Narratives of Locative Technologies as Memory Assemblages

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Session Title:

  • Locative Media and Mapping

Presentation Title:

  • Narratives of Locative Technologies as Memory Assemblages

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Abstract:

  • Keywords: memory, locative technologies, narrative, experience, territorialization.

    This article considers the virtual (re)construction of the Vila Belga neighborhood in Santa Maria, Brazil in terms of memory and the role of place as integrative of experience, and the creation of narratives resulting from locative technologies as memory assemblages. In the early 1900s, Vila Belga became a vibrant settlement of Belgian immigrants which clustered around the railway station and embraced the local rail industry as the basis for the experiential machinic assemblies underlying this socio-economic associative milieu. With the demise of rail and its replacement by truck transport, the neighborhood lost its sense of meaning and collective memory. In May 2012, various buildings of the now defunct Vila Belga railroad station were occupied by artists, academics and multi-disciplinary researchers taking part in the arte#ocupaSM event for 5 days of intense artistic coexistence to understand this memorial disintegration. Our paper poses the question “What constitutes the memory of community as a collective process of (re)collection?” and seeks answers in the locative technologies used by the participants to (re)activate and (re)purpose the space and duration of experience towards a novel (re)alignment of actualisation as event. We will focus on aircity:arte#ocupaSM — an artwork using locative technologies to render visible the invisible space of territorialisation as mappings of expanses of intensification: through the integration of data from sensing and geolocation devices, the artwork produces mappings of relation which constitute the ‘groundwork’ of memory and serve to peg the continuity of experience as part of an ecology of being. Our paper will examine these mappings as landing sites which, on the one hand, create memories as planes of consistency yielding actualisation, and on the other, as territorialisations of the narrative (re)activation of collective memory in the integration of experience within the unfolding of actuality.

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