visceral sense of cohesion build and break. As an audience member, the experience is initially very familiar, as a group of people tap at their phones, yet as their movements build into cohesion their shared experience becomes evident.

The project is web-based, built with node.js on the back-end, sending commands to the front-end using socket.io. The front-end accesses the phone’s compass and gyroscopic sensors using the browser-based Sensor API, and renders the sensor position and the instruction target using javascript and html. 

The command sequences are choreographed using a browser-based editor, which provides a timeline editing tool with multiple channels, allowing sub-sections of the group to receive different commands. Timing can be adjusted for each command, creating the opportunity for variations in rhythm. 

The sound is generated by the participant’s actions – as each participant arrives at their target, the tone that plays from their phone indicates their order of arrival, creating a gentle auditory score. The role of the tone changes during the performance – when the participants are in constant movement, the tone indicates that the command has changed, creating a point of reference for their change in movement.

Project Page | Andrea Pena | Leonardo Amico | Isaac Vallentin

Created by Jonathan Chomko in collaboration with Andrea Pena (choreographic language), Leonardo Amico (software/programming) and Isaac Vallentin (film).

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