YASMIN: Locative Media Art

transborder.jpg[Image: Transborder Immigrant Tool] Locative Media Art: Towards New Types of “Hybrid” Places for Communicating Meaning – A moderated discussion on YASMIN beginning on December 3, 2007 :: with Dimitris Charitos , Martin Rieser and Yanna Vogiazou.

The convergence of new mobile telecommunication networks along with geographical positioning systems and interactive graphical interfaces on mobile devices, are beginning to extend the potential of media technologies for supporting communication among mobile individuals. The aforementioned technologies allow groups of people to interact with each other, while being aware of each other’s location at all times. By introducing context awareness and by supporting multi-user communication, these ICT systems alter the patterns of information flow as well as the situation within which communication takes place, thus bringing to light new spatial structures where social interaction will occur and novel forms of cultural practices will emerge.

Locative media are systems of technologically mediated interpersonal and group communication. Such mobile wireless technologies provide the opportunity to augment traditional urban environments with information and communication spatial experiences, which can be accessed through mobile or desktop devices. The main characteristics of locative media are mobility, locativeness and multi-user support. The characteristic of “locativeness”, in particular, may refer to both users and content within a locative media group or activity. These characteristics above may influence interpersonal as well as intergroup relationships in the context of these new social constructions.

Computer-mediated communication via the Internet has allowed physical meeting places to “immigrate” to a “virtual” spatial context, as in the case of MUDs or MOOs. The introduction of mobile location-based communication networks relates again the concept of a “meeting place” to the physical space of an urban environment. It re-introduces the parameter of geographical location in the activity of computer-mediated communication, thus mapping the “virtual” mental space where communication occurs to the physical space, inhabited by the material bodies of communicating participants. Thus, the virtual spatial context of such an activity is mapped onto the physical world and the resulting hybrid spatial context becomes the arena of this activity. Most importantly, such a communication system affords the possibility of face-to-face interaction and brings back the “compulsion of proximity” into computer-mediated communication.

Locative media have already been used by many artists as media for creating activities, performances, dynamic works or “net-works” of a database or narrative structure and other complex types of artistic intervention.

The discussion that will take place in the YASMIN forum will aim to investigate these novel artistic forms from a social and cultural perspective and will attempt to provide answers to a series of questions, some of which follow:

– Where is a locative media artwork? How does a spectator/visitor experience such an activity or system as a spatial context within which interaction occurs and symbolic content is communicated?

– Can the use of locative media by artists be considered as an “aestheticisation” of these high-end ICT systems’ use and even as an “excuse” for the rapid expansion of surveillance technologies?

– Could we attempt a categorization of Locative Media artworks and related activities created so far?

– Does experimenting with these advanced forms of ICTs turn the focus of attention to the technological media per se and much less on the symbolic content communicated?

– How may these types of artworks or activities alter our understanding of the concepts of representation and narrative?

– How do locative media activities influence the dynamics of social interaction in real time and space? How can they affect our patterns of communication and our social behaviours in the long term?

– From a design perspective, how can we create locative media art and activities that are more intertwined with the fabric of our everyday life?

Dr. Dimitrios Charitos (vedesign [at] is a lecturer at the Faculty of Communication and Media Studies of the University of Athens. He teaches “Human-Computer Communication”, “Art & Technology”, “Visual Communication”, “Digital Communication Environments”. He has studied Architectural Design (National Technical University of Athens, 1990) Computer Aided Design and has a PhD on Interactive Design and Virtual Environments (University of Strathclyde, 1998). He has taught at an undergraduate and postgraduate level since 1994 in Scotland and Greece (Department of Informatics, University of Athens and Dept of Architecture, National Technical University of Athens). He has authored or co-authored more than 50 publications in books, journals or conference proceedings. His artistic work involves electronic music, audiovisual, non-interactive or interactive, site-specific installations and virtual environments.

