Locative Media and Spatial Narratives
“Modernization is the process by which capitalism uproots and makes mobile that which is grounded, clears away or obliterates that which impedes circulation, and makes exchangeable what is singular.“1
This paper explores the debates around past and present locative practice and sets them against such models drawn from a broad range of cultural artefacts and their potential lessons for contemporary locative media art and interactive public art practice. Specifically examined are issues of architecture and ritual space, and the spatialisation of narrative, including Aboriginal Australian, Amerindian, Celtic, Hindu and Christian sacred architectures and land art.
We now are entering a new phase in the construction of narrative forms-an age of ubiquitous computing and wire free communication spaces. The emergent field of “locative” media art explores the convergence of computer data and location using portable media. The predominant uses of mapping and spatial information necessarily lead us to a radical reassessment of the nature of representation. When Diegetic space can be mapped onto geographic location, how does this alter the modes of audience participation and reception, and can this emergent space for art and performance create new perceptions of space and place in an audience?
The dominant modes of narrative, as always, are ultimately decided by the political and economic shape of society. To artists living under the contradictory priorities of late neo – liberal capitalist culture, new mobile technologies may offer a unique opportunity to break the determinist “male” control of narrative vision identified by Foucault as dominating in the 19th and 20th centuries, and allow for the promotion a more decentred and subtle narrative mapping. Laura Mulvey’s argument about passivity of the female under the male gaze is now undercut by the active role of the ambulant audience, and the intrusion of the real world into the artwork, often subverting of the potential voyeurism of the viewer. In many ways the active participant in such work is held is in a limnal state between worlds, whose attention moves between absorption in diegisis, the intrusive “real” and the ambient physicality of the environment.2
The concomitant of this ubiquitous transparency of location is the ability to track the audience, so a whiff of the totalitarian haunts the liberating potential of the technologies. Just as artists are discovering the richness of the located artwork, the very same processes of late capitalism are simultaneously draining meaning from those spaces of our lives. A process identified by Marc Augé as ‘Supermodernity’, a simultaneous culture of superfluity of places and of no place-the mall, the motorway and the airport.3
Feminist critics have often raised alternative strategies to break the negatives of a culture of control .
“One of the most exciting possibilities of cyberspace is the uncontrolled, the live, the networked and multiple, and the dynamic and fleeting. For these potentials to manifest there must evolve a place for stories and worlds that are not centred on an ideology based on control. Perhaps we should create designs that give users control in an uncontrolled world as a way to break that paradigm.“4
Much interesting locative practice explores precisely this area. Teri Rueb’s Drift5, for example ties a sound landscape to the movements of the tide on a north european beach. The audience must either give itself to the primal cycles of the sea or risk total confusion and data loss.
Locative artworks based on digital mobile technologies are a relatively new phenomenon. Yet art practices based on site-specific works and nomadic strategies are not just old, but ancient. Locative art by its very nature trespasses into the realm of Public Art, but by its interaction with the public transforms our notions of site-specific and ambulant practices, defined over the last three decades by artists such as Richard Long, Hamish Fulton, Vito Acconi and Sophie Calle. This paper also questions whether, by similarly rooting artistic practice in profound cultural and psychological structures, locative work can gain a greater artistic resonance.
