Category Archives: information

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

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.

Open data talks at Dublinked event

On Thursday two members of the ProgCity team – Rob Kitchin and Tracey Lauriault – presented at the Open Data Summit organized by Dublinked.  Rob presented a paper entitled ‘Open data: An open and shut case’ (see below for slides) and Tracey presented a paper entitled ‘The open data landscape in Ireland.’  It was an excellent event and hopefully the slides of the other talks will be put online as there was a lot of useful insight shared during the presentations and discussion.

CFP: Technological imaginaries and the production of space

Conference of Irish Geographers 2015, Queens University Belfast, 21-24 May 2015

This session aims to think through the complex relationship between space and technology. The proliferation of smart phones and city-scale embedded devices is reshaping homes, work places and cities. Rather than focus explicitly on how technologies might autonomously and automatically produce such spaces, our focus is the broader imaginaries which pre-empt and prefigure sociotechnical systems. We are interested in submissions that explore how space is produced or performed through contested relationships between technologies, imaginaries and situated practices. This might mean, on the one hand, to approach technologies by reflecting on cultural representations or utopian visions of the future. On the other hand, imaginaries might be understood through the ways communities, social groups or initiatives think about already existing technologies. We are open to a broad range of theoretical and methodological approaches.

Contributions may respond to various topics, including but not limited to urban planning, surveillance, emergency response, energy management, sustainable transportation or everyday consumption and mobility. The following questions might be addressed:

  • what kinds of urban futures are being imagined and what are the technologies mobilised for such imaginaries?
  • how are technologies evoked as a solution to contemporary problems or perceived threats?
  • what space-times are evoked or rearranged?
  • what forms of resistance to dominant visions are being practiced or displayed?
  • how are politics articulated within utopian and dystopian imaginations?
  • how are the coupling of bodies, technologies and data imagined, planned and enacted?
  • how is human and nonhuman agency perceived and practiced in relation to technological imaginaries?

Potential contributors are free to contact us prior to submission of their abstract. Contact email: james.white.2014@nuim.ie.

Abstracts must be submitted online at the Conference of Irish Geographers website.

Deadline: March 20, 2015.

Industrial Heritage: Software enabled preservation of dispersed and fragile knowledge in miniature.

Developments in software and digital technology have had wide ranging impacts on our leisure time, from movies on demand on our mobiles, internet on public transport and the ‘selfie’  saturated world of social media. Yet advancements in technology have also reached creative activities that are often considered far from mainstream and groups of individuals, who though they share a common interest, may pursue their leisure activity individually and in relative isolation.

One such social group is that of model railway enthusiasts. For these collectors, builders and hobbyists the developments in software have enabled fundamental changes to the way they explore and express their interests.  Geographically dispersed and relatively few in number (estimated in the low hundreds in Ireland) software has offered a means of augmenting the traditional physical locations of interaction, socialising and knowledge sharing. Software and connectivity have enabled a network of online interactions that has linked individuals more closely with the commercial suppliers and the specialist manufacturers of the models they consume, extending the reach of the community beyond the traditional clubs or shows. It has facilitated efficient access to, and the sharing of, previously inaccessible or unknown historic and practical knowledge regarding even the most obscure topics such as window size and seat positions.  Building upon more traditional sources of historic data such as printed media and journals, software has also enabled the capture of dispersed and divergent forms of data and facilitated their transformation, via computerised production methods, into ready-to-run models with unprecedented levels of physical detail and functionality. Continue reading

Job: Three year postdoc on the Programmable City project

We’re pleased to announce the advertisement of a three year postdoc position on the Programmable City project.   Full details of the project can be found on the Maynooth University HR page, but essentially the post will study algorithms and code used in smart city initiatives (broadly conceived) from a software studies perspective.  As such, the project will critically examine how software developers translate rules, procedures and policies into a complex architecture of interlinked algorithms that manage and govern how people traverse or interact with urban systems.  It will thus provide an in-depth analysis of how software and data are being produced to aid the regulation of city life in an age of software and ‘big data’. The primary methods will be a selection from those set out in the paper ‘Thinking critically about and researching algorithms’.

We are seeking applications from researchers with an interest in software studies, critical data studies, urban studies, and smart cities to work in an interdisciplinary team. Applicants will:

  • have a keen interest in understanding software from a social science perspective;
  • be a proficient programmer and able to comprehend other developer’s code;
  • have a good, broad range of qualitative data creation and analysis skills;
  • be interested in theory building;
  • have an aptitude to work well in an interdisciplinary team;
  • be prepared to undertake overseas fieldwork;
  • have a commitment to publishing and presenting their work;
  • have a willingness to communicate through new social media;
  • be prepared to archive their data for future re-use by others;
  • be prepared to help organise and attend workshops and conferences.

The closing data is 5th December.  See the full job description here for more details.

We would encourage any interested candidates to apply for the post and for readers of the blog to bring the post to the attention of those who you think might be interested, or circulate in your networks/social media.