Professor M. Rieser is a Media Artist and Theorist based in Bristol. Professor of Digital Creativity at De Montfort University. 2000-7 Professor of Digital Arts and Senior Teaching Fellow Bath Spa University , was Principal Lecturer in Digital Media at Napier University in Edinburgh at the Department of Photography, Film, and Television 1997-2000. and in post as Senior Lecturer in Electronic Media at UWE Bristol between 1986 – 1998. He set up one of the first post-graduate courses in the country in Digital Art and Imaging at the City of London Polytechnic, now the London Guildhall University 1980-85. His teaching and practice centres on new types of interactive art which use non-linear narrative in new media through Locative, interactive installations, networked art projects and collaborations with architects. He has acted as consultant to bodies such as Cardiff Bay Arts Trust , NESTA, Arkive, AHRC the Photographers Gallery London. External Examiner at UIAH Helsinki, St Martins University of the Arts and Glamorgan University Professor of Digital Ats at Bath Spa University 2000-2007. He recently edited: New Screen Media: Cinema/ Art/Narrative (BFI/ZKM, 2002)- which combined a DVD of current research and practice in this area together with critical essays . He was on AHRB research leave during 2004-5 creating a new locative work for Bath Abbey called Hosts 2006, which used mobile and positional technologies combined with interactive sound and video and has just authored a book on Locative Media Arts called The Mobile Audience shortly to be published by Rodopi.

Commissions and Residencies include: 2007 La Trobe University Melbourne, 2006 Invideo Milan, 1997 Watershed/Cambridge Darkroom, which involved constructing a self-curating web site and multimedia piece called Screening the Virus, based around publicly submitted artwork on HIV/Aids related themes. This was later short listed for a Wellcome Trust Sci-Art award. He also directed the Media Myth and Mania section of the joint Watershed/Artec exhibition and CD publication From Silver to Silicon. The latter piece was shown at many venues around the world including Milia in Cannes; Paris; ICA and the Photographer’s Gallery, London and at ISEA Montreal. Other visual research projects included the direction of a collaboration involving five other artists (collectively known as Ship of Fools) using the subject of mythologies to explore the full range of narrative and visual interfaces in interactive media in a piece called Labyrinth 1996. This work involved drama, digital image, virtual environments, and interactive video at F-Stop Gallery in Bath and as part of the Cheltenham Literary Festival. It has been previewed at a number of venues including the Oberhausen Short Film festival in Germany and at ISEA in Montreal. In 2001 his research project Triple Echo won an AHRB award and involves a three-screen interactive video depicting a love triangle based on the Orpheus legends.

Dr. Yanna Vogiazou (yanna.vogiazou [at] is an Interaction Designer at T-Mobile International, specializing in user experience and cross-platform media convergence. Until recently Yanna was a lecturer in Interaction Design, Programme Leader and Course Tutor for BA/BSc Computing & Interaction Design at the Department of Design, Goldsmiths, University of London. She has a PhD from the Knowledge Media Institute, Open University, UK. Yanna practices a range of research methods and creative processes for the design of innovative interactive products, from user-centred design workshops to concept development and prototype evaluation. Her academic research focused on the social applications of new media and on the process of design for emergence, exploring group interactions and social behaviours that can emerge through unpredictable uses of technology and how these feed back into the design process. In the context of her PhD research, she collaborated with Hewlett Packard Laboratories in Bristol, UK for the design and development of a wireless, location-based multiplayer game. Yanna has published in books, Journals and international conferences. Her PhD thesis has been published as a book by Ios Press, titled “Design for Emergence”. She holds an MA in Interactive Media from the University of Westminster, London, UK (2001) and a BA (Hons) in Communication and Media from Panteion University of Athens, Greece (2000).


I’m delighted to see this new discussion thread on Yasmin – and I look forward to following the discussions and participating also. The comment about “the concept of a “meeting place” ….. re-introduces the parameter of geographical location in the activity of computer-mediated communication,” is particularly provocative in the sense that Geography – the incorporation of physical awareness of where one is in space helps to ‘humanize’ the virtual spaces of the ‘net’.

I think it would be particularly helpful if early on in these discussions, people could in put their ideas on what would constitute “a categorization of Locative Media artworks and related activities created so far?”

In my own work today, I’m much involved in creating a different kind of search/answer platform for hand-held devices. So I look forward very much to learning from all Yasminers who participate in this provocative subject.

Christine Malina-Maxwell

Dear Christine,

I would like to welcome you to the discussion and also to thank you for sending the first reply on this dialogue.

You pointed on some interesting issues and I will send some of my thoughts on them too.

