LOCATIVE MEDIA (and Ad-Hoc Social Networks)
Location-based Workshop in Karosta, Latvia
July 16-26, 2003

* introduction:

The international workshop entitled "Locative media" will focus on GPS,
mapping and positioning technologies, and how wireless networking impact on
notions of space time and social organization. It is a follow-up event of
the "Media architecture" conference which took place in Riga, May 16-17,
during the "Art+Communication" festival (http://rixc.lv/03)

The symposium will be 'location-based' in Karosta (an abandoned Soviet-era
military city on the Latvian Baltic coast), from July 16 to 26, 2003.
Attendees to the workshop will explore the radically disorganizing
potential (social, spatial & temporal) of ad-hoc wireless networking (for
synchronization, interpersonal awareness & swarming), and use open-source
mapping/positioning technologies to audioalize and visualize data in space.

Once familiarized with the 'locative media' paradigm, the workshop's
objective will be to develop the blueprint for a large-scale locative media
event/installation for the RAM workshop series, for Riga in May of 2004.

This symposium particularly would like to involve a number of participants
from the NICE network, who would be interested to experience this new
interface (and to develop content); in so doing, the event will hopefully
reveal future directions for the NICE network.

* deadline for proposals/participants - July 1, 2003.

Please send your email with short description of your work,
proposal/motivation and/or url's, to workshop coordiantors: Rasa Smite
, Marc Tuters
(Particularly welcome are proposals from Nordic and North-East European

* concept:

Utopia is the frameless film, the wall-less architecture.
(Mikhail Iampolski)

Step through it!
(Roni Size)

Networked wireless devices offer people both communication and computing
capabilities that were never before possible, creating ad-hoc social
networks that are mutating people's relations to space, time and indeed, to
each other. From interpersonal awareness devices (like GayDar), to Wi-Fi
hotspots (and the wireless commons manifesto), all the way to the role of
text messaging in political protest (central to the fall of the Philippine
government in '01); a whole host of new social phenomena have emerged with
the arrival of always-on mobile data transfer. These devices are also
increasingly capable of interacting with positioning signals and
microprocessors embedded in the environment creating a hybrid paradigm we
will call 'locative media' in which formerly 'placeless' digital
information is mapped on to the surrounding physical environment; creating
what Paul Virilio refers to as "stereo reality". (In Botfighter, for
example, communities of players use standard GSM phones to play a video
game in real-time and real-space.)

'Locative Media and Ad-Hoc Social Networks' will bring together
international artist and thinkers working with mobile ad-hoc social
networks and locative media to both discuss and present their work and to
interrogate these paradoxical new media. The workshop itself will be
'location-based' in Karosta, Latvia on an abandoned Soviet-era military
city on the Baltic coast. The idea of hosting the workshop in Karosta is
twofold: as an explicit acknowledgment of Virilio's idea that "one cannot
understand the development of information tech, without understanding the
evolution of military strategy"; and, as an attempt to locate the event
outside of the global market from which these technologies have emerged. In
a location that itself foregrounds issues of place and time, we will
explore the potential for mobile, locative media to express issues of
memory and of place through wireless locative games and other artistic
interventions involving the local community. We also hope to seriously
address the issue of how the emergence of these new technologies relates to
the disappearance of magik (such as aboriginal song lines, and other
ancient tribal traditions).

Ideas the workshop would like to investigate include, but are not limited
to: mapping from below; creating context for mobile/digital art; mobile ad
hoc social networks as the next social revolution; text-messaging +
hyper-coordination; technologies of co-operation amplification & the
'wireless commons' debate; netwar + the appropriation of surveillance
technologies by tactical media; and the relation between new locative media
and magik.

* About the location:

Karosta was built by order of the Russian Tzar Alexander III as a military
port in the Baltic region. After the Soviet occupation of Latvia, Karosta
became a military base housing some 25,000 and was closed to civilians by a
fortress wall was build all around the whole city. The Soviet army
evacuated Karosta in 1994, following Latvian independence, leaving behind
some 7000 people. Mostly Russian speaking, the stateless citizens of
Karosta either carry Latvian issued so-called 'alien' passports, or old
Soviet ones.

Today the town appears to be a landscape of ruins. Many houses are
completely destroyed, and the town is plagued by mass unemployment. After
and experience setting-up arts workshops there, documentary film-makers
Kristine Brede & Carl Biorsmark began making a film on Karosta and
subsequently decided to step through the screen to "become documentary
social workers" with the inauguration of the Culture and Information Center
K@2 in December 2000.

* Participants:

Marc Tuters, GPSter (CA), international coordinator of the workshop
Karlis Kalnins, GPSter (CA)
Esther Polak, artist, Real Time Amsterdam project (NL)
Adam Hyde, r a d i o q u a l i a (NZ-UK)
Honor Harger, r a d i o q u a l i a (NZ-UK)
Andrew Petersen, (FI)
Normunds Kozlovs, sociologist and communication theorist (LV)
Rasa Smite, RIXC (LV), coordinator of the workshop
Ieva Auzina, RIXC (LV), coordinator of the workshop
Jaanis Putrams, programmer (LV)
Jaanis Garancs, media artist (LV)
Voldemars Johansons, media artist (LV)
Raitis Smits, RIXC (LV)
Singe Pucena, RIXC (LV)
and others.

* Organisers:

RIXC, the center for new media culture/Latvia in collaboration with

* Support:

The Daniel Langlois Foundation for Arts, Science and Technology, Latvian
Cultural Capital Foundation and Nordic Cultural Foundation