Abstracts The Culture of Ubiquitous Information

Document Sample
Abstracts The Culture of Ubiquitous Information Powered By Docstoc
					                                    Research	Network:	

                        The	Culture	of	Ubiquitous	Information	

                                          Seminar	1:	

          Ubiquitous	Digitalization	of	Urban	Life	and	Auditory	Culture	

Abstracts	(order	of	presentation)	

David Pinder, School of Geography, Queen Mary, University of London, UK;
“Straying with Maps: Guides to Urban Dis/orientation.”

Location, position, orientation: these have been key themes in much recent arts practice in which
maps and forms of mapping have assumed significant roles. They have been particularly
prominent within locative media projects that have proliferated since the early years of this
century by making extensive use of global positioning and tracking systems. Yet such projects
have come under fire from some critics for an uncritical reliance on commercial and military
systems and an ‘imperial infrastructure’. Meanwhile others have advocated (mis)using mobile
technologies to explore different urban experiences, less by locating oneself than by straying and
getting lost. This paper focuses on an art of straying with maps. From its starting point in
contemporary concerns it seeks to shed light on them by turning back to earlier urban wanderers
and map-makers from within twentieth-century avant-gardes – in particular, surrealists and
situationists - that have often been taken as key points of inspiration. What might be re-learned
from the latter’s strategies of urban dis/orientation? In what ways did they seek to estrange and
cultivate different ways of knowing cities? And what might be their significance today in an age
of electronic surveillance and GPS that appears to hold out the promise that no one and nothing
will ever be lost again?

Arild Fetveit, Department of Media, Cognition and Communication, University of Copenhagen,
“Photographic Mapping”

Our mapping of the world has until now first of all been a question of drawing. Photography has
come into the process of map-making as a measuring instrument helping to bring our maps in
tune with the realities of the terrain. Recently, however, our mapping has increasingly become
photographic, not just in terms of securing the measurements, but also when it comes to
presentation. This paper interrogates convergence and divergence tendencies between
photography and maps, by looking at how the relation between photography and maps operates
in Google’s various offers, as well as in technologies like Photosynth (where 3D-models are
constructed from photographs and given photographic surface), and interrogating to what extent
and in what ways photographs and maps may converge. Is it rather a matter of symbiosis than
merger and what are the options for hybrid varieties? At issue here is also the tension currently

being played out between a professional mapping and a Web 2.0. mapping (see Crampton 2007)
as well as what is done of such relations in art projects (see Crandall and Armitage 2005).

Anders Sundnes Løvlie, University of Oslo, NO;
“Design Principles for User Participation in Locative Media”

This article takes a normative perspective on the development of locative media – that is, media
which are organized around the user’s physical position in the world. These media carry an
important promise, which is rarely explored in full consequence: namely, the possibility to
connect media to the physical spaces of our everyday life worlds. The use of the word ’our’ here
is meant to be taken literally: Locative media, being mobile and location-aware, can speak to me
about the place I find myself in, and to you about the place which you find yourself in. In order
to do this, the locative medium must not just know where it is, but it must also have something
to say about this place – in other words, about every single spot in the world where any of its
users are located. It is hard to imagine this happening in any other way than through the
contributions of users themselves. Therefore, the question of fostering user contributions is
essential to locative media. However, this has significant consequences for the design of locative
media. This paper outlines some principles for designing locative media which realize the ideal of
fostering the greatest possible degree of user participation.

Scott Rettberg, Digital Culture, University of Bergen, NO;
“Implementation in Contexts”

Implementation by Nick Montfort and Scott Rettberg is a novel about psychological warfare,
American imperialism, sex, terror, identity, and the idea of place, a project that borrows from the
traditions of, mail art, sticker art, conceptual art, Situationism, serial fiction, and guerilla
viral marketing. Implementation was first published in 2004-2005 as a serial novel made of 240
stickers, which were distributed in 8 installments of 30 stickers each. Readers then posted the
stickers in public spaces around the world, photographed them, and returned those photographs
to the project site, where they are archived by date and by location. In 2009-2010, the project
was “re-implemented”—sent out to new participants, who installed the fragments of the novel in
more locations, in order to gather new photos for a book project that will be released later this
year. The project has also been situated in the Web 2.0 context, as we have uploaded the photo
archive to flickr, categorizing and semantically tagging the images in the archive. The paper will
discuss Implementation in three distinct relevant contexts: that of recent viral “meme-based”
sticker art and street graffiti projects, that of Situationism, and that of recent locative narrative

