[ISEA2011] Paper: Teri Rueb – Network Landscape


What is at stake when bodies, technologies and landscapes become merged at the site of mobile interface?  The proliferation of wireless networks and pervasive computing over the last decade has intensified the expansion of mediated human presence and agency in both the built and natural environment, while equally transforming the influence of environments on bodies, subjects and consciousnesses.  The increasing degree to which our lives unfold in and through mobile media interfaces has led to significant transformations in the social and spatial relationships of bodies and environments at the level of the individual subject, as well as the collective.   In this post-human “post-environment” condition, social and spatial distinctions become increasingly blurred across self and other, organism and environment, space and time, and technology and the body.

Mobile media interfaces, as mediations of networks and bodies that operate across intimate and large scales, both spatially and symbolically constitute a form of landscape.  As a landscape, what do representations of where we are, as objectified in mobile media interfaces reveal about who we are and who we might strive to be as citizens of a globalized network society?  In this paper, which draws upon examples from my practice since 2007, I propose the model of “network landscape” as a non-anthropocentric and non-techno-centric approach to the design mobile media interface as social, spatial and symbolic form.

  • Dr. Teri Rueb is an artist who works at the intersection of interactive media, sound, land, and environmental art.  Her site-specific works have been presented in contexts as varied as the Wadden Sea and the Oldenburg Botanical Garden in Northern Germany, the Boston Common and Public Gardens, USA, the Viru Keskus shopping mall in Tallinn, Estonia, and the Berlin Tiergarten.  She is the recipient of numerous grants, commissions and awards including a Prix Ars Electronica Award of Distinction in 2008 for her project “Core Sample” which was set on a landfill in the Boston Harbor. She recently completed her doctorate at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design where her research focused on constructions of landscape, wilderness and subjectivity in mobile network society.  She is currently Professor in the Media Study Department at the University at Buffalo (SUNY, USA) where she is Founder and Director of Open Air Institute, a platform for connecting field-based learning and collaborative partnerships at the intersection of landscape, technology, media art and design. Prior to her current appointment she served as founding faculty and was later appointed Department Head of the graduate Digital + Media Department at the Rhode Island School of Design from 2004-2009.  terirueb.net