Indeed the incorporation of physical awareness, of an awareness of our being in physical space does change our sense of “being” in a digital “non-space” (atopic could be a term) environment that is totally digital (in the case of a web based communication environment, like a MUD, a MOO, a collaborative virtual environment (like Second Life or Active Worlds etc.)).

I believe that in the case of a Locative Media system we are experiencing a “hybrid” sense of an environment where the information space is mapped onto the physical space. Of course the experience of being in a totally synthetic information space is not necessarily “inhuman, in the sense that it may have quite significant affective impact for involved individuals (as the case of communication in Second Life may show) and implication at a social level too. What is quite important is that the introduction of physical space as a parameter of the “human-computer interaction” and the “human – computer – human” (or computer mediated communication) experience and therefore the possibility of non-mediated interpersonal communication with other interlocutors (who may or may not be users of the system).

The issue of this “hybrid” experience is something that we (at the Dept of Communication and Media Studies in Athens University) are studying in the context of Locative Media. We are currently building such a system to cinduct a series of experiments in order to investigate several aspects of the communicative experience of participants with an emphasis on the way that they perceive of and remember the kind of “environment” that they experience.

Best wishes and I am too looking forward to a fruitful exchange of views with you all on the subject


Hello all…

I have working in Locative Media as an artist and theorist for 5 years now.

My collaborators and I created the locative project “34 north 118 west”. My essay “narrative archaeology” is one of the early theoretical essays on the subject.

The interesting thing (one of them) for me about locative media is how it is not simply categorized. It has a clear lineage back to the situationists, to land art and to happenings, but it also is one of the realizations of the desire of artists to move art out of the gallery space and into the physical world as an integrated work within the landscape.

It also has branches that range from geo annotation (tagging and marking in physical space with markers,messages or traces that can be a closed or open system), geo caching (initialized as sort of gps led easter egg hunts), spatial narrative (“reading” of spaces by laying out either narrativized history or narratives set to the physical landmarks and locations as an integrated set of aesthetics and tools).

It also is akin to augmented reality (and in some ways is to soon fuse them in new ways) in the sense that it is an integration of data scape and physical landscape for an immersive physical interface.

New possibilities are in deeper usage of scope and perspective, new branches of aesthetics and deeper interactivity within the augmented space, fusions of virtual reality , augmented reality and locative media and locative media as journalistic tool to fuse information into the landscape for dissent or education in ways that can incorporate spaces and lesser known information.

Jeremy Hight


I appreciated your post on locative media and particularly your contextualising the problem as:

“It has a clear lineage back to the situationists, to land art and to happenings, but it also is one of the realizations of the desire of artists to move art out of the gallery space and into the physical world as an integrated work within the landscape.

The idea of an artwork “integrated within the landscape” also ties back to many spiritual motivations.

I must admit that this premise I find worth pursuing with specific examples of locative media art works that manage to do this.

I am often concerned by the current discussions of “locative media” they they are really driven by commercial interests in developing new “killer applications’ that are highly profitable for a small number of global telecommunication companies. ie they are ” a solution looking for the problem”. They are not driven either by human desires or aspirations, or creating a world that is a better place because of increased connectivity.

We have just finished the discussion on YASMIN on climate change. So one of my questions would be is: how can locative media be used as part of creating the cultural shifts needed to build a sustainable society that doesn’t drive disastrous rate of climate change ? How can artists create new cultural imaginary that illuminates and electrifies such cultural visions ?

One example of locative media that were presented at Mutamorphosis in Prague were Beatriz Da Costa’s “Pigeon Blog” which empowers pigeons as pollution alert sentinels= canaries in the cage.

Another example is Katherine Moriwaki’s Inside Outside handbag ( which changes pattern and color depending on the ambient sound and pollution levels).

I call these examples of intimate science or micro-science= examples where individuals can appropriate in a visceral sense information about their near environment. Micro Science is the kind of science that cannot be done by large science institutions, (just as micro credit could not be done by the World Bank).

Could locative media be part of a cultural shift that gives us an intimate knowledge of the direct effects of personal behaviour on the environment ? Landscape artists in the past gave us metaphors for our relationships with the landscape. What are the new landscape artists ? Are locative media part of their easel ?