Kjetil Vaage Øie, Volda University College, NO;
“Educating Media Students in New Journalistic Practices an Empirical Study of Location

The mobile revolution quickly creates and changes new fields. With the emergence of an “always
on” generation of users of mobile units, new possibilities of journalism emerge. Many location-
based services have been established for mobile users and is a rapidly growing market. With
positioning mechanisms in the mobile unit, like for example GPS, the possibility opens for
adopting content to both the user`s physical and social contexts. Now the mobile unit is the
main pusher for journalism change of content and presentation. The mobile phone represents
alone a big change in communication form and culture. The phones of today have developed
from being speech and text oriented to become a multimedial unit. In addition to speech, text
and sound the new mobile units manage Internet via Wi-FI or mobile net. News corporations
are still trying to figure out how they should take full advantage of the mobile as platform. Media
studies have traditionally focused on existing journalism practices. In this paper I present an
educational project called Lokanytt where we use existing technology in a new way. The main
goal of this project is to find out what kind of knowledge and skills location-based journalism for
a mobile platform requires.

Pål Aam, Volda University College, NO;
“Into the Wild: Field-testing Hypervideo – A Practical Approach”

Mobile digital media present new opportunities for both content producers and the public. A
rural setting in Western Norway will be the stage of an experiment with an up and coming
technology “hypervideo”. This is a technology well suited for small mobile devices. Urban life,
with the aid of these devices, is increasingly about consumption of media – games, music,
movies, magazines, news, radio, TV or books – while on the go. Hypertext has taught us to
navigate information quickly and intuitively and has cracked open text and broken down the
constraints of the physical page in a book or a newspaper. Hypervideo has the potential to open
up video in the same way and to make video clickable and touchable and truly non-linear and in
this way unlock the video – possibilities of the web. In a rural setting we’ll try out how
hypervideo may work as a tool for journalists and information providers and in this way produce
an “urban” technology.

Solveig Bjørnestad (Bjørnar Tessem) & Lars Nyre, Department of Information Science and
Media Studies, University of Bergen, NO;
“Designing and Evaluating a Mobile Tool for Location-based News”

In online news services the news hungry person is presented with the news according to how
recent they are. Actuality is the primary news criterion. The Lokanytt project develops tools to
support the production of journalistic content where location plays an important role, as well as
necessary software on the mobile phone to give access to such location-based news. We replace
the time-connection to events with a geographical connection. We rank our news according to
their distance from the reader, and have written and presented different journalistic versions of
the story varying with the distance from the user. This article first presents the state of the art in
location services for the mobile phone in 2010. Secondly, we present the method for design and
evaluation of the Lokanytt Symbian 60 prototype, before going on to the two substantial parts
dealing with the design solution and a quantitative and qualitative evaluation. At the end we sum
up the improvements to be implemented in a new Lokanytt Android version.

Lars Nyre, Department of Information Science and Media Studies, University of Bergen, NO;
“Walking around Reading News about Your Location”

What if the information you read changes continually to compensate for your relocation through
a geographical setting? Information services based on this principle have appeared in ever greater
numbers since approximately 2005, notably for the iPhone, Android and Symbian smart phones.
These devices are location sensitive through gyros, GPS, wireless triangulation and other types of
geo-referencing. This paper focuses on journalism for this still rather new and barren
technological environment. We presume that the physical geography of urban life will become
more significant for the journalistic profession, and for the practices of public communication in
mass media, social media and the like. It is part of the growth of ubiquitous computing. We have
tried out a geographical information service where we made journalism with a technical and
editorial staff of 13 people. This paper presents an hermeneutical study of the journalism
produced in “Lokanytt” at a week-long public event in 2009. The journalistic information was
presumably accurate and relevant for the people living in and visiting this 14.000 strong town
during the Extreme Sports Festival in June 2009. We asked 32 people about their immediate
experience of using our service, and analysed their responses. In this paper we discuss how it
feels to walk around while reading news about your present location.

