Monday, November 30, 2009

Ben Musser - Abstract

The main focus of my paper will be the progression of GPS. I plan on beginning with the how it began as solely a military tool. It could even be said it was used for ‘negative’ reasons, spying and such. Eventually the technology was made available for consumers and so began the TomTom and Garmin age. GPS’s were built into people’s cars and made for hand held use. Using it for a directional and location tool became its main focus. I may discuss its integration on smart phones and how everyone always knows where they are at all times now. From there I would like to discuss how GPS started to be used as something more than a tool for getting around. GPS opens us up to the rest of the world, so it was only a matter of time until people began using for more than what originally intended. Geocaching will be the next topic of focus. Geocaching is the recreational activity of hunting for and finding a hidden object by means of GPS coordinates posted on a Web site. Discussing this will display how its uses slowly began to go beyond ‘practical’ means. I plan on discussing different aspects of Geocaching and how there are various types of puzzles that involve GPS and problem solving. From there I’d introduce more abstract art forms that involve GPS, such as locative media. Teri Rueb would be a focus point, also some of the walks I’ve personally seen in the “Walk Philly” project. There are several discussions about the idea of our relationship to the ‘place’ like ‘The Poetics of Augmented Space: Learning from Prada’ and Drew Hemment’s ‘The Locative Dystopia.’ The overall goal is to display how something can go from a strict tool with a specific reason, to an art medium in a matter of years. Looking at things differently can yield various results, using things we see everyday for something different all together.

My sources so far include:

Lev Manovich, The Poetics of Augmented Space: Learning from Prada

Drew Hemment, The Locative Dystopia <>

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