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Sibylline TXT is a text-messaging public installation that took place for one month in the city of Syracuse, in the Spring of 2009. A story written by writer Tony Antoniadis, specifically for the installation, was released in 60 pieces and dispersed over 30 days via text message. In order to set up a framework for alternate pedestrian paths through the city on an everyday basis, the story threads could only be collected at 26 specific locations in Downtown Syracuse.


The Sibylline TXT project derives its name and conceptual framework from the Cumaean Sibyl, the oracle who inhabits a cave with one hundred mouths, and reveals her prophesies on a series of oak leaves within the cave. When the wind scatters the oak leaves the prophesy is re-sequenced and is opened up to multiple reinterpretations. Using the ubiquitous mobile technology of the text message this project uses the physical dispersal of virtual “oracular nodes” (the pieces of the fictional story) in the urban landscape to incite continually evolving public engagement.


It offers an alternative system for urban re-intensification and reinvestment in public space. Through the mutual manipulation of virtual information and display by the physical movement of individuals in urban space, it challenges the notion that benches, coffee shops and convenient parking are the sole ways to activate the city. By rejecting the singular event, which seeks to occupy space as an object, in favor of a model of repetitive engagement overlaid on the everyday experience of the city, the system has the agility to shift the pedestrian path on a subtle daily basis through the individual’s disjunctive search for the continuous pieces of the story.


While projects of this nature attempt to derive meaning from analysis (via mapping) of behavior in the city, this project finds greater potential in directly manipulating and exploring potentially new behavior through a projected virtual system and it’s constant reinterpretation as manifested through the experience of the installation.


Project Leader:    Anda French

                                  Faculty, Syracuse Architecture

Writer:                     Tony Antoniadis

                                  MFA Creative Writng ‘10, SU

Website Set-Up: Siva Maddali

                                 SU LC Smith Student

Display + Exhibition Help:

                                  Jaime Magaliff, B.Arch Student, SU

                                  Andrew Weigand, B.Arch Student, SU








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