Alex Zakkas and Kurt Tichy are invited by nadine to give a talk about their ongoing research on wireless tracking of mobile phones in public space; a surveillance practice that seems to connect shop windows with crowd management, pigeon flight paths and dropped waffles.
Zakkas and Tichy have been looking into such techniques and means currently used in Brussels, by observing their presence and functioning on the street. In this talk, they will lay their observations open for discussion, and afterwards we will have a walk in the surrounding streets to test a proposal for means of counter-footfall*.
The walk is followed by a movie screening. Co-researcher Dennis Pohl will introduce a documentary by Harun Farocki** that covers the genealogy of the current footfall systems.
Plan for the evening:
(!change of schedule due to new measures regarding Corona virus!)
17:00 Presentation + Walk
19:00 Break + Food
19:00 Movie screening The Creators of Shopping Worlds (72min)
* Footfall is a term used in the retail industry to refer to the number of customers setting foot on a retail space. Counting people by tracking mobile phones has become a widespread practice in surveying crowds, managing public events and shaping urbanist development.
** The Creators of Shopping Worlds by Harun Farocki (2005, 72min)
The designing of shopping malls is overseen by an army of planners, managers and scientists: there are consultants, re-launch analysts, a central association, mall magazines. 6000 guests and laboratories attended an annual convention in Las Vegas at which questions were investigated as where the gaze of a customer falls and how a “spontaneous” purchase can be induced. Farocki shows how mall producers look at malls when they want to find out, for example, how passers-by move, where they stop and where they reach for an article. He adds these images to the everyday ones – and gives them a magical charge.