Mapping as a radical critique
Post-structuralist philosophies have revived an interest in the spatial, identifying the intimate relationship between power and knowledge, particularly in the writing of Foucault, but also in those of Virilio, Deleuse and Guattari:
“By introducing “geographical” metaphors such as site, domain, position, field, and displacement, Foucault (and to a certain extent Althusser) was able to review and re-theorise the relationship between power and knowledge“6
Richard Coyne has extended Foucault’s analysis to computer systems believing them implicated in the objects and practices by which the body is rendered “docile.” In a Foucaultian reading the computer is the latest means of subjugating the body through modes of bodily discipline, posture, and the dictates of good ergonomic practice. This critique becomes more cogent in our consideration of the liberating nature of mobile computing.7
The GPS mapping practice of modern psycho-geographers, (see GPS Drawing and socialfiction.org) are seemingly related to the writings of Guy Debord and his practice of the ‘Derive’, but seldom achieve anything identifiably subversive. They have more in common with the practice of the Flaneur – the alienated outsider enjoying the frission of other lives. As one critic believes – “Locative media is: Psychogeography without the critique.“8. If one returns to the original Situationist critique of western culture as outlined in Debord’s Society of the Spectacle, it is clear that most current artworks are embedded in a superficial love affair with technology and the map, and often retreat into conceptualist formalism which has nothing to do with a subversive “detornment”
“The spectacle presents itself simultaneously as all of society, as part of society, and as instrument of unification. As a part of society it is specifically the sector which concentrates all gazing and all consciousness. Due to the very fact that this sector is separate, it is the common ground of the deceived gaze and of false consciousness, and the unification it achieves is nothing but an official language of generalized separation.“9
Debord never revised his analysis of the “spectacle”, further developing it into a theory of the “Integrated Spectacle”- the information age’s bread and circuses equivalent for distraction of the masses. The “Derive” or drift is a method for subversion, of remapping the world with ‘uncontrolled’ clarity. Identifying the secret flows of money and power below the surface of the city. The strategies he cites has been adapted in several locative works. For instance Jen Southen in DISTANCE MADE GOOD10
“The production of psycho-geographic maps, or even the introduction of alterations such as more or less arbitrarily transposing maps of two different regions, can contribute to clarifying certain wanderings that express not subordination to randomness but complete insubordination to habitual influences (influences generally categorized as tourism that popular drug as repugnant as sports or buying on credit). A friend recently told me that he had just wandered through the Harz region of Germany while blindly following the directions of a map of London. This sort of game is obviously only a mediocre beginning in comparison to the complete construction of architecture and urbanism that will someday be within the power of everyone“11
One of the most lauded recent locative or mobile artworks has been Blast Theory’s Uncle Roy all around you. Members of the public play as Street Players using a handheld PDA. They have 60 minutes to ‘find’ Uncle Roy who sends clues, gives instructions and makes observations along the way. Street Players can also see Online Players exploring this same area of the city on the map on their handheld computer. They can send audio messages to Online Players to ask for help. The game drops Online Players into a virtual city. Street Players appear in the virtual city as black figures in a column of orange light. Other Online Players appear as white figures. An uneasy mix of performance and game, its narrative is only accessible to those who successfully complete the quest. The real and virtual sit in an uneasy relationship with the environment only valued as a source of directional clues and the casual bystander remains mystified and excluded.
The charge levelled by European cultural critics at the work of Blast Theory was that of complacent and uncritical adaptations of industry standard games, unwittingly acting as fashionable agents for intrusive and suspect technologies. Matt Adams rebutted this in an interview, pointing to the collaborative co-dependency explored by the work.12
Maps and Subjectivity
It might be useful to start untangling the myths about locative media with this warning from Lev Manovitch:
“GPS, wireless location services, surveillance technologies, and other augmented space technologies all define data space – if not in practice than at least in their imagination – as a continuous field completely extending over and filling in all of physical space. Every point in space has a GPS coordinate which can be obtained using GPS receiver. Similarly, in the cellspace paradigm every point in physical space can be said to contain some information that can be retrieved using PDA or a similar device. With surveillance, while in practice video cameras, satellites, Echelon (the set of monitoring stations which are operated by the U.S. and are used to monitoring all kinds of electronic communications globally), and other technologies so far can only reach some regions and layers of data but not others, the ultimate goal of the modern surveillance paradigm is to able to observe every point at every time. To use the terms of Borges’s famous story, all these technologies want to make the map equal to the territory.“13
There is nothing particularly surprising about this intentional tractory of the technology: neo-liberal capitalism extends its controlling force ( voluntarily) into every facet of our lives. Everyday in the street we can see the blurring of boundaries between public and private, work time and personal time. While the potential for monitoring and control is growing exponentially, the map can never equal the territory and Borges famous story has a cautionary warning about such hubris:
“…map of such Magnitude cumbersome, and, not without Irreverence, they abandoned it to the Rigours of sun and Rain. In the western Deserts, tattered Fragments of the Map are still to be found, Sheltering an occasional Beast or beggar; in the whole Nation, no other relic is left“14
These issues seem to me to mark a step change in the way technology governs our behaviours. If the real and virtual are so easily melded, with such potential for both personal freedom and conversely, institutional control, where is the responding discourse from the artists? Until recently, very few mobile works have tried to find a metaphoric critique of advancing ubiquity-I can think of Jonah Brucker-Cohen’s WiFi Hog15 whose ironic intentions were even misunderstood by the wifi community at the time.
