Locative Listening and the Construction of Dynamic Hybrid Space

Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

When the contemporary pedestrian travels from home to work, campus, or coffee shop wearing earphones and listening to a mobile device, he is not trying to find silent refuge from the noise of modern life, rather, he is striving to replace one sonic overwhelm with another of his own choosing. Sound is unique in its ease of subversion and the degree of experiential immersion that can be achieved through such an act. The nature of listening that the author will discuss is one that by way of design takes the quotidian act of mobile listening to a much more structured level of auditory experience with the hope of eliciting an event that is both multi-sensory and potent. 

As defined by Adriana de Souza de Silva, hybrid space is characterized as “social spaces created by the combination of physical space with digital information and the mobility of user equipped with location-aware interfaces.” (DeSouza 2006: 179) While this definition explicitly defines hybrid space as one that requires location aware technology, the author will explore a broader definition of the term that explores the notions of space, place, private public space, and virtual embodiment. While his exploration of hybrid space is concerned with the split between the real and the virtual, dynamic hybrid space introduces observations of the ways in which temporality exerts a very strong influence upon the experience. 

The creative work of the author, with locative listening, has involved GPS-enabled storytelling (Strathroy Stories, The CHEZ) as well as QR Code-activated listening experiences (The Other Side of OZ) and has raised questions about the potency of this type of listening as not only entertainment and heritage/archival documentation, but also as pieces of virtual embodiment and performative listening.

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Carlos Muñoz