In an attempt to become the absolute citizen, Martin John Callanan will continually and openly publish his physical location live.
I am contactable, and I am findable, in the digital world. It is easy to find me, write to me, work with me, and speak to me. However, people have trouble meeting the physical me, in the physical world. I have become so findable and so contactable: I hide. Perhaps not purposely, more though the perception I do not need to be physically present, because I feel present already. By becoming findable – to anyone, anywhere – in the physical world, I can participate fully and with anyone: I become the absolute citizen. I become a citizen of both the physical and digital worlds, coexisting as one (the same device that makes me visible and findable, allows continuous instant connection – communication – via any digital means); I cannot hide (and I become vulnerable).
We are now at the dawning of the age of ubiquitous computing. When computers are starting, no longer, to be the box on the desk or the slab warming our legs. The computer as an artefact will disappear. As they become embedded and ambient, our interaction with will become more invisible; more human. We will become more human. (We are not there yet). But as yet, the people who will be most affected by it, the overwhelming majority of whom are non-technical, non-specialist, ordinary citizens of the developed world, barely know it even exists (is even possible).
A mobile phone can be switched off or left [forgotten] at home. A computer can be shut down, unplugged, and walked away from. Yet, this coming ambient, ubiquitous technology will be capable of insinuating itself into all the apertures everyday life affords it. An environment will be formed in a way that current technology cannot possibly ever create.
Addressing the imbalance
I will use an off-the-shelf smartphone, on a standard service plan with a major telecoms service provider. Combined (via a custom server application) with an open-source geo-mapping application; I will publish constantly, live, my exact physical geographical location to a distance of within three meters (talking distance). I am presenting myself with the option of trading away access to the most intimate details of my movements in return for increased convenience.
The paper called An Ethnology of Solitude presents and analysis this project in the deeper context.
Martin John Callanan (1982) is a European artist and academic, who works with electronic media, digital media, installation, audio, and video. He obtained degrees from both The Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD)and University College London.
Callanan is Teaching Fellow in Fine Art Media for the Slade School of Art, University College London. Callanan¹s work has been to explore artistic issues of systems, governance, mobile, and locative media.
As part of Velocity new arts festival, and as part of the Big Draw 2007, Folly digital arts organization have commissioned Location of I for a day on 13 October 2007. Visitors to the Map Room at Lancaster Railway Station can track and interact as Morecambe Bay is explored.
2007, Commissioned by Riga Centre for New Media Culture RIXC, Latvia
Funded by the European Commission Culture 2000 Fund via At Home in Europe (with support from ISIS, InterSpace, Bek, and Arts Council England)
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