Maps are by their nature an uneasy mix of the subjective and objective. From early Ptolomeic to colonial the map reflects the map-maker’s concerns and subjectivities. It is well known how Mercator projections exaggerated the relative sizes of the northern colonial nations against their southern empires. The area-accurate Peter’s projection still shocks by depicting the true size of the southern continents. The mental representations we carry are necessarily complex, and it seems problematic to merely map these back onto social space using locative technologies, but this was the predominant practice of many early projects. (Locative Media workshop/Urban Tapestries)16
“how can mental representations of the spatial world be characterized? The distortions in distance estimation indicate that mental representations do not directly represent space or distance, but rather represent the entities that exist in space. The distortions in direction estimation indicate that mental representations of directions are not continuous, but rather, tend toward the categorical. Together, these findings suggest that spatial elements are organized relative to each other and to a reference frame, and assimilated toward these. And together, these distortions are unreconcilable in a map-like or Euclidean representation.“17
But if the perception of space resides in the mind of the beholder, that perception springs from a complexity of sources. We have constructed our notions of space through both the hardwiring of the body. The unconscious knowledge of space we carry is partially based on an invisible and forgotten sense – proprioperception18. Proprioception is the process by which the body can vary muscle contraction in immediate response to incoming information regarding external forces); and through our culturally determined softwiring, such as politics or religion.
In locative media the body reassumes its primacy as measure and scale in the world. In simplest terms, the body gives us an orientation in the world through its physical structure front, back left right, up down and its relation to the force of gravity. The mobile body offers continual new perspectives on the world, allowing a richer and more subtle perception by all the senses. The body mediates between us and the environment, giving us access to a world beyond itself.19
Building as Symbol
Architecture can offer an integrated and compelling model for embodied spatial narratives- one of the primary social functions of architecture is to create Ritual spaces. Ritual is a kind of social form in which a designed narrative can unfold harmoniously and simultaneously within the larger context of an interactive environment in which most of the action is improvisational. We are just beginning to understand the narrative potentials of ancient architectural alignments, Religious spatial architectural organisation and their acoustic resonances. Their effects can be usefully compared with a range of contemporary projects exploiting architectural space including work by Daniel Leibeskind and Rafael Lozano-Hemmer.
To illustrate my point, look at Chartres Cathedral, which was built in France in 1235 AD. In the nave is the “Chemin de Jerusalem” (Road of Jerusalem), a pavement maze with a completely different pattern to the earlier Cretan maze or Roman mosaics. The Christian symbolism is obvious, with the four arms of the cross replacing the pagan symbolism of the former. Pilgrims were supposed to walk the maze as a substitute for a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, or to shuffle along on their knees as a penance.
In the West up until the 18th century, architecture had preserved its ability to frame and support (ritual) actions that allowed the human subject to orientate to a suprasensory Being . In the late 18th century architects complained about a profound crisis of meaning in their discipline. Once a cosmography and a mythology disappeared as socially accepted realities, the referents of a spatial narrative of architecture became problematic.
