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Prix 1987 - 2007

ORF Oberösterreich

Stephen Wilson

Crime-Z-Land,an interactive public art exhibit located in the outdoor installation space across from San Francisco's City Hall, offers attractions such as Map-Z-crime, Choose-Z-crime, Scan-Z-crime, and Web-Z-crime to visitors and Web surfers alike. CrimeZyLand took place from March, 98 to June, 98. It was part of the "Exploration: City Site Public Art series" sponsored by the San Francisco Art Commission Gallery.

What is it? Crime-Zy-land is an art installation that transforms the City Site lot into a computer controlled living "map" that creates light, motion, and sound corresponding to the minute by minute statistical level of crimes committed in San Francisco districts, as indicated by the Police Department CABLE crime statistics.The viewer can experience the crime "pulse" of the city firsthand.
This installation appeals on a sensual level, and also encourages viewers to think about deeper issues.
1. Crime as Entertainment: Using the strategy of absurd extension, this installation asks viewers to question the media circus created around crime. Are TV crime reports or this humorous "Disneyland of Crime" appropriate events?
2. Deconstruction of Crime: What's a crime? Who defines it? What are our prejudices about crime? Are street crimes worthy of more attention than other crimes against the community such as poisoning the Bay or creation of dangerous products that kill or maim?
3. Information visualization and access:The installation uses the tools of public sculpture to give viewers intuitive access to this provocative information about urban life.
4. Real vs. Virtual Presence:The installation asks viewers to think about the difference between physical and Internet participation in public events. Some analysts note that because of crime, urban dwellers increasingly engage in"cocooning".This installation offers enhanced control options to those brave viewers who venture out to be physically present.