Jason Scott Smith

Jason Scott Smith, University of New Mexico associate professor of history, has been working with a team of scholars to develop a mobile app, "Let's Get Lost: New Deal Murals of San Francisco." "The app is now out of beta testing and is available for iPhone, iPad and Android devices.

Smith said, "The first 'tour' brings to life the history and meaning of the city's most intriguing murals from the Depression era with archival film footage, photographs, interviews with the artists, music, fun challenges and more."

Features include:
• An in-depth look at Coit Tower, Rincon Annex and the Pan American Unity mural at City College of San Francisco
• Interactive hunts, using a camera phone, that challenge individuals to find hidden meanings and censored images in the murals
• Videos with historical background as well as videos specifically focused on the three featured sites
• "Guided Looking" audio with narration, expert commentary, interviews, music and sound effects that offer insights into and meaning behind specific images
• Slideshows about the muralists, original artist's sketches that were previously censored and newspaper articles from the period

Instructions to download the app are at: Let's Get Lost.

"Individuals should be able to navigate the app without difficulty," he said, adding that apps such like this that make use of cutting-edge technology, require monitoring and evaluating on its usability. The team team will continue to monitor and evaluate its usability in the weeks to come.

"The app is meant to be used on site at the murals, so that users will be looking at the murals as they hear audio selections and that visual media, such as videos, slideshows and stills, supplement rather than replace the experience of viewing the murals firsthand," he said, adding, "It has been incredibly rewarding and intellectually enriching to work on a project with such a talented group of colleagues."

The team includes designers and researchers from Arizona State University, Mount Holyoke, University of Southern California, University of California, Berkeley and San Francisco State.

Media Contact: Carolyn Gonzales (505) 277-5920; email: cgonzal@unm.edu