…I am happy to see Jeremy Hight in the discussion and also thanks to Roger for the Futuresonic festival info. Futuresonic back in 2004 was one of the first events to discuss these issues and present relevant works (in Europe at least). I believe Jeremy’s and Jeff Knowlton’s “34 north 118 west” project was presented there in 2004 and from what I can remember it was a very interesting and “revealing” experience. Also, Jeremy’s “Views form above” article in Leonardo Electronic Almanac Vol.14, Nr.7, 2006 … explains his points very well, relating landscape and narrative through the use of locative media in avery interesting manner.

I would also like to mention here the very interesting work of Martin Reiser on relating the concepts of representation and narrative to Locative Media, in his paper titled “Beyond Mapping: New strategies for meaning in Locative artworks” for the 2005 conference on Altered States in the University of Plymouth.

A very important reference on the subject of this discussion, for those that have not read it, the special issue of Leonardo Electronic Almanac Vol 14 No 3 July 2006, on Locative Media, which was edited by Drew Hemment and which you can find at:

Continuing the discussion, I would like to agree very much with what Jeremy mentioned about the difficulty to categorise Locative Media. If we are to categorise them, we would first need to define according to which aspect of them are we going to do so. For example, we could begin to categorise them according to the technological system supporting their use (and this is a practical down-to-earth manner one could start from). Then we could consider the way that content is stored and/or retrieved and/or presented through their use. We (at our research lab) try to investigate their use from a communication perspective, as we consider them as media of mediated communication and in order to proceed to relevant categorisations we are currently trying to create theoretical and descriptive models regarding their use.

Regarding the relation of Locative Media to other artistic practices, I would also like to add their possible relation to the discipline of landscape architecture towards a search for an augmented landscape experience in the future.

Best wishes


Dear all,

I believe this discussion is already raising some very significant issues that relate to the use and impact of Locative Media and which in any case should be taken into account when discussing artistic interventions making use of these media.

I very much agree with Roger in that quite often discussions about Locative Media are limited to or driven by commercial interests. I can certainly say that I have similar experiences in my involvement in relevant research in collaboration with software companies or mobile comm providers. And of course I also agree with the thesis that technologies are not ethically neutral and in their conception and development one can identify ethical and social biases.

However, I could also justify a certain intense focusing on the actual technologies that enable these systems to function as they are very new and complex and designers or artists that employ them may need sometime to learn, understand in-depth and create their own approach towards employing these media in the creative process. This brings to mind a comment made by Roger in the Lovely Weather discussion a month ago, when he had quoted Wilson’s (“information arts” book) approach according to which: we see a “cultural digestion” process taking place as new technologies get culturally appropriated. This implies an initial phase involving a fixation on the specific technology involved.

RDom’s proposal about the Transborder Immigrant Tool is indeed a very interesting one in making this technology useful to people for whom it makes a significant difference. However, I would like to raise some concerns regarding this tool. Although ethically I very much agree with such a use, I would suspect that (as Roger suggested too) it may aid surveillance of these people while being mobile, which I suspect is the last thing they would want. Also, bringing in mind the situation of illegal immigrants travelling to Greece in the last decades, I somehow would not see these people having the basic infrastructure and access to telecom networks needed to use such a tool for their benefit. Probably this may change as such technologies become available in everyday phones, however, web access via mobile (if you are to access Google Earth or anything similar) is expensive. In any case, the gesture of creating such a tool is very interesting and raises significant issues and as such is most relevant to our discussion.

Could I also go back to the issue of categorisation of Locative Media and say that Yanna’s idea about making some sort of visual mapping of these categorisations is great. I could certainly try to compile the different approaches and do something like that as we proceed with this discussion. Thanks Yanna!

Thank you all


The surveillance issue is huge…..

I even discussed in my Leonardo talk a while back how a project that I will not name at a conference I will not name was a student phd project that was very disturbing……it was basically how to map out crowds into quadrants and identify each person as they were amassed………wearables meets a grid system meets locative…..

this would be the type of tool used to single out people in a crowd to be arrested or stopped from speaking……..the connotations are immensely disturbing……

I’ll see if I can get my friends christian nold and jordan crandall in this discussion as Christian wrote a book on surveillance that was cautionary and jordan works with these issues …..

