Panel: Site Specifics: Mobile Media Art and the Contexts of Place
Neither reflection upon our relationship to the space surrounding us nor technological mediation of this relationship are new. However, GPS-enabled technologies and their growing availability in the past decade have decidedly changed the ways we navigate, visualize, quantify, and ultimately comprehend the world we move through. This paper will reflect upon these changes through consideration of various philosophical perspectives, technological developments, and examples of artistic practice that utilize locative media, including my projects The C5 Landscape Initiative and Perceptions of the Commuting Ethnographer. The gradual or sudden accumulation of all things technological, from hardware to software, has gone hand in hand with a shift in thinking about the human condition from a phenomenological awareness to an intersubjective consciousness. (That shift has also coincided with the growing urbanization of the world’s population: as of 2008, over half of the world’s population lives in towns and cities.) This intersubjectivity is increasingly mediated by the ever shrinking, transportable, and instantaneous media with which we have become entwined. Locative media have become increasingly location-aware and commerce-ready, positioning us in the geographical and cultural landscape. In other words, they are more and more aware of our physical and psychographic relationship to the world around us. The paper will explore the nature of our phenomenological relationship to this technology and the world that it mediates.
- Jack Toolin is an artist working in new media, digital imaging, and performance. His work considers contemporary life in light of the changing political, economic, and technological landscape, and has been presented nationally and internationally. Highlights include: the Whitney Museum of American Art (2002 Biennial); the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria; the San José Museum of Art, San José, California; Foxy Production, New York City. His work Perfect View was exhibited at the Chelsea Art Museum Project Room in 2010. He was a member of the new media collaborative C5 (1997-2007) which investigated culture’s relationship to technology through data visualization, installation, and performance expedition. He is currently a visiting assistant professor at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and an adjunct professor at the Polytechnic Institute at NYU. He has lectured widely, at institutions such as the Rhode Island School of Design; University of California at Berkeley; the San Francisco Art Institute; Emerson College, Boston; Kibla Multimedia Center, Maribor, Slovenia; the Museum of Contemporary Art Rijeka, Croatia; and the University of Split, Croatia. He holds a B.F.A. in photography from Ohio University, and an M.F.A. in interdisciplinary practice from San Jose State University, US. jacktoolin.net c5corp.com