Popwalk is a phone app for viewing artwork, performance, music, etc. in specific geographic locations. This application uses the GPS information on smartphones for exhibiting “site-specific digital works of art.” These include performance, music, dance, video, animation, or other time-based media. Artists download works to the Popwalk website, along with geo-location information. Users open a map on the phone app that shows the locations of the artworks. When the viewer arrives at the location of the work, the phone ‘unlocks’ the work, allowing it to be viewed, but only in its specific location.
Many artworks are made to be seen in a specific locations; public murals can reference the history of a location, and sculptures may commemorate an event or person of importance to the location. In these cases, the environment in which the artwork is placed can function like a backdrop to the work, informing the meaning of the work of art. The character of the place is also enriched by the presence of the artwork. Physical works of art can be placed on site, but digital works are more difficult. Popwalk is a format for allowing artists who want to display digital artwork in specific locations.