Screencap of The Sounds component of Lapse. Ivan Toth Depeña and Alisa Pitchenik-Charles
To explore the moment the human brain starts becoming machine—when the singularity begins from within the self—multimedia artist Ivan Toth Depeña has created an app called Lapse. When paired with an augmented-reality tour of downtown Miami, created in collaboration with local artists, Lapse invites users to become engulfed in the city in a wholly different way.
With the support of the Knight Foundation, Miami-Dade County’s Art in Public Places, and Locust Projects, Depeña spent two years finalizing Lapse, an app powered by Heavy Projects. As Depeña tells The Creators Project, the app is named “for the stick in time and memory that would occur when the brain fuses with machine.” The project has several components, beginning with The Visions, a set of murals referencing the invisible data around us constantly refreshing and transmitting.
After opening the app, a user can hold their phone up to the murals—which look like pixelated webs—to reveal intricate layers in motion. The images are found on the exterior wall of Locust Projects and scattered throughout downtown. Lapse marks them on a map. The Collective series follows the works contributed by various artists like Domingo Castillo, Kevin Arrow, Brian Butler, and more. The artists are not included on the map, making it a spontaneous experience to stumble upon their works.
The Writing, a collaboration with artist Jillian Mayer uses GPS-tagged locations throughout downtown’s Museum Park to reveal three-dimensional texts, quotes about the nature of space, time, and personhood. It ponders moments like, “Waiting in the warmth of the screen; nothing is forever except forever.”
With headphones on, users traveling along the Omni Loop commuter line on the MetroMover, Miami’s public rail system, will hear a soundscape titled The Sounds at each stop. Made in collaboration with Brad Laner of the seminal noise act, Medicine, every component of the composition is triggered by the GPS location. Depending on where you are, you’ll end up with a new layer; though the sounds are pre-recorded, they are arranged differently by the app each time. The result is a soundscape that feels as if it’s growing organically, like the movement of pixelated murals on the phone screen, rendering the commute a psychedelic, meditative experience.