As a web developer, I am always interested in technology and its uses and how users interact with it. "Hello Lamp Post" is an experimental Bristol-wide platform to encourage users to interact to discover the city and others' experiences. The platform encourages people to take time out and to interact with the environment and with others who have previously left their responses.
"Hello Lamp Post" can be prompted by sending a text message to 'talk to' various items of street furniture, the harbour, signage, cranes, and buildings and receiving text messages back to interact. The signs read: "Bristol's street furniture is waking up and wants to talk to you." They encourage visitors to send a text message with a unique hash code.
According to the website hellolamppost.co.uk, the inspiration for this experiment comes from two ideas: a city diary that allows us to conjure memories of the city that we have had with applying codes to everyday objects.
Although there were several of these around Bristol that I discovered, I only photographed and interacted with a couple of them.
Here is my discussion with Crane #31. I think I confused it.
Me: Hello crane #31
Crane 31: Hello, human. All over Bristol objects like me are waking up and asking people about the city. I have a few questions for you. I can't see you. Where are you standing?
Me: I am near the water.
Crane 31: Ah, now I see you. Give me a wave. Someone else told me: 'Stalker!! By the arnolfini' I have another question. Can you see the Balmoral? She's a beautiful ship.
Me: I am not sure which ship she is.
Crane 31: Interesting. Someone else told me: 'She is. I am moored near the Irene. She is an old grain boat.' Here's something else I'm wondering about you. If you were as tall as me, what would you do?
Me: I would admire the great views over Bristol and gaze at stars.
Crane 31: Thanks, short stuff. I'll let you go but check other objects for existing codes - almost anything can talk.
Crane 31: It was great to chat, but I need to think about your answers. Come back soon!
Cranes and harbourside
Here is my discussion with the harbourside. Unfortunately, the harbourside did not have the concept of time.
Me: Hello harbourside #hrb5
Harbour: Hello, human. All over Bristol objects like me are waking up and asking people about the city. I have a few questions for you. What's your favourite thing around here?
Me: I like to admire the views along the waterfront.
Harbour: Cool! Someone else told me: 'around bristol?? i love the old vic theatre! my boyfriend performed there last night and it was truly amazing!!!xxxxxxx' Let me ask another question. What brings you to this part of town?
Me: I am visiting Gromits.
Harbour: I see. Someone else told me: 'Going to the Watershed to catch up with a friend.' I have another question. What have you got lined up for the rest of the day?
Me: It is night now, so I will go to bed soon. Staying out later would be awesome, but I will be too tired.
Harbour: Right. Someone else told me: 'Seeing the cathedral and taking a boat tour' I'll let you go but check out other objects for existing codes - almost anything can talk!