Julian Bleecker on dislocation

Californian cool cat Julian Bleecker wrote a very interesting piece about what he calls dislocation: the "ways in which various forms of (mostly electronic) communications/networking social infrastructures make tectonic, geographical alterations on the landscape". This is meant to appear in a book about locative media edited by Jeremy Hight.

... some of the ways that certain spatial practices related to some technologies are changing how we operate in space. Specifically, the way VoIp shifts the practice of telephony from place-specific to place-agnostic (area-code assignment, Skype from plane or Vonage from plane). There's no one way to read this shift, other than to say it is emblematic of practice-in-transition. This was anticipated by cell phones and is tied to the relationship between location and motility. The relationship being that location is "ours" in the case of this practice. We decide from where we telephone and how to represent where we are when we telephone. In the primary case, it was such with the portable handset evolving in degree to the VOIP systems, with cellular telephony in between (as well as more sophisticated DIY call-forwarding schemes, one of which got a colleague at Data General reprimanded for configuring his phone to call-forward to his parents house so he could avoid the toll charges.) This topic also relates to the challenge of anonymity at a time during which resources are committed to surveillance and intelligence gathering. The gangster calling from an "outside phone" is working against the agents who's task it is to trace and record and locate the originators and recipients of telephone calls.

Why do I blog this? I like this concept very much and I think it's a new 'technosocial situation', i.e. a new technologically-mediated social orders (= Erving Goffmans’ theory of social situation : isomorphism between physical space and social situation). This concept comes from Mizuko Ito and Daisuke Okabe's paper Technosocial Situations: Emergent Structurings of Mobile Email Use. Julian's article also connects this dislocation concept with locative media projects.