This problem is a universal one for artists and architects alike, but Alberto Perez Gomez imagines a use of space which revivifies the lessons of pre-enlightenment practice.
“…An architecture to reveal humanity not in time but made of time, not in space but radically embodied and existing in a thick, vivid present, between the earth and the sky, as a unique place in the universe, always subject to forces larger than ourselves that in fact make us human, call us to take measure and yet always lay beyond the reach of calculation. In order to accomplish this aim, architecture must understand itself differently. This is, I believe, the challenge offered by Heidegger: For architectural theory never to accept its status to be merely equivalent to applied science; for architecture never to conceive of itself as a resolution of an equation that may result in efficient “form,” regardless of the complexity or sophistication of the equation, nor to understand itself as “aesthetic object”…… Two excellent examples will serve me by the way of closing: Le Corbusier’s Convent La Tourette and Daniel Libeskind’s Jewish Museum“20
Daniel Liebeskind’s Jewish Museum in Berlin takes the ritual narrative of architectural space to a new modern extreme. Corridors slope but appear straight; Ceilings lower from 5 to 2 metres on seemingly those straight corridors, inducing a physical disorientation in the observer, which echoes the disorientation of the Jewish victims of Holocaust. Liebeskind’s work is also highly symbolic: based on the broken star of David and the void left by the disappeared is echoed by a physical ‘Void’ running through the heart of the building. Cutting through the form of the Jewish Museum it forms a straight line whose impenetrability creates the central focus around which the exhibitions are organized. In order to cross from one space of the Museum to the other, the visitors cross sixty bridges which open into the ‘Void’ space; the embodiment of absence. Spatial narratives in new media have yet to achieve the vertiginous power of such physical narratives. The experience of such a space, makes one believe Pallasmaa’s contention that:
“Architecture re-mythologies space and gives back its pantheistic and animistic essence.“21
New technology is also capable of producing powerful interactive spaces, but even sophisticated site specific locative work can fall down on the issue of content. Rafael Lozano-Hemmer is one of the most famous exponents of interactive art in public spaces, His Re:Positioning Fear Graz 1997 was featured during the third international Film + Arc Biennale in Graz, Austria, a Relational Architecture piece transformed the courtyard façade of one of Europe’s largest military arsenals, the 350 year old Landeszeughaus. “Re:Positioning Fear” used a web site, webcam, 3D trackers, and customised projection technology to connect a very specific instance of Austrian history and architecture with remote and local participants. The piece was loosely based on the Cathedral’s fresco “the Scourges of God”, which depicts the three Medieval fears of the people of Graz: the locust plague (which destroyed the fields in 1477), the Black Death (an epidemic that fortunately never had a devastating outbreak in Graz), and the fall of the city to Turkish invaders (which never happened). Halogen lights tracked people and create sharp silhouettes regardless of position. Internet Relay Chat Web Texts were sent by the public and included in the projections. However, the texts are often trivial, given the visual impact of the work and the nature of the “fears” being addressed.22
We are only just discovering how sophisticated was the understanding of the relationship between space and ritual in ancient cultures. Research at Neolithic sites around the UK has revealed striking similarities in their acoustical properties. Key examples, in Ireland and Scotland (such as the huge passage tomb of Newgrange and the burial mound at Skara Brae in Orkney). These sites contain passageways leading to large circular chambers, and have a resonant frequency (at which sounds naturally echo and reverberate) of about 110hz – the frequency of the baritone, the second lowest singing voice. Standing waves, where sounds are reflected off walls and superimposed on to one another, have been observed in these and other sites and evidence suggests that the ancient architects realigned stones to create these effects. These frequencies have also been found to induce a state of trance. Archaeologists have suggested that chanting, singing and drumming at these sites would have produced reverberating echoes that might have been interpreted as voices of spirits or gods; they may also have induced physiological and psychological changes in people, adding to their potency as sites of spiritual importance.23
Evidence of seasonal alignment and geometries is common around the world in the organisation of space by earlier societies, for example in New mexico the solar and lunar cosmology encoded in Chacoan architecture – through the buildings’ orientations, internal geometry, and geographic relationships – unified the Chacoan people with each other and with the cosmos.24
While Richard Long revived the experience of landscape as a walked territory, where the forms created echo those of primitive cultures; Western humanity is so far from these concerns, that it seems impossible to envision an ambulant practice that could revivify our primal relation with the land. The GPS drawing project simultaneously combines the idea of mapping and walking. But where ancient motifs such as the Honey lines of Nasca were created (like hindu temple geometries) as a sacred map observable only by the gods, these new landscape drawings seem purely formalistic and based on conceptualists aesthetics in their construction.
