Art, Museums, Music

Philharmonic Ringtones

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Feb 22, 2007

And for this cold February day, something lighter:  The nonprofit New York Philharmonic is selling ringtones of its performances on its brandnew site. Ringtones cost around $3 US, and include well-known works by Brahms, Mozart, and Dvorak. Cute.


QR Codes or Bust: Experimenting with QR Codes at the Brooklyn Museum

Posted by admin on Jan 26, 2012

Editor's Note: The following is blog post by Shelley Bernstein, the Chief of Technology at the Brooklyn Museum. It is reposted here based on two separate posts on the Brooklyn Museum blog with permission. 

A while back, I reported that we [Brooklyn Museum] were in the process of a trial period with QR codes.  We’ve just taken a look at the stats, so I’m giving a run down of what we’ve seen.  If I asked the Magic 8-Ball if we’d continue with QR in the New Year, I think the response might be anything from “outlook not so good” to “don’t count on it” or, possibly, “cannot predict now.”

I’ve long been a critic of QR Codes.  When I look around, I see low adoption rates, technical hurdles for end users and some really annoying uses in the marketing sector—who wants that? As critical as I am, there have been some really good uses in museums and I think we are starting to see a tide change in New York City. For starters, the city is using them on all the building permits, so you can learn more as you pass construction sites.

QR Codes or Bust: Experimenting with QR Codes at the Brooklyn Museum data sheet 2163 Views
Countries: United States

Work with us! Internship for a Seriously Talented Aspiring Designer

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Apr 04, 2011

We are looking for a rock star Summer design intern (April-September) to come to our office in New York for three days or more per week. You will be tasked with developing creative and designing collateral for innovative mobile projects for social change around the world, including presentations, screen casts, print materials, and online graphics. You will have an opportunity to put a significant 'stamp' on our projects and build your portfolio.

To be considered, you will be extraordinarily creative, design cleanly and persuasively, are comfortable in most media forms, and have deep knowledge of all industry standard design applications. A passion for social change a must, as is being technology-savvy. Experienced in data visualization/infographics, motion and/or interactive graphics, publishing to web, and to print. UX and UI experience a strong plus.

Bonus points if you have traveled widely and understand cultures and realities of other countries. If you have previously designed training and educational materials (from comics to how-to guides) you will be especially considered.

To apply, please send your resume, availability (daily/weekly schedule), portfolio samples (or a link to your portfolio), and the reason why we should choose you to work with us to

Apply by 4/20/2011.

Internship involves a small stipend, and we will help you with earning school credit if needed. No phone calls please.

Image via (until we have you, our new designer!)

Mobiles + Art + Activism: Our Last Tech Salon

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Dec 29, 2010

Missed our last Mobile Tech Salon? Have no fear! We focused on how artists and activists using mobiles in their work: Urban Speaker broadcasts phone calls in public spaces over a loudspeaker; TXTual Healing and SMS Slingshot plaster text messages on walls; Pathways to Housing encourages people on the street to interact with a light projection via text; and Amphibious Architecture allows people to send text messages to and receive messages from animals in the rivers surrounding New York City. Watch the video below to get a taste of the artists' presentations:

The event was a great way to explore how mobiles can bring a new level of interactivity to art, and how art can be used to inspire activism. Presenters remarked on how the ubiquity of mobile devices make them ideal for encouraging people to interact with their surroundings. If you want to learn more about these projects, check out our posts on TXTual Healing, Amphibious Architecture and Pathways to Housing here, or watch an interview with Carlos J. Gomez de Llarena (creator of the Urban Speaker) here. Urban Collective, creators of the SMS Slingshot couldn't join us in person for the tech salon, but check out a video of their presentation here.

Thanks to for hosting us in their space, and thanks to the artists for showing their work!

Mobiles + Art + Activism: Our Last Tech Salon data sheet 2321 Views
Countries: United States

December Events Roundup

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Dec 07, 2010

There are plenty of events happening this December to keep you up to date on all your mobile needs. Developer looking for a project? Researcher wanting to meet others in your field? No problem, there are plenty of mobile events for everyone! Event:

9 December, Tech Salon: Mobiles + Art + Activism (New York City, U.S.A.) For our last tech salon of the year, we'll be hosting an event that brings together art, mobiles and activism. Featuring artists and activists who use mobile phones in innovative and creative ways, our December tech salon will have installations and discussions with the artists (and, as always, food, wine, and great conversations). Sign up here!

Four Questions Non-Profits Should Ask Before Jumping Into Mobile Apps

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Nov 24, 2010

Mobile applications gets a lot of attention today.  The market is growing every day. Cellular-News recently reported that this quarter’s worldwide smartphone sales increased 96% compared to a similar period last year, and that smartphones now account for nearly 20 percent of worldwide phone sales. Apps are admittedly a great way to reach out to new audiences.

