< mucom >

micro community, 2009

in collaboration with
Benjamin Maus and Torsten Posselt

“MUCOM“ is a small application to connect users in a local network (LAN) designed and coded together with Ben Maus and Torsten Posselt. People, who are working in such micro-communities, are often engaged only with their computers. There is hardly any verbal exchange; everybody is focused on his or her screen.

Our aim was to connect all those people and to sensitize themselves for the group and their behavior. They should be able to exchange informations and to find a new kind of connection. Although everyone is still in a working process by writing a text or checking emails, they should be „disturbed“ – forced to have a pause or to concentrate on something different. The exchange of information only happens inside of the micro-community.

The idea is to create a character called “MUCOM”, whose habitat is the collective screen-space of the people connected to the local network. Being some sort of digital live-form, it moves from screen to screen – haunting the users in that specific group. It interrupts working people and is only active in the local network. If the user ignores “MUCOM” it becomes more active in disturbing. The main mission of “MUCOM” is to store data inside itself and take them with it. On Its way through the network “MUCOM” can only be on one computer at the same time.

The organic form and the behavior of “MUCOM” is similar to a living creature. It starts at the left edge of the screen and finishes its trip after leaving the screen on the right side. Meanwhile the user has possibilities to interact with MUCOM. The user can feed “MUCOM” with nearly every kind of data. One gets the opportunity to feed images, text, music or even little video-clips. Those files are revealed again by clicking on the character. When a file is released it disappears from MUCOM and can not be downloaded anymore unless the user feeds it again.

The texture of “MUCOM” represents the current state of the organism which consists of the number of all connected clients and the number of data files each user has uploaded. By clicking the client icon all files are shown. One can see the filename by moving the mouse over the file icon – and then decide if one wants to download the file or not.

“MUCOM” also has an intervening component. It claims its own space on top of the user’s screen. If the user ignores “MUCOM” for too long it gets kind of angry and attempts to steal a file or a part of your desktop. The stolen piece of the screen is then no longer visible to the user until “MUCOM” finds its way back to the particular computer or another user releases the file.

Uploads and clients are limited. There are not more than 12 clients allowed and every client can upload a max of 3 data files. Because of this restrictions a mixture of content is given permanently.