Understanding the Future of Augmented Humans.

My keynote speech at the forthcoming “Insafe” (Internet Safety) meeting in Budapest, October 2012. The European Union’s Insafe network comprises 27 countries that regularly meet as part of The European Commission  “Safer Internet Program”. The title of the key-note is:

Understanding the Future of Augmented Humans.Technologies have traditionally been approached as ancillary tools in the history of mankind. Means used to master nature and our environment, or tools used to enhance creativity and communication. This once clear distinction between us humans, the technologies we use and the environments we live in, have been gradually eroding in the past few decades. What we see today cannot be characterised anymore as further evolution in a long process of technological development. Current technological evolutions are better understood as first steps in a complex redefinition of what it means to be human. Individuals, organisations, governments and industries, just like children, are evolving, changing, learning, internalising technology and socialising with an ever-changing reality where the distinction between who we are and what technology allows us to be, is becoming more and more blurred. To understand this evolution requires good judgement, a sense of history, and above all a sense of purpose.

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Just published “”Geomedia-Based Methods and Visual Research” in “Advances in Visual Methodology”

Lapenta F. 2012, “Geomedia-Based Methods and Visual Research. Exploring the Theoretical Tenets of the Localization and Visualization of Mediated Social Relations with Direct Visualization Techniques” in “Advances in Visual Methodologies” Ed Sarah Pink 2012, SAGE

In this chapter I discuss how contemporary shift towards patterns of relocalization of mediated interactions and the emergence of new heterogeneous time and space dimensions, is constructed by and intertwined with new location-based communications technologies. In doing so, I examine how these shifts imply new contexts; new topics; and themes of investigation in, and subsequently advances in, research methodologies for contemporary visual researchers. My central focus is on digital mapping and the electronic and technological bases through which these visualization systems are engaged . I suggest that these new electronic architectures and visualization software and applications frame a context where both new topics and techniques of (visual) sociological research are emerging.

The book, edited by Sarah PInk, explores how new practice-based, theoretical and methodological engagements are developing and emerging in research practice; the impact new approaches are having on the types of knowledge visual research produces and critiques; the ways visual research intersect with new media; and the implications of this for social and cultural research, scholarship and intervention.

order here   AMAZON LINK or here SAGE

The Infosphere, the Geosphere and the Mirror: The Geomedia-Based Normative Renegotiations of Body and Place, Francesco Lapenta, new article out now:

my new article out now: The Infosphere, the Geosphere and the Mirror: The Geomedia-Based Normative Renegotiations of Body and Place Francesco Lapenta in Mobile Technology and Place<a link amazon link Edited by Rowan Wilken, Gerard Goggin in Series: Routledge Studies in New Media and Cyberculture

The Infosphere, the Geosphere and the Mirror. The Geomedia Based Normative Renegotiation of Body and Place.

First there are the utopias. Utopias are sites with no real place. They are sites that have a general relation of direct or inverted analogy with the real space of Society.  They present society itself in a perfected form, or else society turned upside down (…). There are also, in every culture, in every civilization, real places – places that do exist and that are formed in the very founding of society which are something like counter-sites, a kind of effectively enacted utopia  in which the real sites (…) are simultaneously represented, contested, and inverted. I believe that between utopias and these quite other sites, these heterotopias, there might be a sort of mixed, joint experience, which would be the mirror.  Focault

 

“Locative Media and the Digital Visualization of Space, Place and Information”, Lapenta Francesco Ed.

Visual Studies: Volume 26 Issue 1

Special Issue:Locative Media and the Digital Visualisation of Space, Place and Information

This new issue contains the following articles:

Guest Editor’s Introduction
Locative media and the digital visualisation of space, place and information, Pages 1 – 3
Author: Francesco Lapenta  ARTICLE HERE

Articles
Sensory digital photography: re-thinking ‘moving’ and the image, Pages 4 – 13
Author: Sarah Pink

Geomedia: on location-based media, the changing status of collective image production and the emergence of social navigation systems, Pages 14 – 24
Author: Francesco Lapenta    ARTICLE HERE

The algorithmic turn: photosynth, augmented reality and the changing implications of the image, Pages 25 – 35
Author: William Uricchio

>What is visualisation? Pages 36 – 49
Author: Lev Manovich

Is music becoming more visual? Online video content in the music industry, Pages 50 – 61
Author: Fabian Holt

The lie of the land: Mark Monmonier on maps, technology and social change, Pages 62 – 70
Author: Rob Walker

Coming out next month. “Locative Media and the Digital Visualization of Space, Place and Information” edited by yours truly