Oscar Juhlin & Celia Yanqing Zang, VinnExcellence Centre, Interactive Institute, Stockholm,
“A Fashion-ology of Mobile Innovation”

We contribute to the discussion on fashion-ology of mobile innovation by looking into the
practical production system within this industry. By analyzing how mobile phones are produced
as aesthetic objects through a qualitative content analysis of insiders, we attempt to clarify a
relatively more independent aesthetic-creating system, that is, the fashion-ology of mobile
technology. We learn how much the industry insiders see the mobile design and production is
related to fashion and how the work process goes on through the interviews.

Jürgen Scheible (and Lily Díaz), Department of Media, Aalto University, School of Art &
Design, FI;
“Breathing Life into Cultural Heritage”

We want to make use of the opportunity we have of doing research and development in the area
of ubiquitous and mobile computing to also study and learn more about the notion of digital
cultural heritage within a multicultural context. As part of the testing of the multimodal tools
being developed in the RealUBI project (RealUBI), we are planning an intervention, or design
research experiment, involving a multi-cultural group of Helsinki youth. As Finnish society
becomes a more multi-cultural society, some of the questions that arise are: What is the relation
between one’s own cultural identity and the general culture at-large? When and how do young
people recognize something as being cultural heritage? These are some of the questions that we
are interested in researching.

Daniel Pargman, Media Technology and Graphic Arts, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH),
“Ubiquitous Information in a World of Limitations”

Many of us take for granted that the future can be extrapolated from the present and the recent
past, and be based on a narrative of expanding borders and scientific progress. A growing
number of scientists (and activists) however point at the triple crisis (ecology, economy, energy)
and imagine radically different futures based on narratives of limitations and perhaps even
decline (ecological crises, climate change, water scarcity, peak oil, recession without end or
jobless growth, social instability etc.).
So what if 3G (2001) mobile phone services are not followed by 4G systems (2011-2013) and 5G
systems (≈2020)? What if “the future of ubiquitous information” is already here, and it’s name
is... Detroit? Detroit, also know as “Motor City,” has fallen on hard times in tandem with the
decline of the “big three” American automakers, and has lost half its population since 1950.

If we posit a scenario where economic growth will be slow to return (or absent), and
unemployment will continue to be high, the future use of computing will for a gradually larger
segment of the population consist of inexpensive portable computing equipment
(laptop/notebook computers, smart or not-so-smart cell phones) and wireless internet access.
Once again we have to look for inspiration from the United States of America as this model
(products and services for the permanently unemployed consumer) is being pioneered already
today in declining cities such as Detroit, and elsewhere.

Michael Bull, Department of Media and Film Studies, University of Sussex, UK;
“Remaking the Urban? The Audio-Visual Aesthetics of iPod Use.”

A critical engagement with uses of the iPod – filtered through the contrasting theories of Michel
de Certeau, Benjamin and Adorno.

Pirkka Åman (and Lassi A. Liikkanen), Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT,
Aalto University and University of Helsinki, FI;
“SoundAbout – Platform for Location Based Mobile Music Services”

SoundAbout is a platform for location-based music services. It enables new applications running
on mobile phones and desktops. It allows users to share information about music they listened
to in different locations. With SoundAbout applications people can experience music related to
the different locations in various ways, e.g. by seeing what music has been listened in different
districts of the city during particular time span; select a list of favourite artists or songs and see
who else in different locations share their taste in music. Our goal is to support musical
serendipity, but also affect the city culture. Using SoundAbout services, it is possible to offer
people new kinds of urban audio experiences and strategies for appropriating public space. We
believe that location-aware music services can provide a unique opportunity to support local
musical niches, live and recorded music, and provide users novel perspectives into local way of
living, whether they are habitants or visitors for that particular musical neighbourhood.

Lotte Philipsen, Department of Aesthetic Studies, Aarhus University, DK;
“What Is Interactivity in Digital Art?”

Responding to general statements about interactivity in digital art, it is the thesis of this paper
that we need to nuance and clarify how we talk about interactivity – in particular in the field of
digital art – and thus this paper aims to qualify this notion in order to make it analytically useful.
As a guiding tool to navigate in the jungle of interactivity in digital art I suggest that we turn to
the distinctions lined out by Jens F. Jensen, who maps four different kinds of interactivity:
transmissional, conversational, registrational, and consultational. Jensen writes about media in
general, but in this paper I will apply his notions to the field of digital art. Following this, the
paper further analyses the exhibition ‘Enter Action – Digital Art Now’, which was presented by
ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum in 2009 and comprised 27 works of art (of which 10 were works of
net art).

