Together with Jack Toolin and Teri Rueb, I was invited by Christiane Paul for this panel during ISEA2011 in Istanbul. We discussed categories of locative, site-specific media art and their impact on understanding the context of place. Mobile computing potentially enables various forms of social interaction and has to be considered in relation to concepts of embodiment, the creation of meaning, as well as individual autonomy and agency.
The proposed panel will identify different categories of locative, site-specific media art and explore their impact on understanding the context of place and on our awareness of the environment. Mobile computing potentially enables various forms of social interaction and has to be considered in relation to concepts of embodiment, the creation of meaning, as well as individual autonomy and agency. The latter aspects of mobile computing and locative media considerably affect our perception and awareness of environments. Mobile devices can function as technological extensions of embodiment, connecting us to location-based information and enhancing awareness of our environment or ‘social body.’
Locative new media art, which uses locations in public space as a ‘canvas’ for implementing art projects, has become one of the most active and fast-growing areas within the larger field of digital arts. Camera and video phones, smart phones, and mobile devices with embedded GPS have become new platforms for cultural production, providing an interface through which users can participate in networked public projects, as well as enabling the formation of ad-hoc communities.
The panel will discuss various categories of locative media art, for example projects that enhance context by allowing participants to ‘leave a mark’ on their surroundings, submit or retrieve site-specific information, or reconfigure the map; projects that create a systemic awareness of people’s moods or behaviors by reflecting the presence, movements, or actions and reactions, profile, tasks and goals, emotions and behavior of people in their environment. Also discussed will be mobile projects that address surveillance or environmental issues and place emphasis on increasing people’s awareness of the larger socio-political context of site, often encouraging or enabling their users to become proactive and engage in local politics. The panelists will represent these different artistic practices within the field of mobile media. A major goal of the panel is to differentiate between forms of context awareness and site-specificity that mobile media can produce.