Weekending 15012012

I spent quite a deal of time in workshops evolving some ideas around location and tracking. We had Marc Tuters come by the studio. Marc’s written and created quite a number of locative media projects over perhaps the last decade. Along with that, he’s written some of the canonical bits of text on the topic, including The Locative Commons and Beyond Locative Media: Giving Shape to the Internet of Things with Kazys Varnelis.

The talk/discussion that Marc led weaved through a forthcoming essay called “From Mannerist Situationism to Situated Media that he wrote that will appear in a forthcoming special issue of Convergence on Locative Media.

Will Carter also came in to talk about his thesis project, Location33. Together we got a nice overview of the state of the state of where and why related to Locative Media.

There was a *little time for noodling on the Ear Freshener project which really needs to get a PCB done ASAP.

That’s it from Los Angeles.

Continue reading Weekending 15012012

Call for Artists — Locative Cinema Commission

Saturday March 28, 11.25.39

The curious architectural articulations of Pann’s Diner in Inglewood, Los Angeles. Allegedly the last original diner in town — original, as in the original structure, not a redo to mimic/hide/erase the old stylings. Recommended. Bring your own Lipitor and have a seat at the counter or the “hot house.”

From the Passing Useful Things Through Division, this one came from curatorial chum Steve Dietz:

The Locative Cinema Commission is a joint project of ZER01: The Art and Technology Network, The Banff New Media Institute, and the New Frontier program at the Sundance Institute We are soliciting proposals that can generalize the platform of specific places such as San Jose, California, Banff, Canada, or Park City, Utah to describe the world that you want people to see. We understand the notion of ‘locative cinema’ as an apparatus through which you can share your vision using place in ways that are both specific and generic or at least transferable. All variations on how to present your work will be considered, from cell phones to the black box of the cinema, from mixed reality to street theatre, from GPS to handhelds, from distributed to ambient. Proposals will be evaluated on their ability to engage people using place as a key element of the experience.

Note bene the impending deadline: Proposal deadline: Monday August 3, 2009. That Is Less Than A Month.

Here is the Locative Cinema Commission.
Continue reading Call for Artists — Locative Cinema Commission

Einar's "Adventures in Urban Computing"

Einar Sneve Martinussen reports on the completion of his thesis project "Adventures in Urban Computing" from the Oslo School of Architecture and Design. I’ve been peripherally following his work ever since we first met when I was at the AHO for a NordiCHI workshop on near-field communication.

Einar describes the project this way:

This diploma project is an expedition into urban computing, an emerging multi-disciplinary research field that focuses on computing and digital networks in urban contexts and on the cultural and social impact this has on the city..The first half of the project is a theoretical approach to the field where urban computing is placed, traced and discussed within a framework of current writings on ubiquitous computing, urban studies, technology and design. The second part of the diploma is a set of practical explorations The second part of the diploma is a set of practical explorations that take these reflections as its starting point. These explorations investigates how mobile devices can be used to gather and provoke opinions about the city and how this can raise the awareness of daily urban environments. They focuses on how digital networks and information technologies can be used in collaborative city studies and in strategies/concepts for citizen participation. The outcome of these studies is the Interruptor experiments.

The Interruptor is a curious device, one we should see more of, that turns distraction into moments of and opportunities for observation and participation with the city. What I find intriguing is the integration of a designed object to express his insights and thoughts related to the underlying “theory” that he excavates in the first section of the thesis paper, a point that I think is crucial to the best kind of undisciplinary design.
Continue reading Einar's "Adventures in Urban Computing"

iPhone for Hertzian Space

Architecture is the simplest means of articulating time and space, of modulating reality and engendering dreams…The architecture of tomorrow will be a means of modifying present conceptions of time and space. It will be both a means of knowledge and a means of action. Architectural complexes will be modifiable. Their appearance will change totally or partially in accordance with the will of their inhabitants.

Formulary for a New Urbanism, Ivan Chtcheglov, 1953, from Situationist International Anthology, Ken Knabb editor.

I’m no theorist of space, architecture, and digital media — there are plenty of bright ones about. What I’m curious about are the material choices available to the design and construction of spaces that are modifiable by their inhabitants. What are the ways that time and space — the key elements for bounding and warping habitats — will be “architected” by the time and location-based activities of digital devices?

"Locative Media" is the term that was (once) used to describe media that is digitally marked with some location correlation. In the most primordial example, a photograph is inscribed with the location from where it was taken. Now, we see these sorts of weak-signals leaking into all kinds of (somewhat anticipated, eagerly accepted) “tagging” of many new and curious forms of digital-social expression. What does it mean to find out that someone is Twittering near me? Continue reading iPhone for Hertzian Space

Sightseeing Oprah Winfrey Crop Circles with Google Satellite Maps

Stumbled across this Google Maps..thing. It’s not quite collaborative mapping, but it has a draw.

Sightseeing with Google Satellite Maps

I’ve added it to my Google Maps Mash-Up Bibliography. (I know, I know, other sites catalog Google Maps Map Things. I’m not playing the “been-here-first” game — I just want something that I can taxonomize and hierarchicize and annotate as befits my own brain.)

Why do I blog this? This Sightseeing Google Satellite Maps thing isn’t a “mash-up” in the same way that these others are, which gets me thinking that the mash-up is about instrumentalizing social practices and doing the GIS map-making thing. Take crime (a socially embedded practice), instrumentalize it if it isn’t already (Seattle provides public access to its 911 calls data in a machine-friendly structure), and cobble it together with Google Maps open API.

The Sightseeing Google Satellite Maps project takes a social practice, doesn’t bother to instrumentalize it except to find out where a particular “sight” in the world is, and uses a God’s eye POV to show you that sight. Why is this at all interesting? It adds a bit more precision to what the mash-up idiom means, in the context of Google Maps. It’s always been all about [w:AJAX] or whatever, and there’s a social AJAX going on with these Sightseeing projects.

Once the fascination with figuring out the Google Maps API wears off, what’ll be left? I’m speculating that collaborative mapping will be the compelling upside, perhaps. Creating maps with lots of people, with a utility that goes beyond just saying where you grew up. And that has a specific point-of-entry for a specific task that makes the practice more legible for a self-identifying audience (people who need to know which powerlines are down or what tree needs to be trimmed back, or where the dumping violation is occuring.)

By the way, Mark Bolas and I are teaching the 1st year MFA students in the “mobile module” of their introductory course, how to work with the Google Maps API. They’re supposed to learn about “mobile” and we extended that to location and mapping. They’re also supposed to learn some prototyping skills. Google Maps’ API provides a unique kind of prototyping environment — I think – for locative media projects.

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