Great Circle is an audio visual iPhone app that we have developed for the Scotland Can Make It! project. A prototype was exhibited from 7 September 2012 – 13 January 2013 The People’s Palace, Glasgow.
The final version is now available to download for free on the App Store.
Scotland Can Make It! is a project inspired by the London 2012 Olympic Games and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. It features six souvenirs created by Scottish artists collaborating with Scottish manufacturers.
Rather than producing a physical souvenir we’ve made a virtual one – an app for the iPhone that acts like an audio-visual postcard of Glasgow. When you open the app you see an image and hear some music. Exactly what you see and hear is be determined by where you are in the world and by which direction you are traveling in relation to Glasgow, more specifically the Commonwealth Sports Arena in the east end of Glasgow. While the app is running the music and pictures will change depending on whether you are moving towards or away from the city. If you are moving in the direction of Glasgow the music and visuals will become richer and more complex and if you are moving away they will they will become more minimal and abstract. In order to experience the most complete version of the music and pictures the user will have to be standing in the Commonwealth Sports Arena. In effect our souvenir actively encourages you back to the place that it commemorates.
In addition, you can order a physical print of the artwork you see on your screen, and even get a real postcard that is unique to the moment of purchase delivered by post with any message printed on it you like to anywhere in the world.
Our souvenir app is called Great Circle after the ‘great-circle distance’ method that we are using to calculate the user’s distance from Glasgow. It is a digital software application that doesn’t require any physical manufacture. Instead we are collaborating with Chemikal Underground and O Street to publish the app in the Apple App Store.
The app fits into a larger theme that FOUND are currently investigating: the music industry’s obsession with a definitive version of a piece of music. We are interested in exploring new ways of adding value to music and distributing it in formats that cannot easily be pirated. Our Great Circle app provides a unique experience for each individual user every single time it is played.