A Landscape of Narrative
Bob Hughes, author of Dust and Magic, has postulated landscape as a model for new media narratives with each track or journey mapping an individual trajectory through a story space
“To propose that the path is the narrative, is like proposing that the Pyg track is Snowdon, or the Pennine Way is England. Each path is chiefly a route through a particular terrain – and the terrain is the main thing… If that analogy is any good, then the way to create computer narratives is to define the features of the landscape to be explored, and let those definethe path.“25
Where Cinema is essentially fragmentary and episodic, much of its invented language was concerned with the process of reintegrating disparate elements, spaces and time scales to create a perception of meaning in the audience. Mobile media offers the coherent three-dimensional flow of space along a path, and with its augmented reality is analogous to a melding together of the two historic modes of perception described here:
“The word “path” is not used by chance. Nowadays it is the imaginary path followed by the eye and the varying perceptions of an object that depend upon how it appears to the eye. Nowadays it may also be the path followed by the mind across a multiplicity of phenomena, far apart in time and space, gathered in a certain sequence into a single meaningful concept… In the past, however, the opposite was the case: the spectator moved between carefully disposed phenomena that he absorbed sequentially with his visual sense.“26
Locative Media Narratives
Where there are contemporary narratives resonant with the reinforcement of site and story? I can think of Riot from Mobile Bristol and 34n118w but these tend to deal with an historical past rather than the lived present. Interactive public art has been with us for over 20 years, some ambitious examples use locative and mobile media in integrated ways, illustrating multiple approaches to narrative in located spaces. Many of the such projects are technically marvellous, but still often fall down on the actual content. Part of the problem is the one identified by Virilio, that of the change from considered diegesis to continuous and automatic present. Where the user creating the narratives both as subject and object, a new ‘pan-cinema’:
Paul Virilio uses the example of Michel Klier, and his film Der Riese (the Giant) in materialising the change of the function of the cameraman in the film. The film is a montage of images that are recorded by automatic surveillance camera in German cities, and their major public places. Through this example, we come to reclaim the “end of art”, this time by Klier himself, who claims this video to be ‘the end and the recapitulation’ of his art. This is according to Virilio, because the visual subject has transferred to a technical effect, which forms a sort pancinema, which turns our most ordinary acts into movie action, into new visual material. This means a culmination of the progress of representational technologies, of their military, scientific and investigative instrumentalisation over the centuries.27
In the US artists Jeremy Hight, Jeff Knowlton and Naomi Spellman used locative media to “read” a space with GPS and other wireless technology, examinining the many layers of city spaces. Marking narrative triggers through locative media, they draw multiple lines from archaeology, fiction, architecture, and design across the urban terrain.
