[ISEA2011] Panel: Marc Tuters (moderator) – Beyond Locative: Media Arts after the Spatial Turn

Panel Statement

Chair Per­son: Marc Tuters
Pre­sen­ters: Tris­tan Thiel­mann, Mark Shep­ard & Michiel de Lange

In 2006 Var­nelis and Tuters pub­lished “Be­yond Loca­tive Media”, which dis­cussed the emer­gence of loca­tive media as “the next big thing”. Five years on, with the ubiq­uity of iphones, loca­tive media has be­come banal. Loca­tive media had been much an­tic­i­pated within the media art world, no­tably at the ISEA symposia in 2004 & 2006 after which it en­tered pop­u­lar cul­ture as a trope in William Gib­son’s last two nov­els. Yet while it may have faded from the avant-garde, there is a thriv­ing loca­tive dis­course in aca­d­e­mic jour­nals, as­so­ci­ated with the “spa­tial turn” in media stud­ies. This panel con­sid­ers the role of loca­tive media in the arts and hu­man­i­ties dis­course. The afore­men­tioned text framed loca­tive media in terms of neo-Sit­u­a­tion­ist tac­tics which sought to ac­tively imag­ine an al­ter­nate city. While loca­tive prac­ti­cioners did not share the op­po­si­tional pol­i­tics of their net art pre­cur­sors, one can not help but won­der if some greater po­ten­tial for the medium has not per­haps been fore­closed by a par­tic­i­pa­tory cul­ture that sug­gests lit­tle more than re­con­fig­ur­ing ideas from past.

William Gib­son no longer writes about cy­ber­space in the fu­ture, but in­stead about loca­tive art in the atem­po­ral pre­sent. Hav­ing emerged in the mid-’00’s from media arts, loca­tive media are now part of the con­sumer tech­nol­ogy and pop­u­lar cul­ture. This panel dis­cusses the value of this con­cept in re­la­tion to de­bates at the in­ter­sec­tion of ur­ban­ism and media stud­ies, and con­sid­ers the (non)ex­is­tence of a loca­tive avant-garde.

  • Marc Tuters is PhD can­di­date and lec­turer in new media at the Uni­ver­sity of Am­s­ter­dam. He has two grad­u­ate de­grees from Con­cor­dia (CDN) and Uni­ver­sity of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia (USA), and has worked as an artist and re­searcher in or­ga­ni­za­tions in­clud­ing the An­nen­berg Cen­tre, the Banff Cen­tre, Na­tional Uni­ver­sity of Sin­ga­pore, Waseda Uni­ver­sity.