Mobile Media: New Mediations in the Urban Space Open Access
- Other title
Information and Communication Technology
- Type of item
- Degree grantor
University of Alberta
- Author or creator
Dos Reis Frizzera, Luciano
- Supervisor and department
Rockwell, Geoffrey (Philosophy)
- Examining committee member and department
Engel, Maureen (Humanities Computing)
Ruecker, Stan (Design, IIT-ID)
- Date accepted
- Graduation date
Master of Arts
- Degree level
The development of Information and Communication Technologies during the second half of the twentieth century established an accelerated process digitizing cultural objects, transcoding analog information into digital data. As the speed of digital networks increases exponentially and the Internet spreads out beyond its imagined scope, we enter the information age and the process of globalization is consolidated. Digital media has become the central nervous system of contemporary society, and the recent popularization of mobile media has intensified the dynamic process of mediation and communication in post-modern society to the point of a paradigm change: from the monopoly of mass media culture, to decentralized transmissions in a post-mass media era.
These technologies shift the place of mediation, affecting the way society explores, perceives, and interacts with the physical space. As a result, mobile media become an important interface in the production of social space: a new type of hybrid space, composed of digital layers that overlap the physical environment, is produced. Some commentators claim that this raises serious privacy issues, pointing toward a world of absolute surveillance and social control. Conversely, tracking, control and surveillance are actions taken in the digital layer in order to interact with physical places, which can empower people, enhancing direct participation in society, as well as encouraging (re)appropriation of private and public spaces.
This thesis builds on sociological approaches and media studies theories to understand how intensive use of wireless communication systems in conjunction with digital networks enables massive participation in the production and distribution of information, resulting in a decentralization of social mediation processes. In other words, it exposes how mobile technology, its social relations, and the relationship with the material and symbolic world in contemporary society, is reforming mass media and redefining our perception and experience in everyday urban life, and reinforcing the importance of space and place in the development of sociability and the construction of people’s identity.
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