Mixed media, ubiquitous computing and augmented places as format for communicating culture

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Communicating the history of Kolding (DK) through an augmented reality game using mobile phones, a web 2.0 mesh-up, a playable conspiracy plot, and the city as game universe

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Mixed media, ubiquitous computing and augmented places as format for communicating culture

  1. 1. Trust no-one! A conspiracy play in the King’s Kolding “Mixed media, ubiquitous computing and augmented places as format for communicating culture”Mobile Communication Workshop, AU 29.-30.3. 2012 Kjetil Sandvik, University of Copenhagen
  2. 2. Project scope• Mobile phones (smart phones) used for communicating culture• Fiction used for communicating history• Experiments with Augmented Reality• Creating an unorthodox city walk
  3. 3. Project scope• Mixed media: – mobile phone as ’swizz army knife’ – mash-up of variety of services• Ubiquitous computing: – not so much embedded in the fabric of physical location – but accessible everywhere by ways of…• Mobile and location sensitive media:• Over-layering locations with digital information:• Augmentation!
  4. 4. Augmentation• an informational, aesthetical and/or emotional enhancement of our sense and experience of place by use of various framing strategies (e.g. Ian Rankin’s Edinburgh) and media technologies (e.g. a guided Rebus Tour).
  5. 5. Augmented places• Places which has gotten a certain surplus of meaning, a certain kind of narrative embedded into it.• The characteristics of these places have been enhanced in that a certain mode, atmosphere or story has been added to them as an extra layer of meaning.• Our project is applying 3 different ways of augmenting places. 6
  6. 6. Augmentation of places• A process of storytelling• the place constitutes a scene for the performance or staged re-enactment of ‘true’ stories,• actual events which at some point have taken place at the specific location.• Traversing the specific location and at the same time having a specific narrated story linked to the location 7
  7. 7. The staging of the Jack the Ripper-storyruns through and organizes urban spaceof today’s London and thus changing itinto a specific place with a specificatmosphere and a specific plot:the scene of the crime. 8
  8. 8. Augmentation of places• Storytelling• A process of fictionalization• the actual place is working as a setting for fictions, which again influence our perception of the place. 9
  9. 9. When tourists embark on one of this tours, they are taken on a guidedwalk through parts of the actual towns working as ‘scenes of the crime’(Milan, Paris…) in Brown’s novel, but following the trails laid out not bysome historical person or chain of historical events (like in the case ofthe Jack the Ripper-tour ) but by fictional characters and their actionsand thus the actual places have become augmented as a result offictionalization. 10
  10. 10. Augmentation of places• Storytelling• Fictionalization• Construction of a kind of mixed reality• the place has a status both as an actual location in the physical world and as a storyspace• blend of fact and fiction• blend of physical and mediated space 11
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  12. 12. Split reality vs Mixed reality• Split reality: switching between mediated space (e.g. inside the mobile phone) and physical space• Mixed reality: blending between mediated and physical space (e.g. looking at physical space through an ‘augumented reality browser’ on the mobile phone)• Mixed reality implies a certain way of telling stories connecting the actual and the fictional space/the physical space and the mediated space • (this is where Hikuin’s Vendetta goes wrong – and we try to make things right) 13
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  14. 14. Kolding as augmented storyspace• Creating a dramatic meta-story connecting different location specific narrative tableaus containing various actual historical characters and events – (e.g. the co-operation between the public executioner and the pharmacist selling human fat and crushed sculls for medical use)• within the same fiction frame providing connections between the narrative tableaus – (the castle is on fire (which is an actual event), a messenger is found murdered, a conspiracy against the King may be afoot).• The tale is taking place in the city space and interfaces with specific locations with historical significance – (e.g. the square where executions took place, the building housing the pharmacy)• Thus: a mediated version of renaissance Kolding is mapped onto the physical – and present-day – version of the city.
  15. 15. Hvorfor dette projekt?• Kulturformidling• Etc
  16. 16. Kolding as augmented storyspace• Creating a dramatic meta-story connecting different location specific narrative tableaus containing various actual historical characters and events – (e.g. the co-operation between the public executioner and the pharmacist selling human fat and crushed sculls for medical use)• within the same fiction frame providing connections between the narrative tableaus – (the castle is on fire (which is an actual event), a messenger is found murdered, a conspiracy against the King may be afoot).• The tale is taking place in the city space and interfaces with specific locations with historical significance – (e.g. the square where executions took place, the building housing the pharmacy)• Thus: a mediated version of renaissance Kolding is mapped onto the physical – and present-day – version of the city.
  17. 17. Kolding as augmented storyspace• For the participants the city has been altered, it has been augmented by the interplay between and interweaving of the mediated (and semi-fictionalized) renaissance city and the actual physical city of today. 19
  18. 18. Physical space as media• The physical space is to some degree functioning as media communicating specific types of information, specific types of stories. • the city quarters with its streets, alleys, buildings, ornamentations such as statues, gargoyles and so on function as a narrative architecture like a theme/themed park like Disneyland including buildings and landscapes known from the catalog of Disney fairytales• Several parts of the city of Kolding used as location for the “Trust No-one!” project have these qualities of being media in themselves, as carriers of the story of Kolding. 20
  19. 19. Physical space as media• With the use of mobile phones equipped with navigation tools and augmented reality browsers this information residing in the very architecture and infrastructure of the city may be pulled forth and made visible, accessible and interactive from the perspective of communicating history and cultural heritage. 22
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  21. 21. StoryspaceMeta-story Narrative tableaus
  22. 22. Summing up• Augmentation makes us see things in new ways:• Buildings are not just buildings, streets are not just streets – the carry stories, they carry cultural meaning• This meaning may be experienced through an interplay between the physical locations of the city and the ubiquitous and locative information layers provided by mobile media.
  23. 23. Project participants• Kolding Libraries• Kolding City Archive• VIFIN – knowledge center for integration (Vejle)• Dept. of Media, Cognition and Communication,, University of Copenhhagen• Knowledge center for Children and Youth Culture, VIA University College
  24. 24. Visit the project on Facebook• https://www.facebook.com//Stolpaaingen#!/S tolpaaingen

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