Pattern Language is a location-aware fiction project that attaches patterns of narrative to individuals as they move through the city of Montreal. Each person's path is logged in the system and compiled into a document that can be read online. The work is meant to engage with the rhythms of the city: by evolving according to the patterns of an individual, each story forms both a map or trace of movement and a fabric of sound.
Pattern Language is activated through the login system of the Ile Sans Fil network. Once a user subscribes to Pattern Language , a piece of the story is delivered whenever s/he logs into the ISF wireless network using a WiFi-enabled laptop or mobile device.
Narrative fragments associated with each hotspot correspond to the point of view of one character, so that repeatedly logging into the system from a single hotspot will produce a narrative from a single point of view, while moving between hotspots will insert new characters and perspectives into the text.
Users may choose to actively engage Pattern Language by deliberately travelling between points in the city in order to generate narrative activity, or they may decide to have the project running in the background as they go about their regular activities, only stopping to read their document now and then over a period of time.
Once the fragments have been delivered they are compiled into a document that is unique to each participant. Each individual narrative is archived and viewable online. Users may read the documents they have generated or those that have been generated by others. Participation in Pattern Language is limited to those using the system in Montreal, although narratives generated by participants may be read by anyone visiting the website.
Pattern Language was curated by tobias v. van Veen as part of Sonic Sound, an initiative of the Mobile Digital Commons Network. The project received funding from the New Media Research Networks Fund at the Department of Canadian Heritage. Thanks to Michael Longford. Programming by Benoit Gregoire.
The project ran from 2005-2007. The archive of stories is no longer online.