Call for papers

Call for Papers – Locative Media: Culture, Economy, Policy

Locative Media: Culture, Economy, Policy

Data Limite: 07/05/2012
Organizado por: Edited by Rowan Wilken (Swinburne Uni of Tech) & Gerard Goggin (University of Sydney)

Location technologies have experienced a relatively long and complex incubation. Satellite-based global positioning system (GPS) commenced life as a military technology before finding its wayinto wider commercial and consumer uses (not least being used in mobile phones along with triangulation of cellular networks for services such as enhancedemergency calling). Location-based services for cellular mobile networks and devices were the subject of much experiment and anticipation in the 1990s. Mobile social networking applications first emerged in the 1990s, with the celebrated Lovegety gadget in Japan, and pioneering efforts such as Dodgeball in NorthAmerica. Technologies predicated on location also were pieced together through telecommunications, Internet, and web-based friendship, dating, and hooking-up services and sites such as Gaydar.

The early 2000s witnessed a wave of location-based experimentation around location and mobile devices across art, urban design, ubiquitous and pervasive computing, and strands of gaming cultures. These experiments included locative art, performances, activist interventions, location-aware fiction, location-based games (famously those of Blast Theory), annotation and story-telling, and a wide range of other manifestations. As mobile phones developed into fully-fledged media devices, various affordances led to new kinds of socio-technical marshalling of location. The ubiquity of camera phones allowed innovative visual and textual instantiations and representations of place. Cross-platform game developments increasingly relied on locative media as a key part of integrated, transmedia forms. Music and sound moved to the foreground of media imaginatively yoked to location.

Towards the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century, two major developments put locative media squarely at the centre of contemporary cultural and social dynamics.

First, new kinds of locative media emerged through the ‘geoweb’ the combination of the Internet with mapping, place-making, and locational technologies. Since the Google’s embrace of geolocation services in 2005 — with the fascination attracted by Google Earth and Google Maps, mainstream interest in and uptake of locative media services flourished.
Such Internet-based locative media increasingly coincided with the widespread diffusion of mobile phone, mobile broadband, wireless Internet, and portable, networked media technologies. Consumers are now well accustomed to using sat nav devices in their cars, or while walking, Google Maps on desktop and laptop computers and mobile devices, and geoweb, geotagging and other mapping applications from all manner of places, and various apps on iPhones and smart phones that uselocation-aware technologies.

Secondly, with the phenomenal growth of smartphones following the launch of Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android plaforms in 2007-2008, the mobile Internet firmly took hold. As inadvertently revealed, smartphones gather unprecedented amounts of longitudinal data on their users’ locations — data which can support new kinds of tailored retail and consumer
services, lifestyle profiling and mapping, and surveillance, with considerable privacy and social implications. Such mobile media built on the success of user-generated content and social networking systems (Cyworld, Mixi, Flickr, YouTube, QQ, Renren), and brought the locational aspects of these systems to the fore — especially with extensions such as Facebook Places, iPhoto tagging, and so on. The arrival of apps on smartphones — supported by Apple’s apps store, Google market, Window and Nokia’s shared apps — was also fuelled by the incorporation of locational capacities into this new wave ofmobile computing and software.

In short, not only are locative media one of the fastest growing areas in digital technology, questions of location and location-awareness are increasingly central to our contemporary engagementswith online and mobile media, and indeed media and culture generally. Whilelocative media, especially in its recent North American incarnations, has become an fertile topic for research, policy, and public debate — and the subject of important recent studies such as de Souza e Silva and Frith’s /Mobile Interfaces in Public Spaces /(2012), Gordon and de Souza e Silva’s /Net Locality/ (2011), and Farman’s /Mobile Interface Theory/ (2012) — there are many aspects of the international phenomenon of
locative media that need research and critical discussion.

Thus the central aim of the /Locative Media /collection is to bring together a comprehensive account of the various location-based technologies, services, applications, and cultures, as /media/ — and to identify, inventory, explore, and critique their cultural, economic, political, social, and policy dimensions internationally. In particular, the collection is organized around the perception that the growth of locative media gives rise to a number of crucial, as yet clearly articulated and addressed questions concerning the areas of culture, economy and policy.

Accordingly, we welcome proposals for papersthat address any aspect of culture, economy, and policy, and the constitution, functions, and effects of locative media, especially (but certainly not limited to) the following:

How do we understand and theorize locative media /as /media? What are the interactions, affiliations, and remediations, between locative media and other media, especially Internet and mobiles?

How have locative media developed? What are their different histories that influence their present forms? What are the cultural, economic, and political economies that have shaped location-basedservices, locative, and geo-media?

How do locative media differ across national markets, geo-linguistic communities, and cultural contexts? What are the specificities of locative media in countries and regions that remain understudied in the anglophone literatures?

What the contrasting, or shared, meanings or practices associated with locative media in particular societies or groups of users? And what are the particular affordances of locative media in different settings and configurations of the technologies?

How have locative media been imagined as a policy object and regulated to date? What are their implications for current and future policy and regulation? In what ways can new frameworks be devised to capture and respond to the challenges of locative media?

What are the privacy ramifications oflocative media? What are the new concepts of privacy evolved alongside locative media? How do we understand the important concept of sharing — or its obverse, withholding information, emerging with locative media?

What are the implications of locative media are for broader understandings of media and technology? How do locative media fit into with new accounts of media, mobile, and networked publics?


Please send proposals to both editors by 7 May 2012:
Rowan Wilken ( )
Gerard Goggin (

Proposal should include:

• title
• abstract of up to 500 words
• short biographical details for author and affiliation.

Provisional acceptance will be advised by 19 May 2012.

*About the editors:*

Rowan Wilken ( ) is Australian Research Council DECRA (Discovery Early Career Researcher Award) Fellow in the Swinburne Institute for Social Research, Swinburne
University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia. His books include /Mobile Technology and Place /(2012; with Gerard Goggin), and /Teletechnologies, Place, and Community /(2011).

Gerard Goggin ( ) is Professor and Chair of Media and Communications at the University of Sydney. His books include the /Routledge Companion to Mobile Media /(2013; with Larissa Hjorth), /New Technologies and the Media /(2012), /Global Mobile Media /(2010), /Mobile Technology: From Telecommunications to Media /(2009; with
Larissa Hjorth), and /Cell Phone Culture /(2006).