Following exhibitions in Northampton and London, and national and international media coverage, the bespoke GPS shoes commissioned as part of the countywide Global Footprint project have gone on display at the 8th Annual WIRED Store off Broadway in New York.
The shoes, named No Place Like Home and inspired by Dorothy’s ruby slippers in The Wizard of Oz, were created by acclaimed British artist Dominic Wilcox and made to Wilcox’s specific design by Northampton-based traditional English shoemaker Nicholas Cooper of Stamp Shoes.
After uploading a destination to the shoes via a laptop and USB cable, a GPS sensor embedded within the left shoe is activated by a heel click. A circle of brogue perforations reveal LEDs that light up to indicate which direction the wearer should take. The right shoe indicates distance travelled, with a progress bar of red LED lights that illuminate as the wearer gets closer to their target. Wilcox’s signature cartoon style adorns the leather soles of the shoes.
Now a regular event during the city’s festive season, the WIRED Store in New York curates the latest and greatest in gadgets and gear offering visitors the opportunity to explore more than 200 innovative products, art installations, and access to unique events.
Dominic Wilcox said “My work is all about reimaging uses for objects, and the relationships that exist between things. I hope my GPS shoes will reconnect people to the craftsmanship inherent in shoe-making, but also stretch the boundaries of potential for the industry. ”
Northamptonshire County Council cabinet member for customers and communities, Councillor Heather Smith said: “The Global Footprint project has been a wonderful celebration of the county’s long-standing boot and shoe industry and I’m very pleased that this small piece of Northamptonshire will be on display in the Big Apple.”
Global Footprint is an ambitious countywide programme of arts and heritage events celebrating the Northamptonshire’s boot and shoe industry. It is part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad and supported by the National Lottery through the Arts Council England Grants for the Arts scheme, the Heritage Lottery Fund Your Heritage programme, Northamptonshire County Council and Legacy Trust UK.
For more information about the Global Footprint project go to www.globalfootprint.co.uk