Saturday, October 29, 2005

What locative media can learn from archaeology

One thing at a time, here's the draft version of a paper Matt Ward and I recently wrote for a Leonardo Electronic Almanac special issue on locative media. Comments are welcome.

Locative Media as Socialising and Spatialising Practices: Learning from Archaeology (pdf)

Abstract. Pervasive computing and locative media are emerging as technologies and processes that promise to reconfigure our understandings and experiences of space and culture. With the critical hand of material and cultural studies, we start to shape questions about locative media representations of urban mobilities, and begin to unearth some of the struggles and tensions that exist within these fields of operation. By looking at archaeology’s constitutive processes of collection, ordering and display we highlight some of the problems found in mapping people and objects in space and time, and ask what kinds of social/spatial relations are made possible in particular locative media projects. Ultimately, we take archaeology’s critical focus on authorship and ownership, explain its relevance to locative media, and suggest questions to consider in the future research and design of locative media.

Update 19 Nov 05 - We've now submitted our revised (shorter, tighter, better) version for publication. Stay tuned to the LEA site for the new issue.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I"ve come to the conclusion that my delusion is at the least consistent. And always love based, does she? will she? can she? will i? wont i? should i? so on i go.

This said/ i wonder if i suffer from a certain type of conclusion that drives me to the same illusion? I wish she loved me to the way i want to to love her!

And yet, So many woman have and do! But i know they are not my lover " i do"

Thanks for being here?

Anonymous mtl3p said...

this is great! really helpful.

but I'm not sure why you say that - all locative media prjoects rely on some sort of collaboration between gov't, uni, industry, and artists.

Is that juse because that's what you found to be the case in the projects you looked at? or are you stating some necessary collaboration that has to be a part of all locative projects?

Blogger Anne said...

Thanks mtl3p - with that comment we were trying to point out that no locative media project exists in a vaccuum. It's not so much that this is a necessary collaboration, but rather that it is inevitable that all these different parties and interests become somehow connected to each other in the realisation of any given project...

Anonymous Francois Lachance said...


There is a particular fold in the piece which surprised me. The introduction of the question of production and consumption feels like a jump since much of the previous sections of the piece were given over to mapping and curating. I had in my reading made a marginal annotation: "syntagm?" I wondered about the ordering of the proposed focus: "how they [locative media projects] make maps and curate culture". I wondered if the order was sequential. And then the piece moved from mapping and currating to production and consumption. And so I found myself wanting to check the etymology of "map" to see if I might be able to discover another entrance point to the relationship between making, mapping, curating and consuming. Medieval Latin [mappa mundi] -- mappa is a plan or chart derived from Classical Latin meaning tablecloth or napkin. World making and food partaking. Which brings me to the questions: who makes? who owns? I want to add: who asks? Locative media projects when one enters via the connection between world and food yield a diverse set of questions: who eats what? who composts? who harvests? who hauls? who samples? digests? processing is akin to curing... and wiping one's mouth with the corners of a map.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting paper, nice work. I look forward to reading the revised version. I'd like to follow 'mtl3p' and also follow the query whether locative media projects "rely on...collaboration between government, university, industry and ‘independent’ artists, designers or researchers". This suggests there is no possibility of an independent group of people developing a locative media project? In the broadest sense I suppose you could say that if they are not acting illegally then they are in collaboration with the government, but you get my point :-) .. some grassroots projects can tick on for some time without intervention from other parties if self-funded.

Perhaps this reflects where I am coming from - community activism - but I'd include in locative media 'space' developments by groups of people with social goals - perhaps mapping their local resources like the Open Guides, so maybe some clarification at the beginning of your paper. I *think* you're refering to 'locative media' as arts projects rather than social projects? (actually Peter Day makes a nice distinction between time defined 'projects' and open ended 'initiatives').

cheers for a thought provoking paper! (mgaved)

Blogger Anne said...

dear anonymous - thank you.

and i would say that there is "no possibility of an independent group of people developing a locative media project" - but then we should be sure we both understand the other's use of "independent" :)

and yes, locative media also comprises "social" (community-oriented) projects, although i see no need to separate "art" and "social". it's not that i think they are the same, but i'm wary of what such a distinction implies.


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