“35 years I cleared the tracks. Those men, along the rails, tired. Death by train we called it. They waited and wandered. Hoped….for the sound that comes too late to take them from this life. It was my job to assist……..to help……kind words…..or help clear the tracks after the impact…Such failure”
Their locative media artwork 34 north 118 west uses GPS data and an interactive map that triggers live data through movement in downtown LA. The project utilises technology and the physical navigation of a city simultaneously to forge a new construct. To quote Hight,
“the narrative is embedded in the city itself as well as the (in way the) city is read. The storyworld becomes one of juxtaposition, of overlap, of layers appearing and falling away. Place becomes a multitiered and malleable concept beyond that of setting and detail, to establish a fictive place, a narrative world. The effect is a text and sound based virtual reality, a non-passive movement, a being in two places at once with eyes open.“28
The work of Proboscis: Urban Tapestries 2002-4 allows people to author their own virtual annotations of the city, enabling a community’s collective memory to grow organically, allowing ordinary citizens to embed social knowledge in the new wireless landscape of the city. People could add new locations, location content and the ‘threads’ which link individual locations to local contexts, which are accessed via handheld devices such as PDAs and mobile phones. These new urban narratives appear sharply streetwise and critical, but remain more experimental tests than artworks.
Riot! (2004) depicted the Bristol Riots of 1831 when the Political Reform Bill had been defeated in Parliament and the vote denied once more to ordinary people. Those people are rose up and thousands of them filled Queen Square in the heart of the city to vent their fury. You can hear the rioters’ voices as they plunder the surrounding buildings, the flames as buildings burn, the merchants as they flee for their lives and the Dragoon Guards as they sabre-charge through the crowds cutting the rioters down in their hundreds. Armed only with a handheld computer and a pair of headphones, anyone connected to the GPS wireless kit could move around an “interactive sound theatre” in the historic square. Different events happened in different cells, and these are be triggered by people’s movements. As well as a new form of experimental art, the first GPS radio drama-this project is one of the projects of Mobile Bristol.18 I n contrast to the various heritage trails in the region, this was an immersive and powerful experience, with an engagement with the immediate spaces of history
Physical Space and Diegetic Space: Audience perceptions
The main direction of my own recent work has been in examining and understanding the nature of theatrical and interactive installation spaces where poetry can be re-imagined as a part of a hypertextual universe. In pursuing this direction I was attempting to synthesise aspects of cinema, video art and more primitive and associative spaces, to create a narrative form based in a physical environment, rather than on a virtual one. The lessons of installations such as The Understanding Echo (2002)29 are now being applied to new locative works. That installation was an attempt to root interactive narrative in a magical space corresponding to part of the audience’s ‘collective unconscious’ where “memory, dreams and reflections” could rise to the surface. Language once more played a central role, one indexed directly onto a physical space.
Flickering in the central pool is the image of a woman’s face, submerged below the surface. From time to time she rose from the depths and talked slowly in short poetic fragments or aphorisms. The form of these spoken fragments became ever more personal as they approached the pool. The large changing digital montage projections around the pool represented combinations of memory. The figure rising from the waters loosely corresponded to the nymph Echo, in myth forced to forever repeat the last lines of her lover Narcissus’s speeches. The woman is by turns embittered, flirtatious and coquettish, disillusioned and enthusiastic: ignoring the audience one minute; hectoring them the next. Her character moves through a wide emotional range, returning obsessively to her situation and the unhappy love affair, which caused it. The woman inhabits the present, but lives only in the past. Onto the audience she projects her loves and fears. We are immersed in her longings and become her blank screen: the spatialised narrative and the poetic monologues were fused together in the environment of the piece.
Once an audience enter the installation room, they have become part of the diegetic space of the narrative and are continually addressed directly or obliquely by the character of Echo. The precise sequencing or order of the fragments is irrelevant. There is no linear temporal curve involved. The more a visitor interacts, the more intimate the knowledge they gain of Echo’s character. Thus the narrative is embedded in every experienced fragment. The difference between conventional literary narrative and this interactive form could be compared to the difference between a conventional photograph and a hologram. Whilst in a photographic fragment we see a part of a single perspective view, in a hologram each fragment of the photographic plate carries the total waveform of light generated by the original object. This holistic potential is what attracts me both to poetry and to interactive work. The immanent form is not only manifest in each part of the work, each fragment attains further resonance and meaning or “ambiguity” from the collection of other fragments and that meaning is subtly altered with each viewing.