But for non-profits, developing mobile apps can be a tricky undertaking. There’s a lot of hype around apps, and it’s hard to know how to approach the smartphone market. Planning for a mobile app that fits into a non-profit’s mobile communications strategy can make the difference between a great app and an app that doesn’t meet expectations. For non-profits wanting to develop apps, it’s important to make sure that they are meeting a real need – both for the organization and for users. Before launching an app, there are four questions non-profits should ask themselves: 

Four Questions Non-Profits Should Ask Before Jumping Into Mobile Apps data sheet 4719 Views
Countries: United States

December Tech Salon in New York: Mobiles + Art + Activism

Posted by anoushrima on Nov 20, 2010

Have you ever texted a fish? Or graffitied a wall with your mobile?

Thanks to the ever-present mobile devices and connectivity, artists and activists are experimenting with how we interact with each other, organize ourselves, and our surroundings. 

We've written about interactive texts messages in activism before, and are very excited to devote our December Tech Salon to how artists and activists use mobile phones for expression.

RSVP here to join us on Thursday December 9th for "Mobiles + Art + Activism": an evening of conversation with artists, and live demos & exhibits of mobile art projects exploring public spaces, calls to action, crowd engagement and participation.

Projects & artists to be showcased include:

Urban Speaker: Mobile Technology Meets Public Art

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Oct 12, 2010

In New York City's East Village neighborhood last Friday, anyone with a mobile phone could have their words heard across Tompkins Square Park. An art exhibit called "Urban Speaker" allowed participants to call a mobile phone hooked up to an amplifier and loudspeaker, and the resulting messages were immediately broadcast. 

Designed by artist Carlos J. Gomez de Llarena, Urban Speaker is a mix of technology and performance art – participants could either call the number printed on a sign, or use a QR code to get more information about the project. Anyone could call the number and had 60 seconds to speak into a voicemail service, and then the message was sent out over the loudspeaker. Watch Gomez de Llarena explain the project below:

Urban Speaker: Mobile Technology Meets Public Art data sheet 4062 Views
Countries: United States

Mobile Phone Use by Young Adults in India: A Case Study

Posted by MohiniBhavsar on Sep 28, 2010
Mobile Phone Use by Young Adults in India: A Case Study data sheet 4527 Views
Priyanka Matanhelia
Publication Date: 
Jan 2010
Publication Type: 

This study explored the use of mobile phones among young adults in India. The study used the theoretical frameworks of uses and gratifications approach from media studies, socialcognitive domain theory from human development literature and social construction of technology (SCOT) from Science and Technology studies. The main objective of the study was to examine the use of mobile phones to fulfill communication, media and age-related needs by young people in India and to investigate regional and gender differences.

The study was conducted in two phases using a mixed-methods approach. In the first phase, in-depth interviews were conducted with 30 college-going young adults (18 – 24 years) in Mumbai and Kanpur in December 2007 and January 2008. In the second phase, a survey was conducted with 400 college-going young adults (18 – 24 years) in Mumbai and Kanpur.

The qualitative analysis of the data showed that young people in both the cities used cell phones for a variety of communication, news and entertainment needs. Additionally, they considered cell phones as personal items and used them to store private content, maintain privacy and have private conversations. Further, the analysis showed that they used cell phones to negotiate independence from parents and to maintain friendships and create friendships with members of opposite sex.

The quantitative analysis of the data revealed that young people in the two cities used cell phones differently due to the differences in their lifestyles and socio-cultural factors. Additionally, the study found there were only a few gender differences in the use of cell phones by young people, mainly in the use of cell phones for entertainment purposes, negotiation of independence from parents and in forming friendships with members of opposite sex. Finally, the study concluded that young people in India mainly use cell phones for private communication and needs.

Exploiting Mobile Technology in the African Urban Low-Income Informal Music Industry

Posted by MohiniBhavsar on Jul 30, 2010
Exploiting Mobile Technology in the African Urban Low-Income Informal Music Industry data sheet 2131 Views
Impio, J., Mastia-Mwangi, M., Macharia, L., Githinji, P., and Sitati, M.
Publication Date: 
Jan 2008
Publication Type: 
Journal article

Music making and distribution is a large scale phenomenon in urban informal settlements in Africa. The talent, vision and passion of the musicians living in the African slums would be appreciated by the music lovers around the world if only the artists had a chance to practice as well as possibilities for recording and sharing. Furthermore this would contribute significantly to livelihoods of the people living in the slums and to economic development of Africa as a whole given the estimates of the contribution that the informal music industry is already making.

The obstacles discussed we believe can partly be overcome by creative thinking and new technology and we hope that this report works as a source of knowledge and inspiration for researchers and developers to develop meaningful services and support mechanisms for young musicians living in the slums around the world.

Interactive Texts Involve You in Public Spaces

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Apr 05, 2010

Many lament that mobile phones can isolate us from our immediate surroundings as we walk down the street texting friends and not paying attention. These three different projects are encouraging people to actively engage with what's around them - with and on their mobile phones. TXTual Healing, Amphibious Architecture and Pathways to Housing take regular text messages and turn them into an interactive experience. 

