Author Archives: Martijn de Waal

Film festival Rotterdam: What content makes Urban Screens interesting? Let’s move beyond the cinematic.

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This week I visited the international filmfestival in Rotterdam. For this year’s edition the festival left the confinement of the city’s film theatres and expanded onto three urban screens erected in the city’s public space. During the festival three specially commissioned films are projected on

Towards a Myspace urbanism?

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In 1938 Chicago School Scholar Louis Wirth wrote the now famous article ‘Urbanism as a way of Life’. According to Wirth, the modern metropolises that had emerged in the preceding half-century or so, weren’t only striking for their until then unparalleled sizes and shapes. The

Rob van Kranenburg: The Internet of Things. A critique of ambient technology and the all-seeing network of RFID

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On October 28th Rob van Kranenburg’s book The Internet of Things A critique of ambient technology and the all-seeing network of RFID will be launched (5:00 pm, Waag Society, Amsterdam) A pdf download is already available at the Institute for Network Cultures website. The main

Interview with Adam Greenfield on designing for urban computing

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Adam Greenfield is one of the most interesting thinkers on many of themes that we regularly address at The Mobile City. He is head of design direction for service and user-interface design at Nokia, and is currently working on a book called “The City Is

The Big Sort, The Uses of Disorder and mobile media

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I just read two books – written almost 40 years apart – that signal the same urban problem: cities and towns in the United States are becoming increasingly segregated into monocultural lifestyle enclaves – like flocks to like. This made me wonder what role locative

ISEA 2008: Locative Media Core Works & Classifications

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Is there a number of crucial or core works in locative media? A corpus of best practices? At the International Symposium on Electronic Art it seemed that there might be; many presentations referred to the same set of examples. Some other presentations came up with

ISEA 2008: Visualizing the Real Time City

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At the end of last month, I attended the International Symposium on Electronic Arts (ISEA), that was held in Singapore. Although the juried exhibition of art works didn’t involve that many works on the themes of The Mobile City, the ISEA seminar had quite a

Scott McQuire’s The Media City

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The Media City by Scott McQuire

I just finished reading the highly interesting book The Media City by Scott McQuire. It is a philosophical approach to the role of media in the experience of the city. I found two insights worth sharing here. The first is that McQuire sees media not

The Mobile City @ ISEA2008

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I will be heading to Singapore next week to attend ISEA2008 (I’ll be there from July 21st until 30th). I will be presenting some of my own research (very much work in progress) on Urban Culture and New Media. If you will be around as

Just out/upcoming: some interesting summer reading on the mobile city

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I wanted to point our readers to three interesting (forthcoming) publications, that have been announced lately. Friday July 11th Anne Galloway will defend her dissertation titled A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE FUTURE OF URBAN COMPUTING AND LOCATIVE MEDIA. I am very much looking forward to

Is GPS-navigation turning us into ‘Men without Qualities’?

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The Dutch Daily NRC Handelsblad published a highly interesting interview with retiring law-professor Egbert Dommering. He enters the current debate about new media, personal development and cultural authority by expressing his fear that the dominance of cultural systems for information retrieving like Google or GPS-Navigation

Video as suburban condition

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Not so long ago, at the Netherlands Media Art Institute, I came across an interesting installation by Martijn Hendriks, called ‘video as suburban condition’. The installation shows a loop of Youtube clips that most likeley we are all too familiar with: teenagers popping mentos in

Design of Urban Computing:ambient or foregrounding?

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While attending The Mobile City, panelist Nicolas Nova wandered through Rotterdam and made some interesting observations: Beyond “urban computing” notions such as location-based services or touch-interactions, it’s rather when I encounter street signage about “automation” that I feel the digital city. In film theory there

Mobile City Conference Wrap-up

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The conference is over, and Michiel and I are very happy with the result. We had a great turn out, highly interesting key notes, inspiring presentations of locative and mobile projects and lots of discussion. Many thanks to all our speakers, our sponsors, our hosts

The street of the future

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City of Sound is one of my favourite blogs on Urban Culture. This week blog-author Dan Hilll ponders about the future of the street. In fact, this article comes very close to addressing the main theme of our conference: what happens to urban culture when