For the Connecting Cities 2014: Participatory City, Ars Electronica Futurelab realized Entangled Sparks.
Entangled Sparks is a programme that allows people to take a “pixel” of a media façade home in the shape of a LinzerSchnitte, a low-cost programmable FM broadcast receiver board. They can take the pixel anywhere in the city. They take over “godparenthood” for it.
This is comparable with the phenomenon of quantum entanglement where a particle shares certain properties with an inseparable counterpart. Here, a part of the façade is mapped to a single mobile pixel and vice versa; the building is extruded into the city and the city implodes into the building.
Owners of a pixel can coordinate with their friends in order to program their LinzerSchnitte devices to activate synchronously. The facade dissolves by means of participation: It becomes a transparent membrane and is no longer the outside of a cubature.
Pixels can blink, light up, fade, or do something completely unrelated to light; anything that can be controlled with a switch – or, as it were, anything that can be “sparked” with electricity – is possible. When a device is activated, its “entangled pixel” on the façade lights up.
The concept works according to aesthetical criteria as soon as the social criteria are fulfilled, i.e. if neighborhoods collaborate. It also works as social reflection by visualizing where social co-operation is successful: A reflection of the city, visualized on the façade.