Blue-Screen Activism and Prudent Avoidance

Brian Lonsway ‘s research focuses on the relationships between architecture and informatics, and in particular, the development of “meaningful definitions of space within computer-mediated, interactive spatial environments.”

Anne Galloway reports about two of his fascinating current projects:

Blue-Screen Activism. Imagine you are in a mall, surrounded by people wearing branded clothes and carrying branded bags. Video of them is being captured in real-time and wirelessly transmitted to a van. There, computers replace the surfaces of clothing and bags with bluescreens that can display any message that takes your fancy. The modified scenes are then broadcast to large public displays in-and-around the mall. “Imagine the GAP sweatshirts replaced with child-labour statistics, or the Apple Store bag that says SHOPPING # FREEDOM.”


– For the Prudent Avoidance project, a participant wears a sensing device that detects exposure to electro-magnetic frequencies in the Extremely Low Frequency range that are suspected of having harmful effects on human life. So far, regulating agencies have suggested ‘Prudent Avoidance’ of them for individuals. But if you don’t know if/where they exist and how they are dispersed, how could you avoid them?

The Prudent Avoidance Device collects information on exposure durations and frequency that are then correlated with a user’s physical location. The data is presented on a website as a kind of interactive ‘documentary.’ Webvisitors can follow the lives of the participants as they navigate a public space filled with ELF emissions.