Finally after over a year in the making with contributions by William Uricchio, Lev Manovich, Sarah Pink, Fabian Holt, Rob Walker and yours truly an exploration of the fast changing scenarios of location based applications and related information and world representations changing ontologies and epistemologies

Privacy and Jurisdiction in the Network Society

Privacy and Jurisdiction in the Network Society Article by Gry Hasselbalch, May 2010 “In the network society, the right to privacy is challenged by new automated methods of collecting data and global information networks used to their full potential by both state actors and non-state actors. New technologies hold a potential for increasingly sophisticated methods of state’s intelligence gathering and police investigations. Moreover, with the introduction of the internet, a space for private parties as data disseminators, collectors and processors has been created. This development has expanded the primarily negative scope of Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights to include also positive obligations. In its case law, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has on several occasions addressed the challenges of technological progress to the right to privacy and stipulated the positive obligations of states when securing the appropriate balance between the benefits of technologies and the right to privacy. In some aspects the stipulations are rather clear however, there are some implications of the ECHR’s application of a primarily territorial definition of jurisdiction to the question of global information networks that creates a level of uncertainty as to the essence of state parties’ to the convention obligations….” Gry Hasselbalch, May 2010
link: here

NET Neutrality: Just when we thought things were getting better

netneutrality“U.S. Senator John McCain has introduced legislation that would block the U.S. Federal Communications Commission from creating new net neutrality rules, on the same day that the FCC took the first step toward doing so.”  Reuters full article here

Needless to say, Net Neutrality is the biggest battle we are facing today to maintain a free internet. It is amazing how the rhetorics of McCain´s proposal totally twist the reality of the facts.

If you do not know enough about it, DO read about it  here

PS. I cannot find info regarding the author of the image, if you do know who made it please let me know and I will credit.

Francesco Lapenta, 2008, “Geomedia, Mapping the World. A Brief Essay on the Changing Staus of Digital Photography. Google maps, Photosynth, Flickr, iPhoto 2009 and the Digital Merging of Collective Image Production.”, www.visualstudies.eu

Full Essay LINK

Remindfull of a technology that Ridley Scott created for Rick Deckard to use in his 2019 Los Angeles (Ridley Scott, Blade Runner 1982). As it happens reality has exceeded the fantasy allowing us to seamlessly move from one image into another in a virtual continuum of increasingly global spatial representations. As the map of the Empire that the cartographers continued to grow with increasing levels of detail, the virtual map of the world is acquiring a scale and scope that further exceeds their ambition. This virtual map deserves attention, because it is different both in its genetic nature and in its multiple evolution. It combines elements (Image, Text and Sound) that never before could be combined so seamlessly together. The map is built by the cooperation of two entities. On the one hand we have the (soon to be interconnected) platforms that are offered for its growth, we could say this is the equivalent of the kind of “surface” that is offered for the renditions of the map (in our case Google Earth, Google Maps, Photosynth, QuickTime VR, iPhoto 2009 etc, etc). And on the other hand we have the new generation of cartographers comprised by all the individuals  around the world that contribute with pieces of representation of the world to the enormous puzzle of the virtual map.
Read the rest of the essay here

Preferred Reference System:
Francesco Lapenta, 2008, “Geomedia, Mapping the World. A Brief Essay on the Changing Staus of Digital Photography. Google maps, Photosynth, Flickr, iPhoto 2009 and the Digital Merging of Collective Image Production.”, http://www.visualstudies.eu

GeoMedia and the Rise of Social Navigation Systems.

Finally a rough draft of the Geomedia article for you to browse. As you will see it is in a very rough form but wanted to bring it out to have feed back from you. The article discusses the new generation of location based technologies and the ways in which they will rearticulate our perception of time, commodification of space, digital merging of collaborative pictures, sound, and texts collections using WEB 2.0 tools and logics and available and developing softwares and services, PhotoSynth, Google maps, Flicker. The article also describes the social behaviors that will be favored by these new technologies (which I call Social Navigation Systems). Feed back are appreciated and needed so do write back with comments and ideas, anything suggested and used in the final article will be of course properly credited and accounted for.

geomedia-and-the-rise-of-social-navigation-systems5th (Version 5, 2008 December).  The article is set on private, please do e-mail me if you want to read the draft.

New info about the article will be periodically updated here until completion and publication.

Define: GeoMedia and WEB 3.0

(link to intro)

This is how I define GeoMedia:

GeoMedia, are electronic media that rely on precise location systems to integrate location based data with user generated contents and activities. They are not new media per se, but platforms that merge existing technologies (Electronic Media + the Internet + Geo-Location Technologies) in a new mode of data association and generation.

GeoMedia are not the sole collection of archived location based data, but an instrument that associates these existing data with a live geographical position in a personally activated and/or socially maintained data exchange (communication). Electronic Media are used to create/receive data, the Internet to transmit them, and the Geo-location technologies to position them; GeoMedia articulate these information in a live communication process.