Lissa Holloway-Attaway, Department of Culture and Communication, Blekinge Tekniska
Högskola, SE;
”Urban Organicism, Emergent Media, and Transformative Space”

In my presentation, I will illustrate the ways in which urban spaces may be reconfigured through
mixed/social media forms that foreground organic embodiment and expression as a core agent
in aesthetic production. I argue that the “human body” itself operates as an organizing agent in
our current ubiquitous media ecology, restructuring the spatial and sensory dimensions of the
media-/life-worlds in which they participate. Asserting and foregrounding its organic presence
within convergent media formulations, the organic body provides a backdrop to explore radical
“pre-constructive” formulations for representation in creative/critical practice. Contrary to
theoretical perspectives that situate the body at a state of erasure or transcendence under the
pressure of an increasingly mediatized culture, the organic body in the urbanized media spaces I
explore are referenced at the level of primal functionality. Drawing on Mark B.N. Hansen’s work
in Bodies in Code: Interfaces in Digital Media, where Hansen describes contemporary digital culture as
one where “all reality is mixed reality,” I explore the relationship between virtual and physical
worlds through an investigation of bodily motility and tactility. As a force of tactile activity, the
body shapes experience-in-space to conform to its organizing phenomenological schema and
resist pure signification. In urban settings where mixed media practices intervene as forms of
radical inscription and as participatory performance thorough social/locative media, one may
understand the deeply transgressive spatial and sensory practices at work in such radically
expressive forms. I will illustrate how participatory urban media works such as those created by
TXTual Healing--where large interactive projections on architectural sites encourage user
participation in story-telling through text messaging--demonstrate the ways in which abstract
representation gives way to complex embodied expressions. Authors, artists, readers, users, and
inscription sites (the building as screen/page/graphic novel, for example) are re-worked in these
hyper-motile practices. Using other examples of emergent media forms where urban settings are
deliberately evoked and then recast through expressive organic functioning, I explore a range of
transformative mediations dependent on the critical reconfiguration of space, sense, and self
within current digital culture.

Merete Carlson, Department of Scandinavian Studies and Linguistics, University of Copenhagen,
“Intertwining the Invisible. Movement and Affect in Public Art Installations”

In current New Media Theory, there is an increasing interest in pre-conscious and affective
layers of embodied aesthetic experience. The human body is challenged and moved in
unprecedented manners in the majority of New Media Art, and the interaction between
technology and the embodied presence of the participant is so subtle and complex that part of
the interaction is processed beneath human consciousness. This paper examines the complex
moments of embodied engagement in two specific public art installations by Rafael Lozano-
Hemmer: Pulse Park (2008) and Under Scan (2005). The objective is to explore the possibilities
of analysing affective dimensions of embodied reactions by means of studying experiential
dynamics in the act of touching/being touched and moving/being moved. The paper extends
Merleau-Ponty’s account of reversibility and queries its use in the digital responsive relation of
touch. Subsequently the concept of desire is applied to engage the experiential dynamics
between conscious and pre-conscious aspects of the embodied involvement in the selected
public art installations by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer.

Lilia Pérez Romero, iFut, University of Amsterdam, NL;
“Frontera v.2, the Technological Mirror”

In this paper I focus on the interactive installation Frontera that I produced during two artistic
residencies, one in the Centre for Multimedia (Mexico) in 2005 and the other at the Netherlands
Institute for Media Art (NIMK) in 2008. Frontera examines the tension between traditional
notions of portraiture on the one hand and moving image technologies on the other, in the wake
of the advent of digital media. It calls to mind the images of the “living portraits” of the future
presented in literature and cinema in works such as The Picture of Dorian Gray, Star Wars, Harry
Potter or Minority Report. In its exploration of the transformation from “still” (or absent) to
“living” portraiture the work is concomitant with a contemporary interest from scholars and
practitioners in the more direct inclusion of the proximal senses and notions like “embodiment”
or “agency” in the analysis of the spectator’s experience.