I agree that new tools are needed…..I’m currently trying to develop a new system for fusing ar,vr and locative media myself to allow greater immersion,interactivity,choices by the person using it and a way to teach kids about ecology,science, art and math that is in the field of vision and in teams …………

the focus of attention and ech….”buzz” (living in Los Angeles that word is ash on the tongue…)

however does seem to be at times to much on the app functionality and not so much content…context……….some layered purpose and depth of meaning…

there needs to be more like natalie jeremijenko in locative media….


This list has got off to a cracking start and I need to catch my breath and catch up.

Undoubtedly we are seeing a transformation of our perception of the “real” which is far more profound than that triggered by the first impact of virtual reality (which Paul Virillio included in the “accident”-the bifurcation of realities triggered by the advent of computing). Now that physical and unique space is overlaid with augmented information, in both factual and fictional forms, our modified behaviours are only just being documented and understood.

The history of located and nomadic art is a very long one indeed-stretching back beyond Smith and Long to Aboriginal songlines and spatialised religious rituals. That sort of respect for place and space has long gone from our social uses of location-based technologies and can only be reclaimed by artists.

Those fears of surveillance are real and relate to the imperative of the State, to quote Manovitch “to make the map equal the territory.” Of course this technology is a double-edged sword, but the it is also democratic by nature and is now in many hands. Artists who have questioned the vulnerability of the individual to tracking include Drew Hemment and his Loca project and the enclosure of Hertzian space has been challenged by Jonah Brucker Cohen and his WiFi Hog.

It seems to me that while the tagging of urban space is a process enabled by the big players such as Microsoft and Google, Jeremy is right that it is only when that process meets the next generation of GPS enabled mobiles that the interesting art works will begin to emerge, possibly on individual issues of sustainable lifestyles-as in Katherine Moriwaki’s sensing handbag… Social uses of technology are always beyond our prediction. I believe the telephone was originally launched as a broadcast medium for music!

What is needed most I think is to understand both the social context of these new artworks and the pleasures of their reception and use. These are dependent on haptic and spatial senses such as proprioperception, which are little understood by artists.

In terms of misapplied context, I tested Valentina Niisiâ’s Media Portrait of the Liberties in Dublin before the demise of MIT there. We had gone about a block when the local youths began stoning us. The technology was certainly impressive, but this new form of public art was alien even to the children of the collective contributors to the artwork. When participating in Blast Theory’s Uncle Roy All Around You, I reflected how the game’s format had reduced the richness of the city to a few textual clues and a dangerous process of frantic searching , crossing roads with even less awareness than an ipod listener.

Chritian Nold has definitely found a new way to exploit the personal context of the technology with his bio-sensing in relation to location. I am sure such hybridity is where it is leading combined with the collective construction and augmentation of site-specific knowledge through wiki-like interfaces.

In terms of the pleasures of the medium the Mobile Bristol project made an attempt to identify these through a seminar series in 2005, where for example , it was discovered that the accidental overlapping of ambient environmental sound and augmented sound with in a locative work created delicious ambiguity and extra resonance for an audience.

The exciting thing is that locative media is already embedding our angels and demons in equal measure-but isn’t that what all new technologies do?



here is a locative media project that is totally sound based= web streams of microphones around the planet; they have a version running to second life too:

Locustream Map: a dynamic world map which allows access to the streams online. At one point it seemed necessary to provide the streamers (as we have come to call the musicians and artists who’ve responded to our call) with the possibility to access the streams themselves, not only to hear their own stream but also those provided by other people. Our website now offers an animated map which shows the location of all the streams and indicates those which are currently active with a blinking light. By clicking on a chosen location one can directly listen to the OGG Vorbis stream in a browser.


This response may not be relevant to many of you but I thought I would offer some of my musings on this subject. My practice centres around human performance in extreme environments -usually underwater – and in this context the notion and function of locative media art (lma) as one part of a wider practice proposes interesting yet challenging territories. In fact, the notion of locative media art seems to be as liquid as the mediums I traverse nevertheless it presents a omnipresent double bind for me as artist.

On one hand, the surveillance aspect of lma embodies a type of ‘parentology’. The functional implication and implementation of locative media art often reveals pattern, flow; monitors behaviours and identifies disruption, dispute, dissonance, individuality, recalcitrance and freedoms in any landscape – real or illusory. The parent-logic/instinct fuels our reading of this hybrid place of meaning through the kinds of data, rationale, strategies, technologies and aesthetics that seem directed towards the provision of, or justification for, and awareness of margins of control, care, action, judgement etc and/or patient abiding. I have to question the role of lma in my own work and wonder if its manifestation becomes a prosthesis for Steigler’s body technology and another societal survival mechanism occupying and sating our desire towards a state of emergency?

