Community Wall

"The better constituted the state, the more public affairs outweigh private ones in the minds of citizens.... Under a bad government, no one cares to take even a step to attend them: no one takes an interest in what is done there, since it is predictable that the general will won't prevail, and so finally domestic concerns absorb everything."

-Rousseau, "The Social Contract"

This wall, its texts, the animated type (kinetic typography) and the telephone pole with its attached (pirate) radio transmitter were all intended to raise questions about the meaning, form and function of democratic discourse and the public realm in post-industrial Pittsburgh. We carefully chose a group of community statements from our three years of collective dialogues. These were juxtaposed against a series of statements by children from the Nine Mile Run Watershed, commenting on change, redevelopment and their personal relationship to the post -industrial environment.

"As you walk about the room, the children's statements are visible on the monitor, and the sounds of wildlife are broadcast over our "pirate" public radio station S.L.A.G. at 91.7fm on the radio dial. Twenty-four hours a day, the sound of nature moves through the airwaves, overlaying the culture of downtown with the sounds of nature mediated through technology.

As you move towards a more intimate relationship to the Post-Industrial Community Wall, you will trigger a switch which activates the broadcast of our public dialogues. As you stand witness to the animated (kinetic) text of the public dialogue, you enable the radio broadcast of a public voice in a media increasingly dominated by private/corporate - media interests."

View this sample movie (235kb) to experience KINETIC TEXT

Tim Collins and Richard Pell developed the concepts for the Post-Industrial Community wall.

Professor Suguru Ishizaki developed the kinetic type/text sofware which us taught at Carnegie Mellon's School of Design.

Hee Bok Lee and Hyun-Jung Kim, CMU design students, developed the kinetic designs from community dialogue samples selected and edited by the project team.

Greg Baltus, Richard Pell and Jamie Schulte developed and assembled the "pirate" radio display.
Bob Bingham is the "voice" of S-L-A-G radio.
Herb Gilliland, project assistant, developed the sound effects.

Nine Mile Run Greenway Project
STUDIO for Creative Inquiry
Carnegie Mellon University