Maria Poulaki, iFut, University of Amsterdam, NL;
“Locating Cinema in Tensed Topologies”

In this paper I will demonstrate that, although Matteo Garrone’s 2008 film Gomorrah draws on
various cinematic traditions, like the one of neorealism, it is acutely contemporary in that it seeks
to renegotiate the cinematic as a complex and dynamic structure that simultaneously affects and
is affected by its mediation between locality and subjectivity. Gomorrah’s cinematic techniques
of multiplicity, ubiquity and disorientation decentralize agency but still renegotiate it through an
‘anticipation of the event’ (Badiou, 2009), which is characteristic not only of contemporary
realistic cinematic tendencies (Nagib, 2009) but also of the cinematic dispositif (Elsaesser, 2009;
Doane, 2006). What makes Gomorrah an interesting case is that its ontological ‘evental’ posture
is anchored in locality, in the slams of the North of Naples where the mob organization of
Camorra actually reigns, and is oriented to release the dynamics and tensions latent in the place. I
will suggest that Alain Badiou’s topological ontology provides a means to think of such location-
based cinematic and media practices as evental in their distribution of intensities and creation of
tensions through which the ‘infinite multiplicity’ contained in places acquires the potential to
form distinct worlds.

Pepita Hesselberth, iFut, University of Amsterdam, NL & University of Copenhagen, DK;
“From Infinity to Ubiquity: Perspectives in/on Lozano-Hemmer’s Body Movies”

In this presentation I will focus on Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s large-scale media installation Body
Movies (Rotterdam 2001). Based on Samuel van Hoogstaten’s engraving The Shadow Dance
(Rotterdam, 1675), Body Movies almost immediately calls to mind the allegory of Plato’s Cave, so
often employed within film theory to explain its conception of cinema’s theatrical dispositif.
(Baudry, 1986) Yet Body Movies’ spatial configuration is radically different from that of a
traditional cinema setting: it is designed to be set up in a large empty public space, outside, in
between buildings and urban displays, using the façade of one of the buildings as its’ central
screen; the beholder is unfixed and mobile, able to navigate between screen and projector;
moreover, the projection is open to alteration, depending on the beholders’ engagement on the
public square. While elaborating on Body Movies’ compound techniques of observation,
surveillance and monitoring, including those that are fed back to the beholder via sound and
image, I will demonstrate how the work – in tandem with the spatial augmentation of new media
technologies – moves away from the predominantly spatial category of “infinity,” towards what
Thomas Elsaesser has referred to as “ubiquity” – encompassing “here”, “now” and “me” – as
the new conceptual register within which we encounter locative media in motion. (2009)

Maria Bäcke, Department of Culture and Communication, Blekinge Institute of Technology, SE;
“Rules, Leadership and Subversion in Second Life Gor”

The Gorean sims in Second Life function in an almost feudal way, but without a formal “king”
or central “government.” The management of the entire Gorean community is thus not
formalized, but the role-play, based on and kept together by John Norman’s Books of Gor,
features a harsh and extremely hierarchical society with slaves, masters and “panthers” (outcasts,
usually slaves who have fled). In the independently functioning Gorean communities a visitor is
generally required to learn about rules such as the dresscode and manners of Gor even before
entering a Gorean sim. The rules vary and depend upon the aims and goals of every master, but
two general rules are that a) any master or free person is to be obeyed by any slave he or she
might come across, and b) men rule over women. The idea of Gor draws many people for many
different reasons, of which some are sexual, but I would argue that the core of the Gorean role-
play is the negotiation of power — ultimately the power to define what Gorean role-play in their
particular space ought to be like.
Geoff Cox, Department of Information- and Media Studies, Aarhus University, DK;
“Democracy 2.0: Les Liens Invisibles”

Critique is an essential part of capitalist production. The ability to express one’s opinions in
public allows the system to verify itself as democratic. Through such means, it is able to generate
its own critique and then quickly neutralise it. Within the neo-liberal spaces of contemporary
culture, thereby some opinions not readily acceptable in other public places can be displayed but
the politics easily contained. The critic offers soft politics that is easily recuperated to legitimate
the art culture’s self-reflection. But it’s not quite that simple – and far more dialectical. On the
one hand, culture appears to have lost its critical power as any form of critique is automatically
recuperated; but on the other, the new situation opens up different strategies of opposition that
respond to the ways in which power is organised [...] the reappraisal of recuperative processes
and interventionist responses is necessarily ongoing, not least in the context of how social media
are changing the face of the representational political process. This is partly evident in the
apparent success of various campaigns that hope to influence the outcomes of elections and in
the rise of services that offer effective participation in the political process. The tactics of dissent
have changed too. Seppukoo, a recent hack of Facebook by Les Liens Invisibles (2009), provides
an example where users were able to commit virtual suicide in a ritualistic removal of their virtual

