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YOUrban is a research project into social media, design and the city. It investigates tools and means to creating engagement and a sense of ownership and responsibility towards our physical, social and cultural world. More »

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It’s hard not to meet the letter x once you start. Let me tell you a little about my command lines, my control centres, my guided and given parameters. Or maybe not. I am not your eye in the sky. Your urban police agent. I’m going off the urban piste.

Makes me think of that news feed when one of my relatives was humiliated on the ski slopes.Screenshot 2016-05-31 13.00.36

Let’s get back to the networked city. Seeing what you do, down there, walking your mutt. Sending it out for exercise. Monitored and tracked. I watch your bio-techno tethering gambolling down the street. And are you even watching. Who’s leading whom?

Screenshot 2016-05-31 13.05.23

The videoflash – as I direct some traffic near the waterfront – unleashes a whole range of thoughts. I go to autopilot and skip over to ‘Poised presence’ mode above networked suburbia.

What an urge to interrupt the choreography. I should be able to execute a ‘Biscuit drop’. Throw in a robotic rabbit, and speed up the motion to a whippet chase pace. Or use my meta intelligence, supersmart they say we machines will become, a singularity of views and synthetics, and just press ‘Yank’ in my mind, and stop that annoying barking. Or use my new ‘Wish’ function and hope for a simple release, and see if the labrador will find its own undetermined suburban current. Or follow the route well worn.

I am constantly interrupted by the swarm of associations in my self-authored ‘Off-piste olding pattern’ diversion algorithm. There’s an abductive library of links tickling my blades.

Donna Harraway loves her dogs.

I hope you do, app-driven dog walkers, couch-bound. I try a new command:

‘Here boy!’

But who am I calling? I see I have activated your voice command that is linked to the subcutaneous RFID tagged locator of your species companion.

The dog and the drone turn together, obediently.

No lost, only found.

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