Eric Kabisch, PhD, Information and Computer Science from UC Irvine, is an artist, interaction designer, and researcher. For his latest project, he built and evaluated a geospatial gaming and visualization platform that allowed people to construct interactive virtual environments on the top of physical space. He has an MFA in Arts Computation Engineering, also from UCI.
Following Certeau (1984), Kabisch upholds walking through a city to know and create it. This existential interaction with the city transforms one from consumer to producer. Digital technologies, specifically locative media, offer ways to integrate physical mobility into art practice, “a welcome shift of discourse from virtuality to hybridity” (52).
Kabisch, likewise, upholds interactive art for its capacity to “engage users on an even deeper level” (53) than non-interactive. Per Tuters and Varnelis (2006), locative media liberated artists from their stationary machines and net art, adding physical mobility and comprising “a welcome shift of discourse from virtuality to hybridity” (52).
However, Kabisch admits frustrations. Given that locative media technologies are related to GIS platforms, the artist is stuck with the traditional representative symbols. This has visual and cultural implications. First, human complexity is reduced to a marker on a screen. Second, these are commercial sector technologies, often associated with surveillance and hegemony.
“A place–in all its richness–becomes a static marker on a map, a journey becomes a line, and a community becomes a polygon outline…. We must move from modes of engagement that focus on representation and move to those which engage the interaction and performance of the user and the environment” (50).