Author Archives: Leighton Evans

Book Launch – 'Locative Social Media: Place in the Digital Age' by Leighton Evans

The Programmable City Project invites all interested parties to the launch of:

Locative Social Media: Place in the Digital Age

By Leighton Evans

The book will be launched by:

Professor Mark Boyle, Department of Geography/Director, NIRSA, Maynooth University

6pm, Monday 31st August 2015

The Phoenix Building, North Campus, Maynooth University

Reception to follow

Please RSVP to nirsa@nuim.ie by Friday 28th August

locative social media

Locative Social Media offers a critical analysis of the effect of using locative social media on the perceptions and phenomenal experience of lived in spaces and places. It includes a comprehensive overview of the historical development of traditional mapping and global positioning technology to smartphone-based application services that incorporate social networking features as a series of modes of understanding place. Drawing on users accounts of the location-based social network Foursquare, a digital post-phenomenology of place is developed to explain how place is mediated in the digital age. This draws upon both the phenomenology of Martin Heidegger and post-phenomenology to encompass the materiality and computationality of the smartphone. The functioning and surfacing of place by the device and application, along with the orientation of the user, allows for a particular experiencing of place when using locative social media termed attunement, in contrast to an instrumentalist conception of place.

Reviews

“Locative Social Media is a fine book that is theoretically sophisticated and empirically grounded. In it, Leighton Evans develops a rigorous post-phenomenology of location-based social media, and explores how mood or orientation, embodied practices involving mobile technology use, and the data-infused environment, are all ‘co-constitutive of place’.” – Rowan Wilken, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Health, Arts and Design, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia

“In this book, Leighton Evans accomplishes something very ambitious: a deep theoretical reflection on the phenomenology of place experience as it occurs in the context of physical/digital interactions, interwoven with a thorough empirical account of situated use of location-based social networks. Evans’ study of Foursquare users details complex place-related agencies in the age of what he calls a ‘computationally infused world’, including gathering, mapping, bridging, broadcasting, reputation management and building social capital. His findings resonate with and holistically consolidate the state of the art of interdisciplinary investigations of locative social media. The most impressive achievement in this book, however, is how the empirical evidence builds the basis for an exciting conceptual revisitation of the phenomenology of place; Evans proposes an original ‘digital post-phenomenology of place’ that connects key aspects of situated socio-technical systems: from embodied practices, to new and emergent mappings, occurrences and representations enabled by code and by locative infrastructures.” – Luigina Ciolfi, Reader in Communication in the Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute, Sheffield Hallam University, UK

“Transporting Heidegger from the Black Forest to the urban Foursquare-world, Leighton Evans discusses the persistently collective nature of space and place in digital culture. This important study opens different ways how location based social networks function to frame space for us but also how users participate in this process of defining belonging. Evans’ book addresses algorithmic situations as digital post-phenomenology of place; the book is a valuable research text for scholars and students in media, sociology and cultural studies of technology.” – Jussi Parikka, Professor of Technological Culture and Aesthetics, Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton, UK

For more information, please visit: http://www.palgrave.com/page/detail/locative-social-media-/?K=9781137456106

Cathal Gurrin and Rami Albatal – Lifelogging: Challenges and Opportunities in a new era of Personal Data

On May 27th 2015, Cathal Gurrin and Rami Albatal visited the Programmable City Project and delivered a seminar on lifelogging, covering the history of creating lifelogs, technological developments in the field, the current state of the practice and future possibilities for comprehensive personal data.

The talk was extremely well received, and this video of the event should be of interest to anone interested in lifelogging, the quantified self, personal or wearable technologies or the emergence and possibilities of personal data.

Cathal Gurrin and Rami Albatal – Lifelogging – Challenges and Opportunities for a new era of personal data from The Programmable City on Vimeo.

You can also listen to the audio recording of the discussion afterwards on issues around privacy, surveillance and more here:

 

Event – Privacy: gathering insights from lawyers and technologists

privacy-law-highlightThe roundtable event ‘Privacy: Gathering insights from lawyers and technologists’ is scheduled for Wednesday 1st July 2015. The Event will be held at the Phoenix Building, North Campus, Maynooth University and has been organised by faculty at the University in conjunction with the British and Irish Law Education and Technology Association.

