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Weathering the Process: wireless technologies, meteorological mediations and endothermic embodiment

Lecture of the Visiting Professor Kim Sawchuk

Mar 04, 2009 from 06:00 PM to 07:00 PM

Where Residenza Studi Superiori, via Fantin 15, Bologna

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The proliferation of wireless communication technologies in the past ten years has instigated academic interest in the study of "mobility." As new generations of mobile phone users move seamlessly between screens and scenes, un-tethered by cables and line, theorists of mobility, networking, ubiquitous computing and wireless worlds are reconsidering our relationship to space, place and time. Within these ruminations there is at least one missing element: the weather. Weather systems, historically, have played a central role in wireless communication from the installation of the first transmission towers by Marconi on the shores of North America and Europe. Yet the influential role of climate as a part of the environment for on tele-communications is rarely acknowledged or analyzed. In an extreme climate, like that of Canada, temperatures may range from minus 40 to plus 30 degrees Celsius: the impact of variations of heat, cold, humidity, or barometric pressure on the movements of endothermic embodied users and their experience of mobile technology in public spaces and outdoor environments is tangible. "Weathering the process" explores the role of space, place, and meteorological mediations on wireless networks and the mobile experience. It does so by reflecting on the influence of seasonal climatic changes and difference on two Canadian artists projects: The Haunting, a prototype for an interactive outdoor game using gps enabled mobile telephones and Bluetooth sensors and Tracklines, a mobile experience created for a wilderness trail in Banff National Park.