Artist Meredith Warner situates lost, knitted items by unraveling and re-knitting found objects to the location they were found thus integrating alien objects into the surroundings. Here, the steady artist’s hand becomes the intermediary between alien and location. Similar strategies are seen in several locative media projects using strategies of urban performances to interweave otherwise dislocated people and their surroundings.
In Rider Spoke, Blast Theory transforms the City of London into a repository of personal memories by situating participants via bikes and mobile phones. Urban spaces devoid of personality become carriers of personal and poetic narratives through participants’ performances of their private memories. Likewise, Janet Cardiff’s audio walks situate the listener through a localized journey with mobile media (soundtrack, video, and/or photographs) thus composing a complex investigation of location, time, and physicality by converting passive perception to active performance. In both cases, participants are urged to investigate the immediate surroundings through the mobile media they are carrying.
Contrarily, the increasingly ubiquitous satellite navigation devices are repeatedly misleading and dislocating users, thus forcing authorities to erect warning signs alerting drivers of the faulty media devices even though these devices are supposed to be an aid through their location awareness. Instead, they create location-numb people behaving like robots towards their environment, driving into lakes and entering highways in the wrong direction. The paper will investigate how wayfinding can be a poetically situated performance and examine how the growing locative media industry can learn from the location aware performative strategies employed by artists using mobile media to create situated and urban performances for the curious participant.
- Lone Koefoed Hansen, University of Aarhus, Danemark
Full text (PDF) p. 204-205