No, not Smart Buildings, though the concept is very important, but wise buildings. Many would not consider the Convention Center that special, other than the fact that it's big, spans the highway, managed to expand amidst the WTO protests, and has public restrooms and exceptional recycling bins. But take an escalator up to the second level -- where it opens to freeway park -- to find a dizzying display of aphoristic wisdom.
A few gems I recorded today:
Automation is deadly
Humanism is obsolete
Private property created crime
Expiring for love is beautiful but stupid
Abuse of power comes as no surprise
I think of this as anti-advertising; like HAL or a benevolent Big Brother hidden away in the back corner of one of our public spaces. I'm not sure who the artist is or where the quotes come from, but I feel like they are getting away with something, sort of like Fred Seidel's poems that found their way into the Wall Street Journal (see Phillip Connor's article in n+1 number four).
I'd like to see a more visible public installation of art like this and I would love to document people's reactions to it. Think of the tourists riding the escalator in the library, only to be disturbed by the voices of Braincast saying, "I want more...more...more." That could be all of us, shaken awake by an actual message in lieu of an advertisement.