Jill Didur & Lai-Tze Fan: Between Landscape and the Screen

From Media Theory’s special issue, “Geospatial Memory” (Media Theory 2/1), Jill Didur and Lai-Tze Fan explore the entanglement of locative media, settler culture, and embodied learning in neighbourhood-enhancing “urban wilds”.

Figure 3: Map interface, Champ de Possibles. Artist, Beverly Didur, designer, Emma Saboureau.

Abstract: In what ways can the everyday citizen encourage sustainability and promote biodiversity in spaces that are as fragmented, industrial, and toxic as the city? This paper investigates how GPS-enabled platforms afford user experiences of what we call “embodied knowing” – learning through encounter, awareness through physicality – in urban wilds, which represent informal greenspaces on the edges of urban development. The locative mobile application that we have produced, Global Urban Wilds, complicates notions of time, space, and preservation in ruderal landscapes that survive in city spaces, demonstrating that they come into tension with layers of biodiversity, technological development, and settler culture in urban contexts such as Montréal, Canada. As such, we show how the app’s mediation of these layers through a method of transitive reading promotes a user’s critical negotiation and awareness of urban ecosystems in relation to today’s “smart” city. As such, we show how the app’s mediation of these layers through a method of transitive reading promotes a user’s critical negotiation and awareness of urban ecosystems in relation to today’s “smart” city.

Find the article here: http://mediatheoryjournal.org/jill-didur-lai-tze-fan-between-landscape-and-the-screen/

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