Wednesday, July 21, 2010

[Yasmin_discussions] the hybrid city as interface


I think one of the concerns I have about these "technology centered"
discussions about locative media, GPS, etc is that they often
emphasise passive reception rather than active construction of

there is a lot of interesting work in what is called Phenology

Phenology is the study of the annual cycles of plants and animals and
how they respond to seasonal changes in their environment. Links to
many online calendars and other references are provided, including
topics such as bird and butterfly phenology and phenology for kids.

there are many ressources there where you can log on an record natural
phenomena you
observe in your own enviroment to contribute to a collective awareness
of the evolution
of your own locale within a larger context

the bird watching communities are among the most organised and you
can see trends from reports from individuals for instance at:

in the case of plants you can contribute to maps that show "waves of
blooming" moving across the landscape

as an astronomer i am perhaps over obsessed about " observing
what is happening right around you"= but it would be great if
one of the things that these locative media can help us to it is
to become better observers

data is power


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dimitris Charitos <>
Date: 2010/7/20
Subject: Re: [Yasmin_discussions] the hybrid city as interface

Dear Roger,

I guess the term "hybrid city" could better read "hybrid spatial experience"
(a more generalized context) that could be the result of acting and
perceiving within a city, within a landscape or within an environment of any
scale. This is more what we had in mind when proposing the term. The urban
context of course involves more of the social spatial experience too in the
process and therefore touches upon the socio-political implications of using
these systems. One of the key subjects of research in the area of pervasive
and locative media is this spatial/environmental experience. One of the main
research questions that have driven some of our experiments with such
systems is: whether one experiences being "present" concurrently at the
physical and the virtual space of the representation or one alternates
between the two states of "presence". And the field of environmental
cognition helps as a starting point here.

I very much agree that our proprioceptive sensation is augmented to include
not only our local but also a more global view of our environment and in the
case of "invisible dynamics" a series of non-perceptible to the human senses
phenomena. But when we experience these systems through mobile devices
(which do not fully immerse us into a virtual context but allow for a
continuous non-mediated perceptual input from the physical environment too),
our physical environmental experience is unavoidably mixed with the mediated
augmented view of the world, and this becomes a somehow "hybrid spatial
experience". It may be that these two views are mixed in the case of
augmented reality (like when using Layar) or that we somehow have to
relate/map two quite distinct frames of reference (like in the case of using
a GPS while walking in the physical environment, mentally relating a plan
view of the world with a perspective one). And I suspect that the strong
sense of connection between the mobile device and our body may somehow help
us in the process of relating these two frames of reference.

When discussing the possibility of an augmented landscape, a very
interesting and enjoyable exhibition I saw a few years ago in the context of
the Sonar festival 2005 in Barcelona on the theme of "Augmented Landscape"
comes to mind. This was curated by Oscar Abril Ascaso.



Dr. Dimitrios Charitos
Assistant Professor, Department of Communication and Media Studies
National and Kapodistrian University of
e-mail: vedesign at otenet dot gr

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