Txtual Healing

In 2006, Paul Notzold showed the first presentation of TXTual Healing as his MFA thesis project for Parsons School of Design. The project consisted of speech bubbles projected onto the side of a building; viewers texted in messages to fill the speech bubbles. Since then, the project has been shown around the world, including France, Italy, Romania, the USA, the Netherlands and China.

Interactive Texts Involve You in Public Spaces data sheet 9214 Views
Countries: United States

Posted by on Jan 01, 1970


Posted by on Jan 01, 1970


MobileActive's Pick of the Week: CellStories - Short Stories on Your Mobile

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Nov 18, 2009

Instead of cracking open a book, try sitting back with a short story on your phone. CellStories, which launched in September, offers a new short (1500-2500 words) story every weekday to readers on mobile phones. The website only shows its daily short stories to visitors coming to the site on mobile phones – those on a desktop see a welcome page and are encouraged to come back on a web-enabled mobile.

MobileActive's Pick of the Week: CellStories - Short Stories on Your Mobile data sheet 4486 Views
Countries: United States

Posted by on Jan 01, 1970


Posted by on Jan 01, 1970


Mobile Senegal

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Sep 08, 2009

Developing mobile applications adapted to the African market is a challenge and an opportunity demanding a deep understanding of the African realities - as diverse as they are even inside a single country. African computer science students will play a crucial role in this context and be key in the development of such applications corresponding to the needs of their compatriots - from various backgrounds. The goal of this project is to educate Senegalese students on the potential and procedures - at the technical and business levels - for creating tech startups based on mobile technology corresponding to the needs and realities of their country

Organization Type: 

Peace Corps

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Sep 01, 2009

The Peace Corps traces its roots and mission to 1960, when then-Senator John F. Kennedy challenged students at the University of Michigan to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries. From that inspiration grew an agency of the federal government devoted to world peace and friendship. Since that time, more than 195,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in 139 host countries to work on issues ranging from AIDS education to information technology and environmental preservation.

Organization Type: 
Washington, D.C.


Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Aug 25, 2009

Moolab conducts research in wireless networks and mobile audio, and uses mobile phones, handheld computers and custom-made devices to develop new artistic applications for the art and technology fields. Moolab was created in 2003 and consists of a loosely knit group of researchers, developers, artists and composers, who work to promote the creative use of technology.

Organization Type: 
New York City

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African Film Makers, Censorship, and Mobile Phones

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Apr 27, 2009

Kiripi Katembo Siku, an art school student from the Democratic Republic of Congo, is a film maker with ingenuity and a mobile. He circumvents the restrictions and government censorship in Kinshasa, the country's capital, by attaching his mobile phone to a toy car, setting it to film, and then giving it to a girl to pull behind her on a piece of string as she walks through the streets of Kinshasa.

The resulting "Voiture en Carton" ("Cardboard Car") provides a rare glimpse of street-life in Kinshasa. The seven-minute film gives the viewer a clandestine look at life in the capital -- feet of children, youth gambling, and an UN jeep passing by.


According to CNN, he is one of a number of filmmakers in the DR Congo who says that using a mobile phone allows him to film in ways that were previously not possble. Film makers there say that filming permits are not given out anymore to avoid exposing corruption, poverty, and crime. Those brave enough to defy the authorities and shoot without permission risk fines, arrest, or worse.

Mobile Phones in Africa: The Trailer

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Apr 27, 2009

Our friends at in Austria just releases the trailer to a documentary about the growth of mobiles in Africa. Martin Konzett from who did a fabulous job documenting MobileActive08 with his videos, is the director. The full documentary will open on May 8th. 

Texting for Beethoven: The New York Philharmonic Goes Mobile

Posted by CorinneRamey on Jul 22, 2008

A few weeks ago, audience members at a New York Philharmonic concert in New York City's Central Park voted for the encore. Given two options -- Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze" and Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee," the audience members texted in their votes. About 74% of respondents voted for Hendrix, so that piece concluded the concert.

Vince Ford, the Philharmonic's Director of New Media, told MobileActive a bit about the orchestra's first steps into mobile marketing. "We have offered ringtones on our website for two years now, but beyond that we haven't done much with mobile," Ford said. "This week was our first step in that direction." In addition to the SMS voting, the orchestra offered concert status SMS alerts on their website. "Not many people signed up initially, but once it rained on Monday the alerts really took off," he said. Ford said that 5,000 people participated in the concert alerts or SMS voting. About 61,000 people attended the outdoor concert.

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Artivists and Mobile Phones: The Transborder Immigrant Project

Posted by CorinneRamey on Nov 18, 2007

Editor's NOTE, September 2010: The Transborder Immigration Tool has, since this post was first put online in 2007, generated quite a bit of controversy. As far as we know, the tool was never deployed with anyone (we are checking with Ricardo Dominguez on the state of development of the tool) but since then has risen to the attention (as the art project/concept/idea) of even Glenn Beck, a US conservative commentator. A YouTube video of Ricardo describing the project from April 2010 is here, and an article in the San Diego City Beat outlines the political story of the last year of the Transborder Immigration Tool.