Archipelago

Nova Jiang

Sustainable locomotion is not just about lowering energy consumption and reducing pollution, it is also an opportunity to redefine the social paradigm of transportation. In a car-based culture, we have sacrificed sociability in the way we travel for an ideal of “individual convenience” which ironically impedes rather than promotes mobility in our congested cities.


 
 
Photo by Patrick Lydon

Photo by Patrick Lydon

Photo by Patrick Lydon

Photo by Patrick Lydon

Photo by Patrick Lydon

Photo by Patrick Lydon

Photo by Patrick Lydon

Photo by Patrick Lydon

Image courtesy of the artist.

Image courtesy of the artist.

Image courtesy of the artist.

Image courtesy of the artist.


For this project and workshop, a collection of mobile “desert islands” will be constructed with help from the public. Each island will carry empty bottles and writing materials and circulate throughout the city. A participant can create an anonymous “message in a bottle” which asks for help, whether for romantic advice or philosophical guidance. The author can later log onto the project website to see what solutions people have offered.

Archipelago (2010) seeks to address issues of urban isolation exacerbated by car culture.  The islands act as “vehicles” which carry communication instead of people or goods. They are nodes in an experimental “social network” created around empathy. Archipelago has no predefined destination. Its mobility is a strategy to initiate chance encounters and encourage people to leave the “desert island” of their normal routine.

Commissioned by ZER01 for the 3rd 01SJ Biennial, and presented with the support of the James Irvine Foundation.