Tag Archives: imaginaries

New Paper: Locative media and data-driven computing experiments

Sung-Yueh Perng, Rob Kitchin and Leighton Evans have a new open access paper, Locative media and data-driven computing experiments, published in Big Data & Society today. It examines the staging of locative data and computing experiments to envision urban futures, and its consequences. More details are in the abstract below and the paper can be downloaded at http://bds.sagepub.com/content/3/1/2053951716652161.


Over the past two decades urban social life has undergone a rapid and pervasive geocoding, becoming mediated, augmented and anticipated by location-sensitive technologies and services that generate and utilise big, personal, locative data. The production of these data has prompted the development of exploratory data-driven computing experiments that seek to find ways to extract value and insight from them. These projects often start from the data, rather than from a question or theory, and try to imagine and identify their potential utility. In this paper, we explore the desires and mechanics of data-driven computing experiments. We demonstrate how both locative media data and computing experiments are ‘staged’ to create new values and computing techniques, which in turn are used to try and derive possible futures that are ridden with unintended consequences. We argue that using computing experiments to imagine potential urban futures produces effects that often have little to do with creating new urban practices. Instead, these experiments promote Big Data science and the prospect that data produced for one purpose can be recast for another and act as alternative mechanisms of envisioning urban futures.

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.