The history of independent cinema is one of the development of a visual language of increasing subtlety and expression. Locative or Mobile Media are in their infancy and are only just starting to explore work with a comparable range and depth. The idea that a real space could become the diegetic extension of narrative is a concept as relevant to architects as it is to cultural theorists, filmmakers or media artists. We are witnessing the birth of a medium for which sound is the most appropriate tool. In this medium, for obvious reasons the visual is finally on an equal footing with the auditory. To quote Sean Cubbitt:
In the evolving audiovisual arts, sound can no longer afford to subordinate itself to vision, nor can it demand of audiences that they inhabit only ideal and interchangeable space. Any relation to screen will require that the audience be mobilised. …. Sound enters space not to imitate sculpture or architecture, but, through electronic webs, to weave a geographic art that understands too that the passage of time is the matter of history: a diasporan art.“30
- Crary, Jonathan, Techniques of the observer: on vision and modernity in the nineteenth century (Cambridge:The MIT Press, 1990), p.10.
- This concept (Lacan and the gaze) has been particularly influential on a group of feminist film theorists who explore, on the one hand, how female objects of desire in traditional Hollywood film are reduced to passive screens for the projection of male fantasies, and, on the other hand, how the male desire for the mastery of the look is, in fact, continually undercut by a certain castration at the heart of cinema: the blank space between the frames that, only in its elision, can create the illusion of cinematic "reality." That blank space between the frames is analogous to the ever-threatening Real over which we project our narcissistic fantasy of "reality." Felluga, Dino. "Modules on Lacan: On the Gaze." Introductory Guide to Critical Theory. 2005. www.cla.purdue.edu/english/theory/psychoanalysis/lacangaze.html.
- Augé, Marc, Non-Places: Introduction to an anthropology of supermodernity, Verso,1995
- Flanagan, Mary, Navigating the narrative in space: gender and spatiality in virtual worlds Art Journal Fall, 2000
- Teri Rueb, Drift 2004
- Michelis, Angelica "The Woman in the Red Dress: Gender, Space, and Reading." Modernism/modernity - Volume 10, Number 1, The Johns Hopkins University Press January 2003, pp. 210-11
- Coyne, Richard, Designing Information Technology in the Postmodern Age, MIT 1995
- Saul Albert saul at twenteenthcentury.com Tue Apr 27 22:27:22 EEST 2004 . "Algorithmic psychogeography, the term used by socialfiction.org to describe their rule-based derives through the city, is not just a development, but actually a fundamental reversal of the critical use of this Situationist tool. Wandering the city, allowing its flows and vectors to push the walker along and through it reveals, in outline, the spatial imperatives of the urban planners. Imposing an arbitrary rule set on decisions to turn left or right removes the critical/analytical basis for this practice leaving behind a randomly predetermined tour"
- Guy Debord, Society of the Spectacle, Detroit 1977, translated by Black and Red, original text published as La societie du spectacle, 1969 Paris.
- See www.theportable.tv
- Debord, Guy, Introduction to a Critique of Urban Geography Published in Les Lèvres Nues #6, 1955
- Interview with Martin Rieser for "Mobile Audience" January 2005
- Manovich, Lev, Macrocinema :Spatial Montage www.manovich.net/macrocinema.doc.(2004)
- Jorge Luis Borges, From "Of exactitude in science" in A Universal History of Infamy.
