Location! Location? Location!! Can Location Neutrality Exist in Artworks?

Symposium:


Session Title:

  • Locating Media 1

Presentation Title:

  • Location! Location? Location!! Can Location Neutrality Exist in Artworks?

Presenter(s):



Abstract:

  • This paper starts from examining the notion of location neutrality, contrasting artworks that feature a locatitive media or location independent aspect.

    Art in these works serves to enable reimagining of a place, a defamiliarisation of the familiar. Indeed a recent rise in the popularity of psychogeography, has led to a number of interesting performances and installations which seek to create new juxtapositions between the physical environment and imagined spaces.

    One recent work was the remapping of Blooms (Ulysees, Joyce) walk through Dublin onto any city in the world using a web interface to generate the new walk. It takes site specificity and neutrality to an abrupt intersection. Interestingly, due to copyright issues with the underlying map data, people in UK could not use the interface for generating maps for UK cities.

    Agnes Meyer-Brandis connects with an imagined subterranean landscape that underlies our own. In her works, location is neutral or sited upon a certain facility (e.g. ice rinks) as the works explore the interconnected underworld, searching for life in coresamples, icecores and atmospheric moisture.

    Atau Tanaka’s work Net_Derive seeks to extend artwork beyond the gallery into the urban environment. It is based upon mobile and locative technologies.

    These are but a few artists engaging with locative media. Other examples will be drawn from Blast Theory, the play of GEOcaching, Beatrez Dacosta’s PigeonBlog and FoAM’s TRG amongst others.

    I will argue that location neutrality can exist in some works, but that these are a special case, and overwhelmingly location is a significant component.

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