GeoMedia are the technological platforms on which WEB 3.0 behaviours merge and expand: If WEB 1.0 can be seen as the initial move towards the simple transfer of content (Image, Sound, Text) to a new medium and digital delivery system. WEB 2.0 has seen the re-organization of such distribution of content on the basis of existing and developing social networks. In the new ecosystem interaction itself is transformed into data. WEB 3.0, based on the development of new social-networking applications, has its biggest momentum in the progressive integration of location based data in the communication process.

GeoMediaare to Space what the Watch is to Time. They regulate behaviour and coordinate interactions. They are a fundamental dimension of mediated interaction. GeoMedia regulate and generate capital, and are the predictable outcome of the expansion of capital. The move from the systematic capitalization of time (sanctioned by the Universal Time and the Standard Time) to the systematic informatization and re-capitalization of Space.

GeoMedia on the one hand reduce the distance between the Real and the Hyperreal (Baudrillard), they create yet another link between the represented (the object) and its representation (its simulation, its image), knotting them together at a certain time and location. On the other hand they increase their distance by rendering the former (the Real) a complementary but not necessary part of what we do with the latter (its representation). This processes further enhances the mimic, and the independent qualities of the simulation and contributes to the construction of the Hyperreal, a world of parallel, but different, signification systems (Image, Music, Text) in which we live parallel lives.

Preferred Reference System:

Lapenta, Francesco, 2008, “Define: GeoMedia and WEB 3.0”, Draft June 2008, http://www.visualstudies.eu

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GeoMedia: the Early Developments of WEB 3.0 aka Location Based technologies and Media

This morning I left my studio in St Marks Pl ( 40°43’44.58″N,  73°59’18.82″W) at 09:13. I arrived at my favorite Caffe´, Taralluci e Vino ( 40°43’44.18″N,  73°59’4.38″W) at 09:21 and ordered breakfast, one big cappuccino and a plain croissant. When I placed my order on my mobile I was a little disappointed to see that my favourite chocolate croissants were finished. I always get a chocolate croissant with my cappuccino, I am a man of  habits, I should have checked before going out and reserved one for my breakfast before getting there, but then again I know I would never do that, I have always been too lazy to organise things too much in advance. While waiting for my breakfast I start to plan my day. I first check my live contacts on my world map, I can see that my wife is still at work (55°40’59.30″N, 12°34’43.00″E). She will be there for one hour more it´s 15:24 pm in Copenhagen, and she normally leaves the office around 16:30. Maurizio, my brother, instead is communicating to his friends that tonight he will go to a concert, the concert is in a club I know really well “Il Covo” (44°30’28.24″N, 11°22’39.15″E) , Bologna. Hold on, let me see; ok, I can see that the “Futureheads” are playing there tonight, I know he really likes them. Let me check, hummm not my kind of music, we always had different music taste me and my brother.

The cappuccino and the croissant arrive, I get a taste of both, delicious, the day is not really starting until I get my cup of coffee. Later today I have to meet with Dough who is coming from Pittsburgh ( 40°26’12.96″N,  79°59’21.33″W), but I can see on the live map that he is still 2 hours and 31 min away from New York ( 40°45’2.09″N,  73°59’36.89″W), the Amtrak live info system says that the train is on time, good. I get another sip of my coffee and another bite of my croissant, huuummm. I briefly check my e-mails, and turn on my online status. Within seconds Eric calls me, it´s really early, 06:31 am, in Arizona, Tempe (33°25’6.17″N, 111°55’59.10″W), I can see from the sun in the background that it is going to be another hot day in the Grand Canyon State, you really need to start the day early if you want something to get done with that heat. The phone vibrates, I check the Locator and tell Eric that we´ll chat later during the day, Locator is showing me that John is few blocks away and he is free, I send him my local call and invite him to join me for breakfast. I get another bite of my croissant, and briefly go trough my RSS feeds, one more sip of my cappucciono and i am on my to do list. I could not live without my To Do List and my Locator, too lazy to get in all the shops to find the things I need, I just set the list on my mobile and while walking around the city a vibration will tell me when I am in the proximity of a shop that has the items I require, the things I would like to see, the people i would like to meet. It´s 09:41 and John arrives, I smile to him, and put my mobile in my pocket thinking; how did I manage life before 2008? before the iPhone 2.0 and the  whole mobile WEB 3.0.

Preferred Reference System

Lapenta, Francesco, 2008, “GeoMedia: Looking Back at 2008 and the Early Developments of WEB 3.0”, Draft June 2008, http://www.visual-studies.eu

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