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Locations of Practice: The Social Production of Locative Media


Locations of Practice: The Social Production of Locative Media

Zeffiro, Andrea (2011) Locations of Practice: The Social Production of Locative Media. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Locative media is a descriptive term that designates the artistic deployment of an assemblage of mobile and location aware technologies in the production of site-specific experiences or installations for public spaces. It has been described as a ‘test-category’ or ‘mobile media movement’ through which a wide gamut of individuals and collectives explore the possibilities of emerging mobile and location-based technologies. Underlying theoretical concerns have focused, for instance, on: reconfigurations of understandings and experiences of space; associations with psychogeography; potential for grass roots activist applications; and, the dependency on technological infrastructures associated with power and control.
A fundamental tension exists between the tools employed in production, those being commercial technologies, and the rhetoric of locative media practice, which posits these technologies as deployable beyond command and control infrastructures. Concealed within this tension is the manner in which locative media production abuts the commercial uptake of mobile and location-based technologies, and the specific practices that support the appropriation of commercial channels for non-commercial means. This thesis engages with circumstances that enable (or not) locative media production. Locative media is framed as a consequence of social relations, and, as a field of cultural production set within contextual and contingent conditions that circumscribe practice.
In focusing on the conditions of production, that is, the processes through which locative media experiences are constructed, I provide site-specific interpretations through two case studies. The analysis elucidates what is not readily apparent in a final aesthetic experience and reveals the conditions and constraints of production, including the manner in which certain practices are legitimized, disavowed and contradicted. The practices to ensue from these particular sites of production are not representative of the entire field of locative media. These engagements articulate specific locations of practice; the physical and symbolic spaces that support the production of locative media, and it is within these spaces of production that practices emerge.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Communication Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Zeffiro, Andrea
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Date:February 2011
Thesis Supervisor(s):Sawchuk, Kim
ID Code:7110
Deposited On:13 Jun 2011 13:44
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:30
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