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SAN FRANCISCO, CA, September 22, 2011 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The newly launched public art project 10,000 Steps: Walking the Invisible City is Downtown Oakland's first self-guided walking tour, which includes a free cell phone audio tour provided by Guide by Cell. This permanent art installation, five years in the making, was created by the art team marksearch, in collaboration with the community.
At many of the 37 sidewalk stops, visitors can use their cell phones to dial 510-315-1071and follow the prompts to hear firsthand "neighborhood stories" about the area's history, straight from locals who have lived it. Downtown Oakland visitors can find a printed map at local community centers, libraries and cafes. Walkers can access the cell phone tour until the end of October. After that date, all audio content will also be available on the 10,000 Steps official website, 10ksteps.org, for anyone to access 24/7.
The walking tour maps will be available on September 30th at the Oakland Museum of CA, in conjunction with their current John Muir exhibit . The Museum's OZone event on the night of the 30th will include a screening of A Profile of Four Squares, a documentary film by local filmmaker Matt Dibble, which chronicles the history and communities surrounding Jefferson, Lafayette, Lincoln and Madison Parks in downtown Oakland. 10,000 Steps: Walking the Invisible City focuses mainly on these four parks, and many of the stories included in the cell phone audio tour are based on content from the film.
"Downtown Oakland is filled with stories, but most people miss them in rushing through their day-to-day lives. We created Walking the Invisible City to invite people to slow down and take a listen," said Sue Mark of marksearch. "The cell phone tour has been an ideal way to share these little known stories, told in local voices. Many of the neighbors on the audio tour come from families who have lived in the area for generations; listeners feel like they are hearing privileged secrets!"
marksearch, a wife-husband artist team (Sue Mark & Bruce Douglas), creates interactive public projects that invite people to reflect upon their communities and increase their awareness of the natural environment within the urban fabric. Their site-specific temporary and permanent projects emerge from a comprehensive process that weaves the needs and views of the public and local agencies with the unique qualities of local history, the built environment, and the ecosystem.
In their work, marksearch has collaborated with sociologists, media artists, students, urban planners and various municipalities to create projects that move beyond art. To learn more about their work, visit www.marksearch.org.
Funding for 10,000 Steps has come from a variety of sources over the years. marksearch received initial funding from the Creative Work Fund and later support has come from City of Oakland Public Art Open Proposals grant, funded by a contribution from the Open Circle Foundation, that covers the costs of producing and installing the majority of the 37 markers. A National Trust for Historic Preservation grant has underwritten the cell phone audio tour, printed guide maps and interactive enhancements to the website.
About Guide by Cell
Guide by Cell is the world's largest provider of interactive mobile technology solutions for cultural institutes and nonprofit organizations. Since 2004, the company has expanded its services to include mobile audio tours, text messaging systems, mobile websites and Smartphone applications. For more information visit www.guidebycell.com.
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