URBAN EYES is a critical design concept combining RFID technology, aerial photography and pigeons to create an explorative experience for urban spaces. This Blog is a documentation of the project's development and related issues and articles list.

Friday, December 02, 2005


Last day of the residency, post-presentation event. Everything went amazingly. Presentation went fine, my two pigeons I had borrowed for the evening perform as if they had been trained for years, some people in the audience have their bluetooth phones on and they all receive images based on some of the publicly available cams. Success and Lev Manovich gives his blessing for the future. The weather could have been better though, despite the fact that is was nothing in comparison of the day afterwards(see "let it snow" entry earlier).

Sorry just got to post this today...

URBAN EYES Feeding Box

Our first feeding box design is finished and we go out to test if the pigeons (then equipped with rings) actually would climb the box to trigger the reader. Well, the photos speak for themselves.

Ain't nothing but the Real Thang

Finally it's been time to test the reader with life pigeons. I borrowed myself one from De Rimboe petshop for one afternoon, put reader antenna in cage and get the pigeon equipped with a ring over the reader. The read works straight away and I am happy that everything finally comes together. You can slightly see the Director RFID read-outs on the screen.

In case of stick-ups, take one cam...

Rotterdam's cabs have eyes. On one of my taxi rides I noticed the little camera box attached to the passenger's seat aiming at me and the seats behind me. According to the driver, it takes a couple of photos when opening the door, 3 seconds later and then once a minute whilst driving, same when leaving the vehicle. "They reduced stick-ups by 60% since", the company claims.
Makes sense to me, yet when the journalist from the rotterdam dagblatt interviewed me he gave me his anekdote about CCTV. Having his bag stolen in a bar and containing equipment worth a few thousand, he called the police, who didn't seem to know what to do about it and only after they asked him what they supposed to do, he mentioned to maybe check the CCTV footage available, which disturbingly seemed to have slipped the policemen's mind.
Every system is only as strong as it's scenario(including human senselessness).