New Ways of Seeing: Artistic Usage of Locative Media
People living in urban areas have grown accustomed to the moving visual images surrounding them – displayed upon large screens attached to or integrated in the architecture of the city. In public squares, shopping streets or any other place where people gather, the moving image has become part of everyday public life. The growing ubiquity of mobile technologies in this environment has added another layer of moving image culture on top of the city. Different contexts and spaces, virtual and physical, are overlapping and changing all the time. Theorists and writers describe this development as a new augmented reality, responsive architecture or ambient experience design: a new environment that will lead to a different notion of public space, in turn creating new relationships between people and places. Without doubt the way that these media – from electronic sensors, urban screens and CCTV systems, to GPS and RFID tags – are experienced has significantly impacted the way people communicate as well as their practices of physical and affective orientation. But does this lead to the conclusion that public space is no longer determined by city planning and geographical boundaries? Throughout history artists have tried to reconsider, remap and re-appropriate the boundaries of the city, sometimes reviving older methods in order to cope with new technologies. This paper focuses on contemporary artistic practices that use mobile technologies either as platform or tool to reconsider people’s relationships to mobile technologies and place. If these technologies really are so influential in shaping one’s relation to the city, do such artistic projects succeed in creating a new affect of place?