I must admit that the politics and bioethics of my own performing body as cogent to the societal posttraumatic body has fuelled increasing discussion about the ethics of performance and the duty of care and responsibility across all faculties of the underwater performance research towards crews, audiences and me.

In my own thesis titled Aquabatics as new works of Live Art, 2005 I have questioned my aquatic steerage through locative media art and its relationship to my role in/of/for/with “it”:

‘Could I argue, that contrary to the proposed “security” of the hyper-surveyed, controlled, monitored, tended, supported, documented and analysed scenarios “both in the rigid underwater and land-based events” that I have been concurrently embodying the inverse psychopathology to that of regression? I mean, despite the symbolic references to the “the womb” used throughout the Aquabatics [underwater performance] research project, could I have been parading my safety under their guises “sometimes alerting audiences to a terror” but mostly using the tableaux of live research to dramatise a serviceable understanding of my reassurances of safety derived from the perpetual motion imperative to maintain a state of constant “escape”? Is this the essence of liveness that I seek as opposed to the catatonia of pre and post-escape states of existence? If so, “whose zone of safety and sense of security does the work question or seek?” (Phillip 2001)

One might argue that rather than seeking refuge in a return, have I been playing out the odyssey of the “Philobat” (Ballint 1959)…Philobat-ism is a psychopathic extreme that Michael Balint refers to in his thesis Thrills and Regressions (1956). The characteristic Philobat trait is the part of us that thrives on trajectories of freedom “away from” the so-called nurture of a closed point of origin by placing oneself in open plateaus and free fields of uncharted terrain. The Philobat customarily searches for positions and situations where they seek, or find a “security” or “peace”, in the challenge of moving away from the “stable, middle, solid” zone and seek out the pleasure and the seduction of employing great skill to navigate through obstacles on the journey. Opposite the Philobat is the “Oscophile” who constantly gravitates towards the sanctuary of the crowd, the home, the parent, the anchor, the solid, the static, the silent, and the known…’

Houdini is quoted as saying that “assimilation was slowness” and his greatest impetuous for action was in reaction to the fear of “being drowned out”. (Phillip 2001:31) In my own terms too, to drown or be drowned out, or to be in any way silenced, immobilised, grounded, anchored or violated is “unthinkable” and would mean a sure death either from the inside out or outside in. So it is perhaps part of my enigmatic message to an audience, like that of Houdini’s legacy, that if you want to be an escape artist, you have to get yourself confined first. Whether Philobat or Oscophile, it appears that the strategy towards finding freedom requires the experience of departure from a state of non-freedom.’

Perhaps Locative Media Art follows this logic and enables, facilitates and triggers a new kind of hybrid place of meaning and possibility where previous margins of liberty, identity, culture, art and control were once opaque?

If I seek liberation and escape through Aquabatics or indeed any performance, media, art technology juncture, then why do I not do so directly like a Freediver or Monk without an audience? Is there an “other” ex gratis of the socially coded normal and sanctioned vision? If I am truly determining my own terms of engagement with a life practice, with my own way of being in the world, do I consider my Aquabatic propensities to be anarchic or depraved? Does independent sovereignty, personal dignity and freedom of choice stem only from a radical separatist ideal? Can one exist in Bonaventura’s many-to-many world without rejecting or offending the societal herd?

These are tough questions for me to keep in mind but they are also questions that are inherently linked to the possibilities of locative media art and bound by my fear of its role towards singularity.