- Paul Rodaway, Sensuous geographies: body, sense, and place, Routledge, 1994
- Alberto Pérez-Gómez, Dwelling on Heidegger: Architecture as mimetic techno-poiesis http://www.tu-cottbus.de/BTU/Fak2/TheoArch/wolke/eng/Subjects/982/Perez-Gomez/perez-gomez_t.html
- Juhani Pallasmaa, The Architecture of Image: Existential Space in Cinema, Rakennustieto Oy, Helsinki (2000)
- Re:Positioning Fear featured during the third international Film and Art Biennale in Graz, Austria, a Relational Architecture piece transformed the courtyard façade of one of Europe’s largest military arsenals, the 350 year old Landeszeughaus. Featured during the third international Film + Arc Biennale in Graz, Austria, a Relational Architecture piece transformed the courtyard façade of one of Europe’s largest military arsenals, the 350 year old Landeszeughaus.
- Newgrange Burial chamber reveals haunting sound of past, Sunday Times, Irish Edition, (15th July 2001) see also www.orkneyjar.com/history/tombs/tombacoustics.htm
- Sofaer, Anna, The Primary Architecture of the Chacoan Culture: A Cosmological Expression in Anasazi Architecture and American Design, edited by Baker H. Morrow and V. B. Price, Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press (1997)
- Hughes, Bob Narrative as landscape. www.bobhughes.demon.co.uk/NasL.html (2004)
- Sergei Eisenstein, Montage and Architecture, Introduction by Yve-Alain Bois, Assemblage, No. 10, December 1989, p. 116.
- The Vision Machine by Paul Virilio BFI (1994)
- Jeremy Hight, Narrative Archaeology, Streetnotes: Summer 2003 (now in this site) www.neme.org/texts/narrative-archaeology
- Rieser, M, Zapp, A New Screen Media: Cinema Art Narrative BFI 2002, p.211 Martin Rieser, Understanding Echo, DA2 Commission, shown at Cheltenham Festival of Literature 2000, Watershed Media Centre, Bristol and ISEA2002 in Nagoya, Japan 2002 www.sof.org.uk/artists/martin_home.htm, vision.mdg.human.nagoyau.ac.jp/isea/program/E/artists/a137.html, www.da2.org.uk/projects/echo.htm
- Cubitt, Sean, Digital Aesthetics Sage (1998 ) p116-7
Martin Rieser is a joint research Professor between the Institute of Creative Technology and Art and Design at De Montfort, with a brief to align the two in a more direct relationship. His track record as a researcher and practitioner in Digital Arts is a long one stretching back to the early 1980s. Originally a Graduate of English Literature and Philosophy from Bristol University, he subsequently studied Printmaking at Atelier 17 in Paris with S.W. Hayter and then at Goldsmiths, where he also developed an abiding interest in Photography. From such an already hybrid background he moved into Computer Arts, establishing the first postgraduate course in the discipline in London in 1982.
His art practice in internet art and interactive narrative installations has been seen around the world including Milia in Cannes; Paris; The ICA London and in Germany, Montreal, Nagoya in Japan and Melbourne, Australia.
He as delivered papers on interactive narrative and exhibited at many major conferences in the field including ISEA: Montreal 1995, Rotterdam 1996, Chicago 1997, Nagoya 2002, University of Oslo 2004, Siggraph, 2005, Refresh Banff Arts Centre 2005, Digital Matchmakers Trondheim 2005 Plan ICA 2005, NAI Rotterdam 2008, Intelligent Environments Seattle 2008, Locunet University of Athens 2008, and at many other conference venues across the UK and Europe.
His interactive installations include Understanding Echo shown in Japan 2002, Hosts Bath Abbey 2006 and Secret Door Invideo Milan 2006, The Street RMIT Gallery Melbourne 2008. He is currently developing mobile artworks for Manchester, Vienna and Thessaloniki, and public installations for the new DMC in Leicester.
He has published numerous essays and books on digital art including New Screen Media: Cinema/ Art/Narrative (BFI/ZKM, 2002), which combines a DVD of current research and practice in this area together with critical essays. And has recently edited The Mobile Audience, a book on locative technology and art due out this year from Rodopi, also logged in a blog.