The event will bring technologists, legal practitioners, technology companies and academics together in order to address the common issues faced by the different parties. The goal is to facilitate the communication of differing perspectives in an effort to formulate a unified approach to developing privacy issues.

Confirmed speakers for the event are:

Keynotes
Dara Murphy, TD – Minister for European Affairs and Data Protection.
Helen Dixon – Data Protection Commissioner of Ireland.

Confirmed speakers for the first session of the event, “Privacy in a digital world: notions and understandings of privacy in a digital infrastructure”, are:

Confirmed speakers for the second session of the event, “The Right to be Forgotten, demystified…”, are:

  • Ronan Kennedy, Lecturer in Law, National University of Ireland, Galway.
  • Dr Michael Lang, Lecturer in Information Systems, National University of Ireland, Galway.
  • William Malcolm, Senior Privacy Counsel, Google
  • Rob Corbet, Technology and Innovation Lawyer, Arthur Cox
  • Eoin O’Dell, Associate Professor, School of Law, Trinity College Dublin

For further information and tickets to the event, please visit the project webpage or contact the organisers Maria Murphy or Leighton Evans.

Seminar – Lifelogging – Challenges and Opportunities for a new era of personal data

We are delighted to welcome Rami Albatal and Cathal Gurrin to Maynooth on Wednesday 27th May at 4pm, Iontas Building room 2.31 for the third of our Programmable City seminars this semester. Dr. Rami Albatal is the lead postdoctoral researcher of the Lifelogging team at Insight Centre for Data Analytics at Dublin City University, and received his Ph.D. in Computer Vision in 2010 from Grenoble University, France. His research focuses on three main areas: Lifelogging, Computer Vision and Machine Learning. Currently he is working on new generation of Quantified-Self technologies that employ contextual data gathering and analytics, in the goal of building advanced data-driven decision-making, planning and recommendation platforms. Cathal Gurrin is a lecturer at the School of Computing, at Dublin City University, Ireland and he is an investigator at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics where he leads a research group of 10 people. He is also a visiting scientist at the University of Tromso, Norway. His research interest is personal analytics and lifelogging (a search engine for the self). He has gathered a digital memory since 2006 (including over 15 million wearable camera images) and hundreds of millions of other sensor readings. He is the founder of the world’s first dedicated lifelog meetup group.

The session will introduce the topic lifelogging, explore the current state-of-the-art technology and look forward to a future in which lifelog archives may become commonplace. The current approaches to semantic enrichment will be explored, along with applications and user interfaces. In an era of personal data, Facebook, Twitter, digital photos and many other activities all leave significant trails of personal data.  One aspect of personal data gathering that is receiving increasing attention is the concept of lifelogging. Lifelogging is concerned with utilising sensors to create a large archives of personal data, or a surrogate memory for the individual. Applying semantic enrichment and organisational software over this data results in the creation of a lifelog for the individual. Lifelogging has been described as an inevitability and is expected to change life experience for all. Finally, lifelogging raises many societal issues, among them privacy and data security, which will be explored and solutions proposed. This session should be of interest to a wide range of academics and interested parties.

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Seminar – Counter-terrorism in Airports/Cities: from techniques to techno-science

We are delighted to welcome Mark Maguire to The Programmable City project on Wednesday 25th February, 4-6pm in room 2.31, Iontas Building, Maynooth University. This is the fourth of our Programmable City seminars this academic year. Mark is a lecturer in Anthropology at Maynooth University. His research focuses on the areas of migration and security. He is concerned with exploring international migration through ethnographic research on everyday lives  and the technologies and processes of securitization, especially counter-terrorism, biometric security, affective computing and the detection of abnormal behaviour and ‘malintent’. Mark is author of Differently Irish (Woodfield Press 2004), which explores the lives of Vietnamese refugees and their families, and, with co-author Fiona Murphy, Integration in Ireland: the everyday lives of African migrants (Manchester 2012). Mark is co-Editor of Social Anthropology/Anthropologie Sociale.

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