Prix Ars Electronica 2008
Loca: Set To Discoverable was awarded an Honorary Mention by Prix Ars Electronica 2008.


Loca has been covered widely in the media. It was chosen as the lead feature in NBC Television's coverage of the ZeroOne festival in USA, was covered prominently in the New York Times, and on BBC World Service's digital culture programme 'Digital Planet.'


"LOCA ... is a surveillance project that talks back. A crew plans to plant some 30 Bluetooth scanners encased in concrete blocks at bus stations, in shops and at other busy spots in San Jose. Carrying a Bluetooth-discoverable phone within 25 feet of the scanners can trigger the receipt of a surprisingly intimate message like: 'You walked past the flower shop and spent 30 minutes in the park. Are you in love?' Such notes are not sent via text messaging but through a subversive technique called Bluejacking, in which a Bluetooth device's name is replaced with a short message meant to be picked up by neighboring devices. Part of the point is to catch people by surprise, jolting them out of their daily rituals with a Dada-worthy prank. Another goal, said Mr. Hemment ... is to show people how much data they may be revealing every time they turn on their phones. 'In an office you can shut the door for privacy,' Mr. Hemment said. ''In conversation you can hide a facial expression. But with the new digital technologies, you may have no idea how much you're giving away.'' If this sounds more like an educational project than a work of art, Mr. Hemment does not seem to mind. He said he doesn't make hard and fast distinctions between the two: he considers LOCA a policy-minded research effort with the art serving as its public face." ... As Drew Hemment, an artist from Manchester, England, said: ... ''this work is really about challenging the way we interact with technology.'' - Jori Finkel, 'An Exhibition Where Paintings Are So Last Century', New York Times, August 6, 2006