[ISEA2011] Paper: M. Luisa Gómez Martínez – Building Complex Realities: Artistic Uses of Locative Media and Augmented Reality


In the last decades, the increasing intersections between art, science and technology have challenged the traditional concepts of art and aesthetics, their contexts of production and reception and their relationship with the audience. But these intersections have also meant the emergence of new artistic “typologies” linked to new devices that have moved from everyday life to the realm of artistic practices; devices that have been adopted by artists as creative tools, becoming important means of reflection on the effects of techno-science on different aspects of life and thought.

This applies, for example, to Locative Media and Augmented Reality devices. Systems such as GPS, Bluetooth and satellite have been integrated into artistic practices to create new participative cartographies (Locative Media Art). At the same time, the display systems that superimpose 3D information on an image of reality have been used for aesthetic experimentation with new ways of re-presenting and visualizing reality (Augmented and Mixed Reality Art).

By analyzing concrete and significant examples of artistic works that use these media, the aim of this paper is to study the aesthetic implications of their use, the new strategies of representation and participation they involve, and, over all, the new concepts of reality emerging from all these elements. Thus, these examples will lead us to the re-interpretation and re-signification of such important concepts of the Digital Age as “place”, “body” or “informational space”, showing a complex reality in which the real and the virtual overlap to give rise to a multidimensional and dynamic experience of the world.

Even if these transformations are also reflected in the daily use of these devices, our goal is to show how artistic practices play a fundamental role in understanding socio-cultural transformations associated to the introduction of new technologies. The objective of this proposal is to highlight how digital art and aesthetics become a key element not only for comprehending the complex epistemological contexts arising from the interrelationships between art, techno-science and everyday life, but also for generating them trough the creation of new subjectivities and imaginaries.

  • M. Luisa Gómez Martínez is a PhD candidate in “History, Theory and Criticism of Art” at the University of Barcelona, art critic, independent curator and co-founder of the international cultural platform Interartive.org. Her academic background includes a BA in Art History (University of Santiago de Compostela), a MA in “Advanced Studies in Art History” (University of Barcelona) and a research fellowship with the research group “Art, Architecture and Digital Society” (UB). She has also carried out different research residencies in Europe and Mexico and has participated in several national and international conferences and academic publications. Among other teaching, training and investigation activities, she has collaborated with the Multimedia Centre (CNA, México), the research group “TimeSpace” (UNAM-IPGH, México) or the Mediateca Caixaforum Barcelona. Her research interests are focused on the influences of ICT and digital media on artistic practices and social imaginaries, covering subjects from aesthetics and phenomenology of contemporary space-time to Media Art cultural policies or digital image theory.  interartive.org

Full text (PDF) p. 987-989