Locative Media, Context Aware Platforms and New Forms of ‘Experience Design’ Panel

10-11.30, Parallel Session 1 – Cinema 3

Chair: Joanna Callaghan (Bedfordshire)

Title: ‘Nothing That Is Not There’
Mary Agnes Krell (Sussex) – Mak23(at)sussex.ac.uk

This paper explores Nothing That is Not There, a digital artefact produced for exhibition in a New York hotel in February 2011. The paper will explore the concept and practices behind the creation of this work and its critical reception. Nothing That is Not There was developed to explore the narrative potential of portable and locative media through the construction of imperfect mirrors, false narratives and impossible images. It attempts a kind of transmedia storytelling by merging the analogue and a range of digital media. Krell has worked with composer Stacey Harvey to create tangible work that interrogates the nowhere space that is the hotel room and the range of human emotions it is traditionally assigned.

The work builds upon a tradition of work created for transient space by calling upon another iconic use of the hotel room as space as a room for intervention and interaction, (seen in Lynn Hershman Leeson’s Dante Hotel and her 1974 Commercials for NY Hotel Rooms). For these reasons, Nothing That is Not There consists of familiar artefacts that encourage interaction. A number of seemingly-normal picture frames contain images consisting of multiple rephotographs of familiar scenes and, when held, the frames trigger the telling of impossible stories and reflections of the present.

The work was produced by Mary Agnes Krell, (artist/creator) with Stacey Harvey (composer) and it extends previous work with the Lee Miller Archive and recently on the Curating Knowledge exhibit, a.Drift. Their work uses rephotography, bespoke composition and interactive devices to create pieces which encourage reflection and consideration of moments traditionally lost to history.


Title: ‘Technologies of Being: Pervasive Heritage’
Charlotte Crofts (University of the West of England) – charlotte.crofts(at)uwe.ac.uk

With the affordances of locative media, the heritage industry is rapidly embracing the postdigital era, with iPhone Applications for English Heritage, the National Trust and UNESCO World Heritage sites. At the same time, nostalgia for the past (and the analogue) is creating an increasingly vibrant heritage market and the project of the “archive” seems even more pressing.

This presentation explores these issues in relation to a practise-based project based at the Curzon Community Cinema, Clevedon, home of the Curzon Collection, an archive of cinema projectors donated by the Projected Picture Trust. The original cinema was built in 1912 and is one of the oldest, continuously operating, purpose-built cinemas in the world. They have recently won a Heritage Lottery Fund to renovate the building and reinterpret the collection and I am working closely with them to pilot a number of “locative” or “context-aware” technologies (such as WiFi, RFID, QR Codes, GPS, handheld PCs and mobile phones) that will enhance their new exhibit, enabling visitors to gain further insight into the history of the building, projection equipment and cinema itself.

The first phase of the project involves a context aware tour of the exterior of the building downloadable as a GPS enabled mobile phone application. Passers-by download an Android or iPhone application that will trigger context-aware audio recordings according to where they are positioned in relation to the building. Digital memories, voice over narration and dramatisation are used to bring the history of the building and the community to life. The second phase uses QR Codes and other sensors to trigger interactive exhibits inside the cinema.

The idea is to use locative media to add depth to the everyday architecture of the cinema beyond that which is immediately apparent, and so enhance visitors’ experience and understanding of the cinema and the collection. One of the key aims of the overall project is to use locative media as the context within which to critically explore both new and old “apparatus” of seeing (as theorised by Comolli, Metz, de Lauretis, et al), and the ways in which we both remember and imagine them. At its heart, then, the project is concerned with the interface between cultural memory and the technological imaginary of the moving image in the postdigital age.

For more information see http://curzonproject.wordpress.com

Follow on Twitter @charlottecrofts

Curzon Heritage App

Title: ‘Treasuring Media: Geo Art Cache and User Participation’
Jackie Calderwood (De Montfort) – jackie.calderwood(at)btopenworld.com

Listen to this Audio Boo of Jackie’s Skype presentation whilst flicking through the pdf in the link in the title above.

The presentation will outline a commission from Chrysalis Arts, for a participatory locative media artwork in the North Yorkshire Dales, as part of the Geo Art Cache project launching for visitors in May 2011.

The commission develops ideas from my previous filmmaking mediascapes e-merge, Ambience and Soundlines, in which the route taken by walkers exploring the landscape informs a unique composition of site-specific sound and image, triggered by GPS, played back on hand-held devices during the walk. Traces of walks and the resultant short films are collated in an online gallery celebrating the diversity of individual experience, improvised within the whole.

Gathering responses to landscape using the Hunter Gatherer Colour Grid app in the North Yorkshire Dales

I have been investigating personal response to landscape in order to further customise locative media playback; experimenting with subjective mapping, colour grids and symbolic landscape (including David Grove’s therapeutic questioning technique, Clean Language). Creative transdisciplinary methods feed into the design of the geo art and user interaction with the cache.

Three possible approaches for creative public engagement will be outlined, with a discussion of the decisions made, final form and content of the project, and an evaluation of the challenges, success and opportunities presented through development of the work.

These approaches are: user-generated content through a preliminary workshop facilitating creative responses (participatory arts), dynamic interaction of geo cache ‘hunters’ (experimental walks) and online documentary (web gallery/social media). Technical challenges, public response and artistic issues around participatory locative media will be explored. The work will be positioned within the developing theoretical framework of my PhD research and thesis.

For more information visit http://www.gatherer3.com/

Follow on Twitter @gathererapp


One Response to Locative Media, Context Aware Platforms and New Forms of ‘Experience Design’ Panel

  1. Pingback: Postdigital encounters | The Curzon Project

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