Thursday, December 6, 2007

Situated Technologies

15. Path taken by a woman in a shopping mall whilst talking on her mobile phone. Courtesy of Horst Kiechle. 14. Section through Logplug, David Greene ©1969 Archigram. Image scan ©2007 Archigram Archives.

Situated Technologies Pamphlet Series

ADAM GREENFIELD ...If you pay careful attention to the way in which people physically address space now, you’ll notice that there have been some significant changes under the condition of am­bient informatics. Some things persist, of course: as long as there are vertical gravity loads, anyway, people will occasionally need places to sit and rest their weary bones, and so forth. But have a look at this rather telling mosaic [15].
This is the drunken-seeming meander of a woman speaking on a mobile phone. I think we all recognize this behavior. I do it myself. It’s a dead giveaway that the person is immersed in a condition of, at best, ambivalent adjacency. You can’t tell me that the woman in this photo is responding to the spatial circumstances around her, except as boundary constraints of the crudest order. She’s surely making space, but her choices in doing so are guided by other logics than those that have governed urban form throughout history, the conditions that undergird our understanding of walls, doors, thoroughfares, intersec­tions, and such. To me, if anything can rightly be called “schizo­geography,” it’s this.

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