Associate Professor and Co-director of Digital Ethnography Research Centre, School of Media & Communication, RMIT University, Australia
The Place of Mobile: Emplaced cartographies, camera phone ethnographies and locative media games
From Google Maps, geotagging, Foursquare and Jiepang, locative media is becoming an integral part of the smartphone (and shanzhai or copy) phenomenon. For a growing generation of users, locative media is already an everyday practice. As yet little is known about the impact locative media is having upon people’s livelihoods, privacy and identity (Michael & Michael 2012) as it plays out in the everyday. Discourse in the field has opened up questions of art, innovation and experimentation (de Souza e Silva & Sutko 2009; Hjorth 2010, 2011). However, there remains a dearth of nuanced research on locative media that provides in-depth, contextual accounts of its socio-cultural and political dimensions. Little work has been conducted into locative media as it migrates from art and into the ‘messy’ (Dourish & Bell 2011) area of the everyday. In this talk, I consider the shift from 1st to 2nd generation locative media practices and some of the methodological questions this raises for undertaking close studies of media in situ. I especially focus upon some of the issues around emerging cross-generational surveillance and localized notions of privacy.