The urban context directly shapes our experience of the city. As we make our way down to the bus stop the sun rays falling through the leave canopy bouncing on the shiny metall of the railing burn an image in your memory and evoke a smile on your lips. Breathing can be difficult down below underground in a full tube carriage, while trying not to fall over and clinging on to a handle. In the evening the feet burn from walking for miles across the tarmac. An still while closing the eyes the pattern of walkway slabs disappearing beneath the steps flicker by your eyes while lying in bed.
Exploring the city as a flaneur in the sense of the Situationist's can multiply these experiences. And this body city interaction has been subject to a number of investigations in different disciplines from architects, planner, geographers and artists. How does this excitement, pain or tiredness visualise? How does the city inscribe its extension on the human body?
In the bio mapping work of Christian Nold the excitement was registered via a Galvanic Skin Response and later plotted on a map.
Image by Gordan Savicic taken from yugo.at / The resulting marks on the artist's body as record of the network activity.
In the project “The pain of everyday life” the artist Gordan Savicic goes a step further and directly 'inscribes' the parameters on the human body as an intensified transformation. His responsive fetish corset translates urban communication network signals into physical compression. The wearer is squeezed according to the signal strengt of surrounding WI-FI access points. Depending on the area this can feel quite squashed.
'A chest strap (corset) with high torque servo motors and a WIFI-enabled game-console are worn as fetish object. The higher the wireless signal strength of close encrypted networks, the tighter the corset becomes. Closed network points improve the pleasurable play of tight lacing the performer‘s bustier.'(yugo.at)
The resulting pain map is recorded and can be rendered into a general tourist city map. A set of maps are available, but more interesting might be the experience of accelerated sensing.