Mobility, Liminality, and Digital Materiality

Mobility, Liminality, and Digital Materiality

Martin Rieser (De Montfort University, UK)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2961-5.ch003


This chapter will examine and critically align a number of pioneering projects from around the world, using mobile and pervasive technologies, which have challenged the design and delivery of mobile artworks, as documented on the author’s weblog and book The Mobile Audience (Rodopi, 2011). These will be presented together with examples from the artist’s own research and practice, which have been concerned with the liminal nature of digital media and the intersection of the real and virtual, the physicality of place, and the immateriality of the imaginary in artistic spaces. Two projects in process are also referenced: The Prisoner—a motion-captured, emotionally responsive avatar in the round—and Secret Garden—a virtual reality digital opera. Lastly, this chapter considers the nature of digital materiality in the exhibition of miniature Internet transmitted sculptures: Inside Out: Sculpture in the Digital Age.
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Locative Art

Karlis Kalnins coined the phrase ‘locative media’ as the title for a workshop hosted by RIXC, an electronic art and media centre in Latvia during 2002. Whilst locative media is closely related to augmented reality (reality overlaid with virtual reality) and to pervasive computing; locative media concentrates on social interaction with a specific place through mobile technology. Hence, many locative media projects have a background in social, critical, or personal memory. In this chapter, I will describe attempts to use location-specific media in narratised contexts, both as a researcher’s tool and a way to bring contemporary stories alive for the new technologically driven public.

Much reflection on Locative media art has been premature, for as Drew Hemment observes:

It is too early to offer a topology of locative media arts, however, or to tie the field down with strict definitions or borders... We have not yet reached the point at which the technology disappears - all too often the tendency is to focus on the technology and tools rather than the art or content. 3

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