"Beyond Locative: media arts after the spatial turn"

BEYOND LOCATIVE: MEDIA ARTS AFTER THE SPATIAL TURN is a panel at the upcoming ISEA 2011 conference in Istanbul. Chaired by Marc Tuters, it will feature talks by Tristan Thielmann, Mark Shepard and Michiel de Lange:

"In 2006 Varnelis and Tuters published "Beyond Locative Media", which discussed the emergence of locative media as "the next big thing". Five years on, with the ubiquity of iphones, locative media has become banal. Locative media had been much anticipated within the media art world, notably at the ISEA conferences in 2004 & 2006 after which it entered popular culture as a trope in William Gibson's last two novels. Yet while it may have faded from the avant-garde, there is a thriving locative discourse in academic journals, associated with the "spatial turn" in media studies. This panel considers the role of locative media in the arts and humanities discourse. The aforementioned text framed locative media in terms of neo-Situationist tactics which sought to actively imagine an alternate city. While locative practitioners did not share the oppositional politics of their net art precursors, one can not help but wonder if some greater potential for the medium has not perhaps been foreclosed by a participatory culture that suggests little more than reconfiguring ideas from past."

Why do I blog this? 2011 is surely an interesting moment to pause and wonder about these questions. As mentioned in Mark Shepard's abstract of his talk:

"While some would attempt to recuperate the term for discourse in the arts and humanities, looking for the "beyond", "after" or "post-" Locative in an attempt to theorize an historical period of media art practice in order to lay claim to "the next big thing", others might argue that it's time to simply FORGET Locative Media - that the creative, theoretical and aesthetic possibilities of location as contextual filter have been exhausted - and that in order to engage the broader and more subtle nuances of contemporary urban, exurban and rural environments, new approaches to context are necessary."

Those are good issues to consider.