July 16-26, 2003, K@2, Karosta, LV | Longitude 21.00, Latitude 56.55

* REPORT [23-07-03]: Dispatch from the borderlands...

At the K (AT) 2 Culture and Information Centre, located on an abandoned military
installation in Liepaja on the coast of the Baltic Sea, the Locative Media
Workshop has brought together an international group of artists and
researchers interested in notions of mobile geography. Participants have
been discussing how to develop tools for expressing media spatially in
order to create collaborative mapping tools with which to explore issues of
memory and of place.

Inexpensive receivers for global positioning satellites have given amateurs
the means to produce their own cartographic information with military
precision. This user-generated cartographic data has recently begun to be
shared in a variety of networking machine-searchable environments, which is
enabling the development of an 'open source' data pool of human geography.
With the arrival of portable, location-aware networked computing devices
this "collaborative cartography" will permit users to map their physical
environments with geo-annotated, digital data. As opposed to the World Wide
Web the focus here is spatially localized, and centred on the individual
user; a collaborative cartography of space and mind, places and the
connections between them.

The workshop split into a technical team and a content team. Jo Walsh
proposed a semantic web location model constituting an RDF map of physical
spaces and the connections between them. In collaboration with Andrew
Paterson, a flexible model was developed to provide participants with a
framework for their media annotations of the physical environment that
includes fields for spatio-temporal as well as subjective elements to
suggest an open model for further locative media projects. The workshop
also utilized real-time mobile networking devices, location aware through
GPS (courtesy of the Waag Society), for tracing the movements in real time,
the visualization of which was created by Pall Thayer in flash, inspired by
the Waag Society's KeyWorx software and a .php script created by Jaanis

In terms of content generation, the objective was to create an online map
interface by which the local public could access and author the
geo-annotated space of Karosta. In the first days Carl Biorsmark and
Kristine Briede recounted local stories that were woven together in
conceptual framework of local sites, sounds and stories as interpreted by a
collection of international participants, including: Ben Russell, Mari
Keski-Korsu, Cheryl L'Hirondelle, Pete Gomes, Gabriel Lopez Shaw, Signe
Pucena, Voldemars Johansons, Mika Meskanen and Andrew Paterson.
Teams conceived of metaphors for expressing media spatially and, guided by
local residents, ventured throughout Karosta collecting media samples of
the environment and creating annotations with GPS receivers. The teams also
conducted a variety of mapping experiments from an analogue tagging system
based on traditional Latvian patterns to a game of tag via Bluetooth.
All the while, a second group --Esther Polak, Ieva Auzina and Zaiga Putrama
located in the East Latvian province of Latgale have been using mapping
techniques to visualize the rural landscape and disappearing farming

Bringing together a diverse set of perspectives, the workshop's objective
is to initiate work on a series of goals including:

-developing tactics and methodologies for locative media practice.

-exploring and prototyping interface metaphors.

-articulating a flexible standard for collaborative geo-annotation projects

-creating geo-annotated content as part of an open cartographic database of

-designing a wireless client application to exchange files with this
database over "picture phones" (Java and Bluetooth enabled)

-producing documents that detail the impact of locative media on the
creative process

-generating ideas for the thematic structure of future RIXC organized
events, for which the events list-serve (locative (AT) x-i.net) will be
maintained and opened to those who are interested


Karosta, Latvian for 'war port', 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 6000 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 Briede & 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 K (AT) 2
Culture and Information Centre in December 2000.

* PARTICIPANTS and RELATED locative media LINKS *

Locative Media Workshop

Janis Putrams (LV)
http://www.camp.lv/~janis/realtime/pic2.php?date=&scale=2.3&offset_y=22.2&offset_x=189 (real time map of Karosta - ongoing - part of Locative Media project)
http://www.camp.lv/~janis/realtime/pic2.php?date=&scale=0.28&offset_y=58.6&offset_x=-190.4 (Rural Real Time - farmer path in Latgale- ongoing - part of Locative Media project)

Esther Polak (NL)
http://www.waag.org/realtime/ (Real Time Amsterdam, co-project with Waag Society)
http://www.rixc.lv/03/realtime.html (Real Time Riga, co-produced with Waag Society & RIXC, for Art+Communication 2003)

Ieva Auzina (LV)
http://locative.x-i.net/archive/2003-July/000058.html (proposal for Rural Real Time - co-project with Esther Polak & RIXC)

Marc Tuters (CA)
http://www.impakt.nl/online/box/songlines/utrecht.html (real-time, wireless geo-annotation project in and about Utrecht)

Raitis Smits (LV)
Rasa Smite (LV)

Jo Walsh (UK)
http://space.frot.org/ (collaborative mapping on the semantic web)
http://locative.x-i.net/archive/2003-July/000094.html (introduction, and more projects)

Ben Russell (UK)
http://www.headmap.org (location aware devices - know your place)

Honor Harger (UK, NZ)
Adam Hyde (UK, NZ)
http://www.radioqualia.net/real/frame.html (Locative Media : declassified satellite images / The Wireless Tuner)

Kate Rich (AU, UK)
http://uphone.org/ (an experimental utility immediate sound archiving phone to web)

Andrew Paterson (UK, FI)

Jaanis Garancs (LV)
http://www.cellulae.net/flux/ (Cell[ular]Flux. Cellular Cities)
http://www.cellulae.net/humans/ ("MultiCultureMolecular Humans", Society as a MultiCultureMolecular Virus Epidemy)

Pete Gomes (UK)

Mari Keski-Korsu (FI)

Mika Meskanen (FI)

Cheryl L'Hirondelle (CN)

Gabriel Lopez Shaw (US)

Pall Thayer (IS)
http://www.this.is/pallit (an open platform for the development of audio-visual netart)

Zita Joyce (NZ)
Adam Willetts (NZ)
Kristin Bergaust (NO)
Daina Silina (LV)
Linda Zemite (LV)
Signe Pucena (RIXC, LV)
Voldomars Johansons (LV)
Zaiga Putrama (LV)
Normunds Kozlovs (LV)
and others.