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Subject:

Re: locative? tracked!

From:

patrick lichty <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

patrick lichty <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 14 Apr 2004 07:58:01 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

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OF course it means that there are agendas of control!  I think that in a
slightly different Vein, Alex Galloway's new Protocol book gets into the
idea of networked culture as systems of control, and track-able devices
are an extension of that agenda.

With Rueb's Choreography of Everyday Life, she's taken this technology
as a beautiful metaphor for drawing and dance of everyday life through
making art from tracking technology.  However it also makes one wonder
if by picking up these devices, are we then in a form of 'house arrest'
(what we call it in the states) where our every move can be watched at
any time.

Are we talking about 1984?  Aspects, perhaps.  My question is to
consider the nature of the form and function of the technology as in the
classic Thamus/Thoth fable that Postman opens up Technopoly with.  Is
there a truly creative function for a gun?  I think Neshat has proven
that there is, only if you never fire it.

The functions of tracking technologies is disturbing to me, and believe
that it is surely in need of critical thought that has not come to the
fore as of yet.

Patrick Lichty
Editor-In-Chief
Intelligent Agent Magazine
http://www.intelligentagent.com
355 Seyburn Dr.
Baton Rouge, LA 70808

"It is better to die on your feet
than to live on your knees."


-----Original Message-----
From: Curating digital art - www.newmedia.sunderland.ac.uk/crumb/
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Andreas
Broeckmann
Sent: Wednesday, April 14, 2004 3:08 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: locative? tracked!

folks,

i don't want to spoil the party, but i have always understood the
term 'locative' as pointing in both directions, the potential for
enriching the experience of shared physical spaces (as described by
Marc in his mail), but also fostering the the possibility to
'locate', i.e. track down anyone wearing such a device. this does
turn the 'locative media' movement into something of an avantgarde of
the 'society of control'. i believe that people are aware of the
ambivalence, Drew has written about this, but i am wondering at which
level this critical aspect is brought into an arts project. (as the
marginalised 'yes, but'?)

consider the story below. in short, the runners of the london
marathon will be carrying chips that will trigger SMS/text messages
sent to their friends and relatives to report their progress in the
race. any guesses for applications of this technology outside of the
sports domain?!

this is not to say that artistic work in this field is impossible. i
believe that, for instance the Milk project by Polak/Auzina might be
a clever way of approaching the issues by simulating the tracking of
trade routes.
http://locative.x-i.net/piens/info.html

so much for the moment.

greetings from sunny berlin,
-a


-----

http://www.vnunet.com/News/1153975

IT sets the pace at London marathon
By Emma Nash [31-03-2004]
Runners' times and positions will be logged by electronic tags

This year's Flora London Marathon will be the most IT-enabled race in
the  history of the event.

More than 33,000 runners competing in the marathon on 18 April will
have their  positions tracked and recorded by electronic tags
attached their shoes.

Friends and family of competitors will also be able to follow their
progress by  signing up to an SMS text message service that will send
athletes' positions as  they make their way around the 26 mile, 385
yard course.

Supplier Datashare has been appointed to design, co-ordinate and
manage the IT  infrastructure for the event.

Paul Hepburn, technology consultant at the London Marathon, says
eight Oracle  databases will communicate with 40 PCs positioned
around the course to keep  track of athletes, relaying information to
commentators, the BBC, press and  race organisers.

'The whole design of everything is based around keeping it small,' he
said.

'We do not try to use the latest technology, because the more
complicated we  make it, the more difficult it is on race day. We
only get one go at this.'

When athletes register before the race, they will be given an
electronic tag,  supplied by Champion Chips, which will be attached
to their shoe.

Special mats will be positioned every 5km along the marathon course.
When an  athlete runs over the mat, their time and position is sent
to an Oracle  database.

'At locations throughout the course when people run across some of
the mats it  will trigger an SMS message,' said Hepburn.

Mobile network Orange will provide the text service, which athletes
have to  sign up to before the race.

Because the marathon is a one-off event, the systems must as robust
as possible  and thoroughly tested, says Hepburn.

'This is a big project, but what is more crucial is the not the
technology, but  the timescales we have to deploy,' he said.

'What we've been doing is building all the PCs and taking all the
databases to  simulate everything on race day

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