Urban Development (2012)

Interactive Video Installation

The first part of the video is the Downgrade portion, skip to 1:51 for Upgrade.

Urban Development is an interactive “video collage” creator. By manipulating footage gathered from locations around San Diego, users can either “improve” or “worsen” the appearance of a background house by placing items of “high” or “low” value on top it. There are two versions of the program: Downgrade offers objects of low or negative value to be arranged over a seemingly valuable house; Upgrade allows the opposite. Issues of gentrification abound in cities across America, where once affordable and historically rich neighborhoods have become over-priced and blandly trendy. Through the interactive nature of the piece, users are given power to remix these spaces, and indulge in fantasies of “de-gentrification.” The nauseating fluidity of the video collage evokes the constant state of flux in the urban landscape, creating an image that simultaneously engages and repulses. The program was created in Processing 2.06b.

November 2012