KM Bosy's Inside Here is both an artwork and a downloadable app. It's a locative and interactive artwork based on poetic symbols related to space, altitude and daydreaming. She agreed to answer a few questions to help us better understand the project.
You describe Inside Here, which will be free for download for iOS and Android, as "app artwork," and "social networked artwork." These are terms I've never encountered before, but it seems that they might become important to the future of art. Can you explain the project in a little more detail? What inspired it? How does the app work? What do people see when they download it?
My Inside here app-form artwork takes a literal aspect of poetic symbology, that is altitude relative to a user-set point at the ground floor of their house, and allows users to see their altitude, wherever they are, relative to this point. In this way I aim to provide a focus for their reflections. These could be in the form of feelings, thoughts, thoughts about feelings, epiphanies etc., and I want to encourage people to share their reflections via the app to my blog, in order to create an open ended social-networked art piece.
Art can be a way of creating space for reflection, so I find it very interesting to use the developing areas of apps and social networking as art media. In this artwork, I am interested in the processes of contemplation in the digital era.
You use the term "locative," what does the word mean to you, particularly in relation to this artwork, and to your thoughts on home and travel, both in the mind and actual physical journeys?
Inside here is place-based. It has as many locations as participants and is linked to participants’ movements. Each user is an autonomous agent and an essential and active participant. Location is important in relation to this artwork as spatial symbols in poetry and art indicate that the spaces around us influence how we feel. More specifically, our concept of ‘home’ seems to influence our feelings towards other spaces. In The Poetics of Space (1958), an analysis of poetic symbolism, the philosopher Gaston Bachelard theorized that there are universal spatial symbols related to home, and we develop strong individual associations with the space of our own home. It is possible that we apply these to experiences in other spaces while away from home, even out having coffee or waiting for a friend.
You talk about juxtaposing poetic symbolism with reality, and presumably with all of the different realities of the people taking part in the project. How will you involve the poetic symbolism? As a prompt, a reflection, a reaction? What poetic symbols speak to you particularly as relevant to this project?
Inside here focuses the user on their own feelings and thoughts, which may be influenced by their spatial environment, by displaying their literal altitude compared to the symbolic ground floor of home. It requires the user to consider their own reality through the lens of poetic symbolism and in this way acts as a prompt to encourage contemplation and reflection. Since this piece uses altitude, a relevant poetic motif is that descending can release the subconscious whereas the higher we ascend, the further the subconscious recedes and thoughts become clearer.
Will this be an ongoing, open-ended, web-only project or will you draw conclusions and collect information? Will the conversation be the artwork in itself, or will you and others create art based on the project that may or may not exist in solid form in the "real" world?
The social-networked artwork will be created by users who choose to participate by sharing to my blog using the link provided in the app artwork. The comments made by the users will create a social networked artwork, the content of which will form a comment in itself. Other works may develop from this. It will be interesting to see what is shared.
You quote Gaston Bachelard from the Poetics of Space speaking about "inherently human ‘values that belong to daydreaming.’" What are some of these values, to you?
Bachelard goes on to write that ‘the values that belong to daydreaming mark humanity in its depths’. To me, this means that daydreaming, as a form of reflection or contemplation, is what makes us human.
Bosy's mailing list for beta testing will be opening on May 15th. You can sign up to the mailing list at http://www.kmbosy.com/blog.