Per Linde (Jörn Messeter), Medea/School of Arts and Communication (K3), Malmö University,
“Media Places – Digital Flows in Modern Urbanity”

The impact that ubiquitous wireless network technologies and mobile phones have on our
experience of the modern cityscape, has been a driving force in many research projects in recent
years. It seems safe to claim that such technologies are no longer neutral layers in urban living,
but rather an integrated part of the materialities of architecture and urban planning, the social
dimensions of city life and emerging new cultural frameworks. From this perspective wireless
technology can also be a way of temporarily appropriating places within the city space for a
variety of different groups, at times questioning hierarchical structures of ownership of public
spaces. These spaces can be said to be hybrid spaces, bringing forth the fundamental question of
how meaning can emerge in the interplay between people, artifacts and place. This paper will
present the early and ongoing work in the project “Media places”, which is part of the research
platform for new media at Malmö University; MEDEA. The intention is to introduce conceptual
foundations for the Media places project, give some brief insights into the themes of setting up
temporary digital streams of media and mobile games.

Jo Dugstad Wake (Frode Guribye), Department of Information Science and Media Studies,
University of Bergen, NO;
“Using Video Data to Study Game Players’ Interaction with a Mobile, Location-based Game for
Teaching and Learning History”

This paper describes a study aimed at gaining further insight in the interactional organisation of
game play, using interaction analysis (Jordan & Henderson, 1995) of video-recordings of game
players as the main data source. The study builds on previous experiences with deploying test-
scenarios of the location-based mobile game of Premierløitnant Bielke (PB), with focus on
usability (Wake & Baggetun, 2009) and on integration with a web-based publishing tool for
integration of the gaming activity with classroom learning activities, (Baggetun & Wake, in
preparation). The objective of this study is twofold. On the one hand, we are interested in how
the activity of game-playing is made explicit, topicalized and manifests itself in interaction in
location-based gaming, where the gaming involves moving around in a city landscape. On the
other hand we want to study how participants use the resources available to them in the game
space – the game itself on the mobile phone, the other participants and the environment and
physical surroundings.

Søren Bro Pold (Christian Ulrik Andersen), Department of Information- and Media Studies,
Aarhus University, DK;
“Discursive Places: The Talkaoke Cases”

Since Michel de Certeau’s L’invention du Quotidien, there has been a steadily growing interest in
understanding the ”practiquants ordinaires” of the city, of exploring the urban text they write by
their daily life, which cannot be read from the overlooking and general perspective of e.g. urban
planning. Even in urban planning and architecture, there is a growing understanding of the
necessity to understand how to allow for the “life between the houses” (Gehl) and thus a turning
away from the grand masterplans of modernist functionalist city planning. In addition to this, we
currently experience a development of the urban media sphere including every scale from mobile
‘smart’ phones, embedded computing, augmented reality to media architecture and urban screens
and all this combined with the development of participatory media under the web 2.0 headline.
This media development has led to numerous artistic experiments using Situationist strategies
(stemming from the avant- garde Situationist International group led by Guy Debord), but
simultaneously studies (Andersen & Pold) have suggested, that outside of the major global urban
centers, and outside of temporary festivals and experiments, not much exists beyond what can be
termed “log-in space” and a hypertextual possibility to connect and link oriented towards
individuals that are equipped with the current trend of consumer-oriented i-products (iPhone,
iBook, iPod, iPad, or equivalents). In this article we want to describe an artistic experiment
aiming at creating and exploring the possibilities for a dialogic, democratic discussion space
through the use of digital media. It is a project called Talkaoke, designed by the British artist
collective, The People Speak, and tested in collaboration with Digital Aesthetics Research Centre
& Center for Digital Urban Living in a Danish provincial context during 2009.


Shared By: