Visual artists Esther Polak and Ivar van Bekkum lived 7 months in Philadelphia. New to the city, they invited inhabitants, both human and non-human, to explain their city through movement. Wandering by themselves, the protagonists recorded their trajectories, sounds and private readings of the streets, allowing the artists, and visitors of the website with them, to access their experiences only afterwards.
An innovative cartographic approach introduces a landscape of satellite images where one can travel along with the protagonists, while balancing between voyeurism and empathy. The meditative experience questions our contemporary techno-society, where eavesdropping and social connectivity coexist.
The artists developed a unique recording method and visualisation: Traditional film arises from a sound recording synchronised with 24 photos per second. Within “250 Miles Crossing Philadelphia” the synchronisation happens between a sound recording and a GPS track. (one location per second) A wearable-technology bag “The Beagle” was developed to perform the recordings. A special software plugin was developed to realise the synchronisation and to decide on the camera movements and camera positioning in the public/private 3D world of Google Earth.