Reading Response #5: Longford

In Territory as Interface, Michael Longford introduces the MDCN (The Mobile Digital Commons Network), which is a collaborative research network that “explores the connections between human beings, urban and wilderness settings, and mobile technologies.” Specifically, Longford focuses on two particular projects (Urban Archeology: Sampling in the Park &The Haunting) both of these projects and other projects put on by the MDCN are for the purpose of “understanding how these technologies augment, enhance, and transform our culturally situated experiences of urban and outdoor spaces.”

The two projects focus on augmenting reality, rather than replacing the physical world, and finding ways to connect the space and the AR in a genuine way. The first one was situated in a park and “explored the social history of a city square in Montreal using sound, image, GPS sensors, and examined the ways in which memory can be inscribed in space.” The second project was my favorite and took place in a cemetery and they used the phone as a means to “communicate” with the dead there.

This reading is relevant to our course because it closely aligns with our locative media project. In addition to being very similar to a project of our own, it also comes back to the idea of what is space anyway? And how do we find clever ways to interact with it.

This is related to my own life because with the experience I gained from completing the locative media project I think about the wide range of possibilities for more successful project ideas. I enjoyed the reading because it gave some great examples about how sounds can transform a space that might previously have been seen as just a park where people go to read, people watch, play, etc. or a cemetery where people just go to pay respects to loved ones. I think that AR will be something we will see a lot of in the future because it’s not totally VR so I think people are more comfortable with the idea of it. I think developers will find useful ways for their consumers to feel like they are being helped by an app rather than maybe just playing a game?