Client: Rhode Island School of Design
Project Title: Community Displays
Location: Providence, RI
Type: Digital Billboards, 2009
Combining art and code, Potion's "Community Displays" give RISD's students and staff a visual and unfiltered platform to express themselves visually.
At the bequest of RISD President John Maeda, Potion worked to create an electronic system whose organic, uncensored structure distinguishes it as a medium for the entire community.
Potion's custom application mimics a bulletin board with only one rule: anyone from the community can post anything as long as their name is attached to it. Featured in prominent locations around campus, the screens refresh with a new batch of submissions twice an hour, arranging content based on Potion's custom algorithm so that the layout is always unique and surprising. The application gives each submission its well-deserved moment in the sun by
zooming into each artwork as Potion's program moves from piece to piece.
In an ongoing testament to the success of the Community Displays, RISD students, faculty and staff continue to submit hundreds of images to the system each passing week. The displays serve not only as a reflection of the present community but also as an archive of the community’s evolving digital conversation.