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C5 GPS Media Player

C5 GPS Media Player

The June 2005 gatepage for artport, the Whitney Museum's portal to Internet art, features the C5 GPS Media Player:

The C5 GPS Media Player was developed in conjunction with The C5 Landscape Initiative, a series of projects initiated by C5 that involve mapping, navigation and search of the landscape using GIS (Geographic Information Systems). The Landscape Initiative examines the changing conception of the landscape as we move from the aesthetics of representation to those of information visualization and interface.

Consisting of three parts -- The Analogous Landscape: Rim of Fire, The Perfect View, and The Other Path -- The Landscape Initiative consists of massive performative expeditions all over the world that involve network technologies and explore the status of our relationship to the landscape in a networked data world. For The Analogous Landscape, members of the C5 team climbed mountains such as Mt. Shasta (14,162 ft.) in the Cascade Range of North America, Mt. Whitney in California (14,162 ft), and -- with two teams simultaneously -- Mt. Fuji, the tallest mountain in Japan at 12,395 ft. (3,776 m) and Mt. Lassen in California (10,457 ft.). The respective journeys were tracked by means of the Global Positioning System (GPS) and Digital Elevation Mapping (DEM), with the goal of establishing analogies between the journeys through the different terrains. For The Other View, C5 asked people who are making use of GPS technology in their travels -- thus "geocaching" them -- to recommend locations they experienced as sublime and then revisited the places according to the original coordinates in order to photograph document them. The goal of The Other Path was to accurately track the Great Wall of China and then use pattern matching procedures in order to find an analogous "significant path" in the US.

By means of the C5 GPS Media Player, visitors can access the GPS track logs of each C5 member's route in the different manifestations of the project, see associated media documentation (photographs / video), and investigate multiple track logs to compare the landscapes. Exploration does not only unfold in the traversing of landscape but in raising the question whether strategies of navigation can be translated from one site to another (or whether similar sites induce the same techniques for exploration).

The C5 GPS Media Player suggests a trajectory from personal experience and live performance to a data representation of this very experience and the possible contexts for understanding it. The virtual track logs and overlapping paths accessible through the GPS Media Player form their own kind of landscape -- rooted in a personal interaction with the actual landscape yet accumulating into a virtual, relational set of data that transcends both the subjective and actual. The different forms of data combined at the website -- from photorealistic documentation to simulation -- are a reflection on the construction of reality and a shared resource that invites investigation by its users.

The Landscape Initiative is currently on view at SF Camerawork. The exhibition features digital photographic prints, fabricated sculptural objects, 3D visualizations and digital video.

C5 Corporation specializes in cultural production informed by the blurred boundaries of research, art, and business practice. Focus is on the development of tactical strategies involving information visualization, databases, and distributed networks.

C5 projects have been featured at institutions such as ICA-London, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Walker Art Center, Center for Creative Inquiry at ASU, and the Cantor Center for the Arts. C5 representatives have participated in international symposia and festivals including Transmediale, Berlin; Ars Electronica, Austria; AUT, New Zealand; and the II International Biennial in Buenos-Aires.

Previous projects include Radio Controlled Surveillance Probes RCSP, 16 Sessions, YDSTYDS (You Don't See That You Don't See), 1:1, and SoftSub. Full documentation is available at

C5 members:
Joel Slayton
Steve Durie
Geri Wittig
Bruce Gardner
Jack Toolin
Brett Stalbaum
Amul Goswamy
Matt Mays