Panel: Beyond Locative: Media Arts after the Spatial Turn
Why has collaborative crisis mapping failed in Libya? Where is the Bernard-Henri Lévy of the locative arts movement? Perhaps he does not exist since locative media art stopped existing a long time ago? This could be one of the reasons…?but the truth is much more trivial: locative media only is of use for those people, who already are aware of their location, who know where they came from, and where they are going. It is the gadget nobody needs, as it only grants more privileges to privileged places, causing forgotten places to be rendered even more obsolete. No wonder that the Arabic Revolution does not need any locative media at all!
Locative media is (was) only of importance in an affluent society, in a society where the locations are subject to an attention economy. Should we forget about locative media? No: even though locative media failed as a social media, disguised as a new, hip, mobile must-have, it leads us to realize that it is a highly hegemonic instrument of power like any other cartographic medium, shown impressively by www.?ushahidi.?com. For that reason, it is so interesting to media theories. Interesting because locative media functions as a map even without cartographic representation. This puts into question the definition of what we understood to be a map for centuries. Locative media leads us to realize: The place (not the territory) is the map.
- Tristan Thielmann is an Assistant Professor in Media Studies at the Research Center “Media Upheavals”, University of Siegen, Germany. His cross-disciplinary research and practice explores the aesthetics and history of geomedia with a focus on navigation systems, geobrowsers and geosurveillance technologies.
Full text (PDF) p. 2362-2368 [title somewhat different]