``Snout[1] is a collaboration between inIVA, Proboscis and researchers from Birkbeck College exploring relationships between the body, community and the environment. It builds on our previous collaboration on Feral Robots (with Natalie Jeremijenko) to investigate how data can be collected from environmental sensors as part of popular social and cultural activities. Scavenging free online mapping and sharing technologies as a form of 'guerilla public authoring', the project also explores how communities can gather and visualise evidence about local environmental conditions and how that information can be used to participate in or initiate local action. Snout will create two prototype sensor wearables based on traditional carnival costumes. Carnival is a time of suspension of the normal activities of everyday life - a time when the fool becomes king for a day, when social hierarchies are inverted, a time when everyone is equal. There is no audience at a carnival, only carnival-goers. Snout proposes 'participatory sensing' as a lively addition to the popular artform of carnival costume design, engaging the community in an investigation of its own environment, something usually done by local authorities and state agencies."

Jenson Taylor 2008-01-25