Yellow Arrow

Yellow Arrow is a public art project that was active from 2004-2006 and was created by Christopher Allen, Brian House, and Jesse Shapins, collectively known as Counts Media. The project was an important example of locative media and mobile phone art and draws concepts from psychogeography (emphasizing playfulness and ‘drifting’ around urban environments).

Yellow Arrow stickers were obtained from the project website and placed anywhere in the public realm. When encountering a sticker on the street, individuals could send the unique code printed on it as a text message to the project phone number. Moments later a message would be received that was left by the person who placed the sticker.

The Yellow Arrow symbol means ‘there’s more here: a hidden detail, a funny story, a memory, and a crazy experience.’ Each arrow links digital content to a specific location using the mobile phone. As an underground phenomenon, the project developed an international community, and 7535 Yellow Arrow stickers were placed in 467 cities and 35 countries. In ‘Toward the Sentient City,’ Mark Shepard writes, ‘In place of the ubiquitous bronze plaque providing ‘official narratives’ affixed to the side of ‘significant’ urban structures or spaces, Yellow Arrow provides for the unofficial annotation of everyday urban places by ordinary citizens.’

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