The Living Map Project / Helen Mair, Jonathan Hearn, & James Stone

The Living Map Project is a real time depiction of the space occupied by visitors to the 2012 ZERO1 Biennial. It was conceived in response to the Biennial's theme "Seeking Silicon Valley" – redefining space and place through contemporary art.

The Map's aim is to represent social spaces, those occupied by people rather than structures. Navigation and destination are guided by social pull or aversion. Traditionally mapped elements such as impassible objects remain hidden until their impressions are suggested in negative spaces produced by social gatherings.

Reflecting ambient interaction from festival visitors, the Map pulls anonymous location data from participating users of the ZERO1 Biennial app. Each visitor is represented by a single element on the map that follows their movements, reacting and connecting with other elements within their vicinity. Visitors can choose to effect their representation on the map by selecting color tags when near other artworks (within the React tab).

A sped-up playback of the Map recorded over the Biennial's opening weekend will reflect the life-cycle of the festival, revealing the predictable and unexpected patterns in the movements, moods and interactions of the participants.

Helen Mair, Jonathan Hearn, & James Stone

live and work in San Jose, CA, USA, and London


Helen designs graphics and digital interactions for mobile and web projects. Her interest in mapping and social interaction have evolved since working in a Melbourne based studio that specialises in exhibition and wayfinding. Previously exhibited work include a group project at The Creators Project New York Event in 2011. The Living Map Project has been Helen's concept, she has provided the creative direction and production. Helen has also designed the interaction and graphic interface for the ZERO1 Biennial app which provides the data source for the Living Map.

Jonathan develops studio pipeline systems for large-scale stop-motion feature films. In this capacity he has worked on productions such as 'Fantastic Mr Fox' and Tim Burtons's upcoming feature 'Frankenweenie' . He is now the lead developer for startup company, Framewave, who implement custom pipeline systems to stop-motion productions worldwide. His expertise are in robust, real-time databases systems, image processing, video encoding and streaming. Jon has developed the backend database and pipeline for the Living Map.

James is a media artist specializing in digital technology and fabrication. His work involves creating interventions with the biological to augment and expand the notion of what is cyborg. His work has been exhibited in previous ZERO1 Biennials, as well as GAFFTA and ISEA. He is a past resident of the Institute of Arts and Humanities, served on the Faculty for Eyebeam, and is a University Fellow of the Pennsylvania State University, where he also taught game and creative coding techniques using Processing. James has provided the visualization of the Living Map.