Flying Spy Potatoes: Mission 21 st Street, NYC 2005
by Jenny Marketou

Flying Spy Potatoes : Mission 21 st Street, NYC was part of the “Flying Spy Potatoes” consists of an installation with three video projections on three slanted screens which are positioned on the floor of the gallery. Along with the projections there is also on display an inflated weather helium balloon (5 feet diameter); attached to wireless cam apparatus which is available to the public to take from the gallery ; a mission map; a log out book and 40 folders which are displayed on a table. Each folder contains a mission card, a copy of the rules of the game and a contract that should be signed between the player and the artist.

installation images @ eyebeam
>> Click image to see bigger size.

Flying Spy Potatoes: Mission 21 st Street, NYC :
Live Action Street Game

The mission based reality game was developed as a collaboration of Jenny Marketou with Katie Salen. The game was played on 21st Street, between 10th and 11th Avenue in New York City to explore what happens when play and game is used as a means to intervene and subvert in the real world of street, sidewalks, storefronts and the city.

Flying Spy Potatoes: Mission: 21 st Street, NYC was played on 21 st street, between 10th and 11th Avenue in Chelsea from January 20 th through March 6 th 2005. The Urban game was a six week public event that transformed 21 st street into a mission game board.

The game has been a great temporary event for the Chelsea neighborhood in the middle of winter. There is a democratic dignity as the balloon creates a public space which brings people together and a place where people can use their imagination. Much of the pleasure of the game is to see people holding and controlling the red weather balloon from the tether while is flying high and above 21 st street wondering against the blue or grey sky and among the industrial building of the city.

The photographs on this page were taken by Jenny Marketou, Sophy Naess, and Katie Salen. The images can be used freely with due acknowledgements of the author. For more information please contact

The helium balloon/cam apparatus: red balloon

The helium balloon is a self-contained wireless mobile unit, light and easy to use which is armed with a wireless cam and a built in transmitter which records and processes visual and audio data which is continuously transmitted to a radio receiver which is located in a range of 1.000 meters. The captured data is downloaded and archived on digital video. The aerial view of the moving balloon /cam recordings have thread venture of Godzilla-cam perspective dislocations and that magical sense of being both above and within the slanted planes of urban reality. The balloon/cam is a kind of an all seeing eye which hacks reality and reveals it as continuous patterns of pixilated images , abstract patterns, electromagnetic frequencies and create the odd intensity of saturated greens and yellows which remains as defining.

>> click to view - With the Eyes of the Balloon cam

Live Action Street Game | Mission Cards | Mission Map

>> click to view - Mission Cards and Map