Territory and Locative Media

Territory and Locative Media

Post do Purse Lip Square Jaw comenta o texto de Mike Crang and Stephen Graham, “Sentient Cities: Ambient intelligence and the politics of urban space“. No li o paper j que ainda no tive acesso ao PDF, s ao abstract que reproduzo abaixo:

“Increasing amounts of information processing capacity are embedded in the environment around us. The informational landscape is both a repository of data and also increasingly communicates and processes information. No longer confined to desk tops, computers have become both mobile and also disassembled. Many everyday objects now embed computer processing power, while others are activated by passing sensors, transponders and processors. The distributed processing in the world around us is often claimed to be a pervasive or ubiquitous computing environment: a world of ambient intelligence, happening around us on the periphery of our awareness, where our environment is not a passive backdrop but an active agent in organizing daily lives. The spaces around us are now being continually forged and reforged in informational and communicative processes. It is a world where we not only think of cities but cities think of us, where the environment reflexively monitors our behaviour. This paper suggests that we need to unpack the embedded politics of this process. It outlines the three key emerging dynamics in terms of environments that learn and possess anticipation and memory, the efficacy of technological mythologies and the politics of visibility. To examine the assumptions and implications behind this the paper explores three contrasting forms of ‘sentient’ urban environments. The first addresses market-led visions of customized consumer worlds. The second explores military plans for profiling and targeting. Finally, the third looks at artistic endeavours to re-enchant and contest the urban informational landscape of urban sentience. Each, we suggest, shows a powerful dynamic of the environment tracking, predicting and recalling usage.”

Retenho esse comentrio que me parece interessante e afinado com as minhas idias sobre lugar, territrio e locative media, inclusive com questionamentos que merecem ateno. Trechos do Purse Lip Square Jaw:

“(…) Rather than making us passive or controlling our actions in particular places, locative media and art ‘allow us to claim and mark our territory’ (807) in multiple ways: as publics, as individuals, as citizens. While many projects can be seen to romanticise a renewed public sphere, the collaborative nature of most projects is still distinct from the one-way, top-down models offered by commercial and military players. They also tend to make socio-spatial relations visible, rather than rendering them invisible. The primary drawback here is that ‘these moves risk making what was formerly protected by its opacity and transitoriness, visible and recordable’ (812). But as Crang and Graham also put it, ‘these artistic media are trying to densify the liquid not solidify places’ (810) and ‘the effect of memory is not the creation of perfectly known environments. Rather, it involves a destabilization of spaces, a haunting of place with absent others’ (812).(…)

‘Urban ubicomp clearly has a fetishistic power in appearing to finally offer solutions by rendering place and space utterly transparent in some simple, deterministic way. Indeed, we would argue that there is a danger that locative media are equally seen as a technical fix for oppositional voices and alternative histories in art projects. In this sense the myths matter and have effects. But they are only mythologies of a perfect, uniform informational landscape. In reality, the seamless and ubiquitous process of pure urban transparency that many accounts suggest will always be little but a fantasy. In practice, the linking of many layers of computerized technology is generally a ‘kludge’…

Far from the pure vision of what de Certeau calls the ‘concept city’, we may find the production of myriads of little stories a messy infinity of ‘Little Brothers’ rather than one omniscient ‘Big’ Brother. Some of these may be commercial, some personal, maybe some militarized. There is a real issue about proliferating knowledges circulating routinely and more or less autonomously of people. But it would seem to us that the political options are not those of rejection or romanticizing notions of disconnection. Rather, it is to work through the inevitable granularity and gaps within these systems, to find the new shadows and opacities that they produce'(813-14).”