Mobile Media Narratives: From Site-Specific Stories to Locative Hypertexts

Critical Writing
Record Status: 
Abstract (in English): 

With the move from personal computing to pervasive computing, electronic literature has inhabited physical sphere of ubiquitous computing. This study analyzes examples of narratives that employ mobile technologies (from cell phones to GPS receivers) to interact with site-specific electronic literature. Drawing from examples such as [murmur], PETlab’s Re:Activism project, and Blast Theory’s Rider Spoke, this paper argues for a spatio-temporal embodiment that is produced in correspondence with the mobile interface. [Murmur] is an oral history project utilizing mobile phones is currently running in 11 cities worldwide. Signs posted throughout the city prompt mobile phone users to call a specific number and record a narrative about that site. Other passersby are able to listen to the recorded narrative when the number is later called. Similarly, Re:Activism is a mobile phone story-game that has players restage scenes of contestation that occurred throughout New York City, led by SMS messages about the site. By reclaiming the social history of these locations (and chronicling it through mobile phone cameras in a scavenger hunt manner), the players revived the community history through story-game. Community narrative is also explored in Blast Theory’s Rider Spoke. This project had participants ride bicycles around the streets of London with a handheld computer along for the ride. With headphones plugged into the computer, the voice of Ju Row Farr guided participants through broadly constructed actions (such as “Find a place your father would like and record a message about it”). As participants found particular locations that corresponded to the broad directives, they would record their own narrative or description about the place and its relation to specified categories like family, taboo, and solitude.

Works referenced:

Research Collection that references this Critical Writing:

The permanent URL of this page: 
Record posted by: 
Audun Andreassen