UPDATE: foursquare officials contacted me about MYT and actually loved it. They even said it is "possibly the best api-app ever!"
Mark Your Territory is an exploration of ownership. It is a meditation on the design of staking claims in physical spaces.
In this world there are organisms and areas. Over billions of years complex, powerful systems evolved which enable the organisms to stake a claim upon a physical area in many different ways. All of these varying methods featured specific affordances and constraints which lead to powerful proliferation of information through the totality of an environment. A dog urinating on a tree, for instance, leaves not only the information that a specific animal had been to a place, but also data concerning the creatures physiology, stature, frequency of visits, and mood.
As humans developed language, we began to leave this rich system designed by our animal brethren and our other senses dulled. With advances in intra-human communication such as printing or rapid electronic communication came further separation from the rest of the physical world.
One of the latest manifestations of this digitally mediated human solipsism is Foursquare. In Foursquare, similacra of real-world locations are digitally overlain in which humans can easily communicate to each other if they (supposedly) visisted a particular place, and which person (supposedly) holds domination over this place by visisting it the most frequently.Mark Your Territory is a new system that lets individuals check-in to foursquare by physically urinating at the actual location.
MYT maintains the abilities of Foursquare while drawing humans back into the physical world. It is not a shunning of digital technology, but instead serves as a patch, tying together the tear between the worlds of the physical and (Humans-only) digital.
By imposiving several carefully crafted constrains upon one's digital check-in, the new physical-check-in is imbued with several features drawn from real-world marking. Such features include:
- Check-In Gradient
- How "there" were you?
- Unbiased Profiles
- A description of yourself that you cannot cheat
- Cross-Species Communication
- Squirrels knows nothing of your Foursquare status but can tell where you peed
- True Ephemera
- Maintenance of a physical reputation is demanding (and rewarding)
- Indirect Environmental Restructuring
- Explicit marks fade, but one's impact on a physical environment is permanent.
NOTE: For anyone concerned about gender equality in the system, or anyone claiming that females can't/won't use this system. I think this proves otherwise.Females can have fun with the product too! They can use it device in a traditional squatting manner, with the aid of a peripheral such as the go-girl (www.go-girl.com), or by studying the standing techniques discussed in "A Woman's Guide on How to Pee Standing Up" .
For further questions, you can email me at