Neighborhood Watch Files is a collection of landscape experiments which explore new narratives and conditions that may emerge as our everyday environments are transformed by the proliferation of camera-equipped autonomous devices, and large-scale electronic displays.
As these technologies advance to the foreground of our daily experience, the parameters of their algorithmic and physical performance will gradually shape all aspects of the built environment. The scenarios in Neighborhood Watch emerge from selected imagined - by not entirely unlikely - aspects of life when we share the city with intelligent mobile objects and screens of all kinds. These scenarios have more in common with diagrams of weather maps than cinematic or gaming versions of reality. Rather than consisting of authored stories or entirely top down designed 'worlds,' the project is a construction site where simulation software is used to add new technological elements to familiar environments, creating unfamiliar scenarios and situations with a degree of unpredictability and humor.
Our perspective in all this is neither dystopian nor boosterish. We are not interested in sci-fi moralizing or video game nihilism. Rather, we view this project as optimistic: that the effects of so much intimidating change can nevertheless be explored and appreciated – perhaps co opted with curiosity and humor in a way that artists, architects and filmmakers have been occasionally adept at in the past.
Project team: Hooker & Kitchen (Ben Hooker and Shona Kitchen), an architect (Tim Durfee), and a technologist/RC enthusiast (Andrew Nagata).