[ISEA2011] Panel: Tanya Toft – To­wards Geospa­tial Cul­tural Plan­ning: Strate­gies for Local Cul­tural In­no­va­tion through Loca­tive New Media Art

Panel Statement

Panel: Site Specifics: Mobile Media Art and the Contexts of Place

Glob­al­iza­tion and de­vel­op­ments in tech­nolo­gies and new mo­bile media have brought about a ‘spa­tial turn’ that has changed spa­tial con­cep­tions and ge­o­graph­i­cal imag­i­na­tions. The cur­rent ‘spa­tial turn’ echoes the crit­i­cal con­cepts of space de­vel­oped by Lefeb­vre, de Certeau and Fou­cault in the 1970s with an em­pha­sis on the pro­duc­tion, prac­tices, and pol­i­tics of lived spa­tial­ity. These con­cepts be­came ‘guides’ to a crit­i­cal analy­sis of the de­vel­op­ments and po­ten­tial of loca­tive new media art in the age of mo­bile media. Today’s de­vel­op­ments in map­ping and GIS tech­nolo­gies allow for a new ‘spa­tial think­ing’ about a so­cio-spa­tial di­alec­tic: the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the ways in which so­cial processes and so­cial ac­tion shape and ex­plain ge­o­gra­phies and vice versa. Loca­tive media and per­va­sive com­put­ing have  re­con­fig­ured our un­der­stand­ings and ex­pe­ri­ences of space and cul­ture—from the mi­cro­cosm of the every­day to the macro­cosm of spa­tial flows. The new ge­o­graph­i­cal pur­suits of loca­tive new media art are site-spe­cific ex­plo­rations of a human ge­og­ra­phy. This paper ex­plores the po­ten­tial of loca­tive new media art as a strate­gic cat­a­lyst for urban re­vi­tal­iza­tion and com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment. Loca­tive media allow for ac­tive com­mu­nity par­tic­i­pa­tion and ex­pres­sion; for urban and cul­tural nar­ra­tives to be dis­cov­ered and ar­tic­u­lated in urban lay­ers; and for aug­men­ta­tion of past or fu­ture re­al­i­ties and vir­tu­al­i­ties. Loca­tive media can en­hance civic en­gage­ment and in­ter­cul­tural cit­i­zen­ship, fos­ter a sense of lo­cal­ity, and thus cre­ate a sus­tain­able com­po­nent for the local com­mu­nity and so­ci­ety at large. These ideas are un­fold­ing in a field that merges or os­cil­lates be­tween loca­tive media and me­di­ated lo­cal­i­ties. They en­cour­age local cul­tural in­no­va­tion by fos­ter­ing site-spe­cific cul­tural un­der­stand­ing. This paper ad­dresses ques­tions such as, what kinds of so­cial/spa­tial re­la­tions are made pos­si­ble through loca­tive new media art pro­jects? And how can these pro­jects be adopted in a cul­tural plan­ning frame­work as cat­a­lysts for local urban and com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment?

  • Tanya Toft re­cently re­ceived her dou­ble MA in Media Stud­ies from The New School, NY, and in Mod­ern Cul­ture and Cul­tural Dis­sem­i­na­tion with pro­file in Ur­ban­ity and Aes­thet­ics from Copen­hagen Uni­ver­sity. Her re­search is fo­cused on the in­ter­re­la­tion­ship be­tween new media art and the trans­for­ma­tion of urban spaces and so­cio-spa­tial struc­tures, which she ex­plores in a com­bined frame­work of artis­tic and strate­gic de­vel­op­ment. In her mas­ter’s the­sis she de­vel­ops a re­think­ing of urban cul­tural plan­ning in the ’tem­po­rary’ cul­tural log­ics of the dig­i­tal city and pro­poses the me­dia-ar­chi­tec­tural event as a tem­po­ral, me­di­ated cat­a­lyst for urban de­vel­op­ment and re­vi­tal­iza­tion. She has pre­sented her re­search at The Trans­for­ma­tion of the 21st Cen­tury City 2010; Me­diaC­ity 2010; Crit­i­cal Themes Grad­u­ate Stu­dent Con­fer­ence 2011; The City: Cul­ture, So­ci­ety, Tech­nol­ogy 2011; and EURA Con­fer­ence: The City With­out Lim­its 2011. tanyatoft.com

Full text (PDF) p. 2396-2401