Ed Purver is a new media artist based in Brooklyn. His work places human voices and faces into architecture, both physical and virtual, bringing narrative and character both to the physical structures that shape our urban landscapes and also to the information architecture that carves out our digital lives. Originally from England, he graduated in 2007 from New York University with a Masters in Interactive Telecommunications. He was a 2007 winner of MTVU’s Digital Incubator grant for the online mobile game Casablanca. He is a 2007/08 Artist in Residence at the Digital Performance Institute, New York, and was a 2008 Guest Artist at Arizona State University. His multimedia performances, created with Sara Kraft, have been performed in multiple venues in San Francisco and New York. His interactive video work has most recently been shown at Siggraph and at the Soapbox  Gallery, Brooklyn. He has a BA from Oxford University and is currently Video Associate for the multimedia performance company, The Builders Association.

"A Show Of Hands"

Cities are full of signs that either tell us NOT to do something, or 
that urge us to consume something. Digital signage is proliferating 
through our urban centers. Architecture is used to carry the digital 
messages of advertisers and lawmakers.

“A Show Of Hands” inverts the identity of the urban display. Instead of being over-stimulating, these signs are gentle; instead of 
broadcasting information, they withhold it. The project invites suggestions for alternative signs (in text form only) that advocate positive or unexpected behaviors, whether active or reflective.

Submissions received via the project website are translated into sign language, and recorded on video. The videos show only the hands of the signer, sending out a slow and silent message to the streets, almost as if conducting the city like an orchestra, and caressing the buildings that they are displayed on.

The use of sign language references the fact that our media, our 
government (and indeed most individuals) often act as if deaf to 
dissenting or unfamiliar voices.