Node "Locative Media and Artistic Practice: Explorations on the Ground"
Location-specific art practices that challenge the traditional conception of mapping
Locative media is an emerging field of creative practice and a platform for experimenting with new experiences in the urban environment that has become increasingly interesting to artists. The use of locative media for artistic purposes has linked geography and maps to urban life and experience in new and sometimes unusual ways. This connection offers the possibility of various transformations in the traditional relationship between the mapping process and the physical space that it depicts. The map no longer merely depicts in a top-down manner the physical territory that it represents; rather, the territory inspires the artistic creation of various kinds of maps that may express, criticize or motivate different aspects of urban life. In this article we focus our interest on location-specific projects that make use of various media and location-sensing technologies such as GPS, in order to create subversive maps that amplify urban life and enrich the urban landscape with information, meaning and/or emotion. What we consider important in these attempts is the fact that apart from their aesthetic value of their work, artists are, in most cases, motivated by the prospect of raising public awareness on various issues such as the process of map-making, location and precise positioning, the ability to form social networks in the urban grid, surveillance, the tracking of human bodies or objects or how all these issues affect peoples' choices and everyday life.
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