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Readers or users? Mobility and multimedia in the archives of the future


Sawyer, Mark and Martin, DJ, Readers or users? Mobility and multimedia in the archives of the future, 14th Conference of the European Association for Urban History, 29 August - 1 September, Rome, Italy, pp. 1-12. (2018) [Non Refereed Conference Paper]

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As in other disciplines, digital technologies are rapidly changing the way urban history is constructed. Data visualisation, proximity beacons, virtual and augmented reality, 3-d and now even 4-d visualisations, are challenging conventional representations of historical narratives. More than any other factor, the ubiquitous smartphone has taken the physical space of the city and opened it up to multiple, layered interpretations—a peripatetic archive that is simultaneously materially and digitally searchable. Starting from the premise that the full effects and potentials of the mobile, digital archive are only just beginning to emerge, this paper considers how new media technologies are challenging the way urban histories are authored and represented. Through analysis of a digital urban historiographic project for the Australian city of Perth, this paper considers how emerging forms of text production, new media technologies, and practices of creation are structuring knowledges and methodologies. The paper questions how authorship is divested in such projects through the hidden syntax of coding languages and whether these might presuppose a nascent digital "techno-ideology." Perhaps most importantly, it problematises the role of the architectural and urban historian in a world of heterogeneous authorship through multiple modes of representation, while traditional readers have become users, viewers, and collaborators.

Item Details

Item Type:Non Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:urban history, archives, mobile technologies, multimodal communication
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Human geography
Research Field:Urban geography
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Communication
Objective Field:The media
UTAS Author:Sawyer, Mark (Dr Mark Sawyer)
ID Code:138375
Year Published:2018
Deposited By:Architecture and Design
Deposited On:2020-04-03
Last Modified:2020-04-07

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