{several posts skipped over}

Locative Media Art: towards new types of “hybrid” places for communicating meaning

Dear all,

Thank you all for already making this discussion very interesting and very informing with your contribution. I disappeared for a few days due to lots of work but I’m back in the discussion. I believe Jeremy, Martin, Roger and Jo have raised a few very relevant questions that I will briefly try to list below some of them and maybe add a few of my thoughts too to some of them:

:: Could game-based experiences and spatial documentaries that utilise such technologies necessarily be named “art” or not? I guess that the poetic character, the intention of somehow communicating meaning through narrative and experience or revealing the memories hidden “underneath” a location and other characteristics may constitute an artistic intervention. However, how clear can we be about defining these characteristics and could we maybe exclude important works by doing so? Maybe the fact that these works could be considered art or not is not the key issue, rather what is important is whether their creators intend to use the media in a manner which involves certain elaboration at a conceptual level (and maybe a more critical approach in this use) that leads to something like sending a message, telling a story, creating an experience or a platform for participants to add to the meaning of the work and all that somehow is located or unfolds in physical space. Maybe what is important is how the artist/creator uses and appropriates the medium for creating something. Whether she/he does so with the intention of commenting upon this very medium’s potential for affecting our society and every day life, or even merely subverting the way that we are expected to use this medium.

:: Is the situationist ideology really “integrated” in the conceptual framework behind the creation of some of these works or is the use of this ideology more superficial and sometimes out-of-context? I am also very skeptical about the way this ideology is sometimes used in such experiences or in relevant theoretical texts.

:: Mapping is not a neutral process, rather a highly selective and subjective one, in which can be embedded various (invisible) ideological assumptions. Indeed what you visualize, the way the you decide to visualize it, the hierarchies, colours, symbolism of them, decisions regarding how you abstract forms, etc. entails design decisions with deeply hidden (or not necessarily) biases. Even when you allow for the uploading of content by users (possibly allowing for the inclusion of other views in the uncontrolled addition of content to the work) the framework as well as other fundamental details (like the map itself) of the experience are indeed determined by the designer/artist.

:: Meaning and interpretation in locative media supported experiences: I believe this is the most interesting level that the analysis of locative media artwork could focus on the significance and accuracy of time, latitude and longitude measurement in relation to mapping and consequently to how we evaluate and analyze such experiences.

:: How does language play into use of locative media in art? Is that the reason that we do not hear much about any such projects coming from the non-European areas of the Med, although we would very much want to?

:: Sometimes technical shortcomings do not help to experience what is intended by the artist. Also the difficulty in implementing directional feedback of user in space does not help to support more social experiences (as we have found out in a system we are designing)

More in the next message



One or more definitions of locative media

Dear all,

A good question by Stephen Barron. I would like to mention a few definitions of locative media (however I will do so in English if you don’t mind :-)

One definition I could suggest: Locative Media are communication media tightly linked or related or “overlayed” onto physical locations; in other words they could be considered ICT systems which somehow relate digital information to physical space so as to support the storage and retrieval of information in relation to particular locations thus triggering real (but digitally enhanced) social activities and interactions in a physical, digital or hybrid environmental context.

The term was coined by Karlis Kalnins (and maybe Marc Tuters and others participants too) in the context of a workshop hosted by RIXC, an electronic art and media center in Latvia during 2002. As Mark Tuters and Kazys Varnelis suggest in “Beyond Locative Media” (referring to the result of this first workshop) “Inexpensive receivers for global positioning satellites have given amateurs the means to produce their own cartographic information with military precision… As opposed to the World Wide Web the focus here is spatially localized, and centred on the individual user; a collaborative cartography of space and mind, places and the connections between them.”

Wikipedia has a good definition of Locative Media: “Locative Media are media of communication bound to a location. They are digital media applied to real places and thus triggering real social interactions. While mobile technologies such as the Global Positioning System (GPS), laptop computers and mobile phones enable locative media, they are not the goal for the development of projects in this field”. It also sites the very relevant work of Ben Russel who suggests that:

“Locative media is many things: A new site for old discussions about the relationship of consciousness to place and other people. A framework within which to actively engage with, critique, and shape a rapid set of technological developments. A context within which to explore new and old models of communication, community and exchange. A name for the ambiguous shape of a rapidly deploying surveillance and control infrastructure.” (Russell, 2004)

Nicolas Nova (2004) in a report titled: “Locative Media : a literature review” has discussed Locative Media as a specific type of awareness tools, particularly Location-based awareness tools, which are often referred to as “locative media” or “location-based services”. He then suggests that the term “locative media” refers to every information about the physical location as well as other contextual cues. The most commonly used context of mobile systems is the location of the user since it is easy to determine and it could be meaningful to use it in order to adapt the behavior of a mobile application.

Many others have given even better definitions but I guess recording all of them is beyond the scope of a message in this discussion.



