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Weathering the Process

March 4th, 2009
Residenza Studi Superiori, Bologna

ISA Topic 2009
Wireless technologies, meteorological mediations and endothermic embodiment

edited by Kim Sawchuk, Visiting Professor from Canada, within the "Marconi Galaxy" project.

"Weathering the process" explores the role of space, place, and meteorological mediations on wireless networks and the mobile experience. It does so by reflecting on the influence of seasonal climatic changes on two Canadian artists projects: The Haunting, a prototype for an interactive outdoor game using GPS enabled mobile telephones and Bluetooth sensors, and Tracklines, a mobile experience created for a wilderness trail in Banff National Park.

According to Sawchuk, the proliferation of wireless communication technologies in the past ten years has instigated academic interest in the study of "mobility". As new generations of mobile phone users move seamlessly between screens and scenes, un-tethered by cables and line, theorists of mobility, networking, ubiquitous computing and wireless worlds are reconsidering our relationship to space, place and time. Within these ruminations there is at least one missing element: the weather.

Weather systems, historically, have played a central role in wireless communication from the installation of the first transmission towers by Marconi on the shores of North America and Europe. Yet the influential role of climate as a part of the environment on telecommunications is rarely acknowledged or analysed. In an extreme climate, like that of Canada, temperatures may range from minus 40 to plus 30 degrees Celsius: the impact of variations of heat, cold, humidity, or barometric pressure on the movements of endothermic embodied users and their experience of mobile technology in public spaces and outdoor environments is tangible.














David Sarnoffsarnoff

Marconi was the creator of the present day civilization of the radio. All of those who, with spirit of initiative and perseverance, have brought us to the present stage of development have built on the foundations laid by Marconi. Everyone considered him the tutelary genius of their work.


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