2008 Rockefeller New Media Foundation Proposal
Street Spirit is a project that will use a constellation of makeshift memorials as a framework for a "memorial walk" - a networked locative system for people to interact with, locate and annotate place. Through the integration of web-based and cell phone participation with physical place, Street Spirit will mine the memories associated with makeshift memorials for victims of fatal gunshot wounds that have become an all too- familiar sight on the streets of Philadelphia. Last year more than half the victims--187 people--were African-American men between the ages of 15 and 29. Through the intimate and personal vehicle of storytelling, by engaging individuals to offer their own memories, associations and images, Street Spirit is a vehicle to connect communities in their grief, and to give voice to deaths that are rarely even noted in the newspaper. It is designed to enable a community's collective memory to grow organically, allowing ordinary citizens to embed social knowledge in the wired and wireless landscape of the city.