Nov 29, 13:28
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calls + opps performance livestage exhibition installation networked mobile writings participatory locative media augmented/mixed reality event new media video interactive public net art conference virtual intervention distributed second life sound political technology narrative festival tactical lecture art + science conversation social networks social games history surveillance dance music workshop urban mapping collaboration live upgrade! reblog activist wearable immersive public/private data architecture platform body collective aesthetics environment systems city identity film visualization culture telematic wireless web 2.0 site-specific ecology place webcast open source tool software text research intermedia space community audio radio nature hybrid 3-D avatar e-literature audio/visual responsive presence pyschogeography interdisciplinary media object interview physical global/ization ubiquitous theory theater biotechnology relational play code archive bioart generative news DIY robotic light place-specific hacktivism synthetic p2p cinema remix education agency interface language im/material live cinema algorithmic labor copyright simulation mashup animation perception image free/libre software multimedia artificial motion tracking voice convergence streaming reenactment gift economy machinima emergence webcam cyberreality glitch DJ/VJ tv censorship ARG nonlinear tag transdisciplinary touch recycle asynchronous fabbing semantic web hypermedia chance synesthesia biopolitics tangible app social choreography gesture unconference forking 1
1 3-D activist aesthetics agency algorithmic animation app architecture archive ARG art + science artificial asynchronous audio audio/visual augmented/mixed reality avatar bioart biopolitics biotechnology body calls + opps censorship chance cinema city code collaboration collective community conference convergence conversation copyright culture cyberreality dance data distributed DIY DJ/VJ e-literature ecology education emergence environment event exhibition fabbing festival film forking free/libre software games generative gesture gift economy glitch global/ization hacktivism history hybrid hypermedia identity im/material image immersive installation interactive interdisciplinary interface intermedia intervention interview labor language lecture light live live cinema livestage locative media machinima mapping mashup media mobile motion tracking multimedia music narrative nature net art networked new media news nonlinear object open source p2p participatory perception performance physical place place-specific platform play political presence public public/private pyschogeography radio reblog recycle reenactment relational remix research responsive robotic second life semantic web simulation site-specific social social choreography social networks software sound space streaming surveillance synesthesia synthetic systems tactical tag tangible technology telematic text theater theory tool touch transdisciplinary tv ubiquitous unconference upgrade! urban video virtual visualization voice wearable web 2.0 webcam webcast wireless workshop writings



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Turbulence Works

These are some of the latest works commissioned by's net art commission program.
[ openspace ] wilderness [] A More Subtle Perplex A Temporary Memorial Project for Jobbers' Canyon Built with ConAgra Products A Travel Guide A.B.S.M.L. Ars Virtua Artist-in-Residence (AVAIR) (2007) Awkward_NYC besides, Bonding Energy Bronx Rhymes Cell Tagging Channel TWo: NY Condition:Used Constellation Over Playas Data Diaries Domain of Mount GreylockVideo Portal Eclipse Empire State Endgame: A Cold War Love Story Flight Lines From the Valley of the Deer FUJI spaces and other places Global Direct Google Variations Gothamberg Grafik Dynamo Grow Old Handheld Histories as Hyper-Monuments html_butoh I am unable to tell you I'm Not Stalking You; I'm Socializing iLib Shakespeare (the perturbed sonnet project) INTERP Invisible Influenced iPak - 10,000 songs, 10,000 images, 10,000 abuses iSkyTV Journal of Journal Performance Studies Killbox L-Carrier Les Belles Infidles look art Lumens My Beating Blog MYPOCKET No Time Machine Nothing Happens: a performance in three acts Nothing You Have Done Deserves Such Praise Oil Standard Panemoticon Peripheral n2: KEYBOARD Playing Duchamp Plazaville Psychographics: Consumer Survey Recollecting Adams School of Perpetual Training Searching for Michelle/SFM Self-Portrait Shadow Play: Tales of Urbanization of China ShiftSpace Commissions Program Social Relay Mail Space Video Spectral Quartet Superfund365, A Site-A-Day text_ocean The Xanadu Hijack This and that thought. Touching Gravity 2/Tilt Tumbarumba Tweet 4 Action Urban Attractors and Private Distractors We Ping Good Things To Life Wikireuse Without A Trace WoodEar Word Market You Don't Know Me
More commissions