Comobile Perspectives

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Comobile Perspectives is a chapter in  Locative media: multidisciplinary perspectives on media and locality edited by Regine Buschauer and Katherine S. Willis.

Locative media, such as location based services on mobile phones, have been characterized as a hybrid of digital and local places, in which both proximate and distant social interactions are played out togehter (Willis 2010; Gordon & De Souza e Silva 2011; Farman 2012). This chapter explores a third kind of hybrid — that of experiencing the aerial perspective of maps at the same time as the embodied eye-level perspective of being on the ground. For instance, the blue dot on an iPhone map that shows where the user is, or a more complex mobile phone application such as Mogi that was popular in Japan from 2003–2009 where players could see their own location on a map, and those of other players nearby (Licoppe & Inada 2010). In this chapter I use three case studies of flight — the aironaut in a balloon, the aviator in a light aircraft and the astronaut on a space station — to explore embodiment, live-ness and co-production while viewing the world from above.

 The cover image of the book is from the collaborative work Running Stitch (2009) by Hamilton, Southern & St Amand