Tour of the Monuments of Silicon Valley / Elliot Anderson
Tour of the Monuments of Silicon Valley: An Augmented Reality History of Silicon Valley's Most Polluted Sites
Twenty-nine Superfund sites are located Silicon Valley, the largest concentration in the U.S. The public is not always aware of these sites and their degree of toxicity. Many of these sites lie underneath suburban neighborhoods without obvious signs of pollution. In the past Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (SVTC) – a research, advocacy and grassroots environmental justice organization - offered tours of these sites educating the public about the realities of technology production and its byproducts.  However, because most of the pollution is in the groundwater participants found it difficult to fully envision the problem.

In response to the need to tell this historically important story a custom Augmented Reality Software (ARS) app was developed creating a unique, interactive documentary tour about the Superfund sites of Silicon Valley.  Using the ARS app running on smart devices tour participants hear, see and interact with the history of the site and people affected by environmental pollution. 

The ARS Application running on the iPhone and iPad utilizes GPS capabilities to locate a viewer. The viewer points the device at the landscape and the App overlays real time video from the device’s camera with text, images, interactive 3D graphics, and animations accompanied by sound recording particular to the viewer's location. The software enables an interactive interpretively rich lens through which participants can fully experience the landscape and its history. Participants on the tour wander the site with a device and encounter this history through the voices, science and stories connected to its legacy of pollution.

A few iPads will be available to tour participants.  The iPad/iPhone App will be available free through the App Store online. The tour will last approximately 1 1/2 hours, including bus ride. A shuttle to the site will be provided. Sign up now!


Silicon Valley Toxic Tours will take place from the ZERO1 Garage
September 15, 2012
First Tour: Bus leaves at 11:00am. Tour begins at 11:30am
Second Tour: Bus leaves at 2:00pm. Tour begins at 2:30pm

Tour lasts approximately 1 1/2 hours

Participants may provide their own transportation to the site.

Elliot Anderson

lives in San Francisco and works in Santa Cruz


Anderson studied Computer Engineering at Northeastern University (Boston, MA), and worked as an engineer before completing a BA in Art and an MA in Creative Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies from San Francisco State University.

He is an Associate Professor of Art and Digital Art and New Media at the University of California Santa Cruz and Co-Directs the Social Practice and Arts Research Center (SPARC).

Anderson's work incorporates video, sound, interactivity, animation, and digital imaging.  His work includes interactive computer sculptures and installation, public art, digital photography and computer-controlled interactive video sets for New Music and Dance performance.

Anderson has exhibited and performed in Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. His work has been performed and exhibited at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the M.H. de Young Museum.  He recently completed a large-scale work for the U.S. Embassy in Lusaka, Zambia.