How Long Is Now? A study into the spatiotemporal qualities of mobile media in location-specific interaction 2001 to 2008
The thesis’s method and approach is twofold; firstly, it is a philosophical enquiry as to the spatiotemporal qualities of mobile media and, secondly, an empirical study of non-commercial projects in the field of locative media from 2001 to 2008. The investigation of commonalities and differences between Lefebvre’s ‘lived’ (1961, 1974, 1992) and Bergson’s ‘duration’ (1889, 1896) binds together the methodological approach of this thesis, and underpins the exploration of how temporality and urban space are experienced and lived today through the incessant access to instantaneous communication. The thesis investigates the spatiotemporal qualities of mobile media and their manifestation in user-generated trends: Bluetoothing, Happy Slapping, the cameraphone image and User Generated Content and experimentations in media art: locative media projects and location-based games. The space of data-share and exchange, proposed by the thesis, can be thought of as an aerial space of calculations, as it is supported by a mechanical infrastructure of base stations, antennas and satellites. Through the theories of Henri Lefebvre it can be said that practices in mobile media and locative media employ a production of space. For example, location based games and annotative maps employ representations of space, interactive public screens create representational spaces, and Bluetooth users employ a spatial practice. 'Time travelling', 'spatial layering', and a 'perpetual now', are all concepts explored in the thesis. Spatial layering is examined as an object of study that can help in interaction design and articulation of new mode of perception. Time travelling investigates the temporal qualities of mobile media. ‘A perpetual now’ alerts to the dangers of interacting, creating and communicating with content whose meaning is interdependent of temporal and spatial qualities. Today, the definitive referential quality in mobile media objects is their spatiotemporal signature; where and when they were compiled and how soon after they were viewed.
Sophia is a co-founder of Cybersalon. This is a real and virtual space where people involved in digital creativity can congregate.