by Mimi Sheller
The integration of mobile and locational technology into physical place has broadened the possibilities for the creation of new spaces of interaction and opened the disciplinary boundaries used to define and understand the public arena. When material places are merged with virtual worlds, or augmented with interactive digital media, the result is a completely new “hybrid” environment where physical and digital objects co-exist in real time, and where people can interact with others who may or may not be co-present in space. The development of this enriched environment has appeared alongside new social scientific understandings of mobility, materiality, affect, and the sensorial. What are the potentials of mobile-network spaces as new sites for integrating creative invention, public participation and social interaction? How do emergent forms of mobile art engage, subvert or recombine art practices that challenge the limits of our capacity to know where the boundary lies between the real and the virtual, materiality and non-materiality, visibility and invisibility?
Art that incorporates cell phones, GPS, 3D codes, and other mobile technology reveals the complex social, political, technological and physiological effects of new mixed reality interactions. With the layering of space and place, the definition of the public site opens to new interpretations and allows for new practices. Specific strategies such as mediated representations, installations that integrate RFID and other communications technology, and networked audio/visual tags to create new community histories explore the aesthetic and strategic potentialities of mobile, networked and locative media. Artists have also adopted elements of location-based mobile gaming and locative mobile social networks to explore the possibilities and limits of the new borders between the physical and virtual, the real and the imaginary. This talk will consider how new mobile art practices and experimental interventions into both architectures of mobility and infrastructures of communication are re-mixing and remediating presence/absence, public/private, movement/stillness, permanence/impermanence, and local/global scales.