Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Writing the Digital City: from the virtual to everyday life

"The goal of the Digital Genres Initiative is to spur debate and thinking about the way that digital technology allows us to think and communicate with one another... Digital genres are not merely art, nor are they merely spectacularly efficient ways to move information between bodies. Digital genres do more than extend the human ability to communicate across space and time. They have the potential to create a world which we can inhabit... What could this mean, and where are we going? These are the questions the Digital Genres Initiative seeks to engage... We invite you to engage them with us [at] Digital Genres: Semiotic Technologies this Side of the Millennium, May 30-31 at the University of Chicago."

Yours truly will be presenting this paper at the conference:

In City of Bits, William Mitchell wrote that ubiquitous computation would reconfigure our notions of the city and allow us to reinvent our experiences of place. Recent installations of mobile and ubiquitous technologies in urban contexts offer the opportunity to explore if and how the city may actually be reconfigured, and places reinvented. Practices of "writing the city" now include real-time maps of people moving through the city, electronically-guided city walking tours, and public sites for digital graffiti and storytelling. Drawing on the works of Bergson, Deleuze, Calvino, Benjamin and de Certeau, my paper critically evaluates the virtual city in terms of materiality and memory, stability and movement, space and time. Of particular interest is how the digitally virtual city relates to social and spatial practices of everyday urban life, actual and concrete. Specific technological examples will be used to open up critical debate on the shelters and perils of technologically "augmented" city spaces, including issues of access and consumption, as well as poetics and potentialities.

See you there?


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