Saturday, April 9, 2005

The places of locative media

Karlis Kalnins said that "Locative is a case, not a place" - which sounds catchy but confuses me.

If the locative case "indicates a final location of action or a time of the action" then how is 'locative' not a place? From what I gather, Karlis was trying to introduce the concept of time, but I've never seen a definition of location that excludes time. Location and its most common synonym, situation, are always already space-time coordinates.

To me, what makes the locative case most interesting is how it expresses the cessation of movement, or the end of mobility. So side-stepping the disciplinary society vs. society of control debate, I'm intrigued by the tension that exists when mobile technologies are used to stabilise or freeze relations.

[Note to self: find out if anyone has discussed locative media representations in terms of diagrams, indexes, signs, icons and/or symbols. See A Thousand Plateaus p. 142 for definitions]

And I'm not sure exactly how this is related, but I keep thinking about this NY Times story about people taking pictures of the Pope:

"In the past, pilgrims would take away with them a relic, like a piece of cloth on the saint's body. Here there's been the transposition to a level of unreality. They're bringing home a digital relic ... With the cameras of the world focused on it, St. Peter's has become the sancta sanctorum of the digital world. While they're waiting in line they could be chanting or praying but instead they're taking pictures because they're caught in a parallel event."


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