University of Southern California
advisors: alvin HUANG & kara BARTELT
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
john FARRACE: The project focuses on a social extreme of digital natives who have become disinterested with normal face to face communication not out of preoccupation, but out of boredom: browsing one hundred of your friend’s pictures in a minute while listening to your favorite song with your iPhone six inches away from your face is way more engaging than standing talking to somebody for one minute.
However, the digital realm today does not stand in opposition to or as a substitute for the physical, “real” world, but instead, is characterized by imagery, signifiers, and other representational devices that constantly refer to its connection with it. The physical world is still needed to allow for the digital to exist. Urban Amphetamine attempts to re-engage people with their physical environment through highly calibrated circulation flows that feed people into engaging and intense social experiences. These experiences are coupled with self referential devices (massive arrays of mirrors) that tie users back to their environment in real time — reinforcing and playing up physical social experiences.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
jF: Friends, iPhone, DTLA, Realness.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
jF: I was listening to Yelawolf, Rittz, Project Pat, Big K.R.I.T., Chamillionaire, Infected Mushroom, and Weezy F. I was reading books/articles by Sylvia Lavin, Patrik Schumacher, Kevin Kelly, Michel Foucault and a bunch of psychologists (Danah Boyd, Thomas Brignall, Erving Goffman and others), and interviewed Draxtor Drapes from Second Life, and Clive Wilkinson about ways in which digital media is fundamentally changing workspaces today. I watched Idiocracy, Intel’s Museum of Me, and visualizers from various raves/venues.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
jF: Synthesis Design + Architecture, Volkan Alkanoglu, NMDA, Florencia Pita, and Mark Gage.