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Mobile and Ubiquitous Media

Critical and International Perspectives


Edited By Michael S. Daubs and Vincent R. Manzerolle

What does the phrase "ubiquitous media" actually mean? Individual definitions are just as varied and ubiquitous as the media to which they refer. As a result, there is to date no large-scale theoretical framework through which we can understand the term. The goal of this volume is to provide a diverse set of critical, theoretical, and international approaches useful to those looking for a more diverse and nuanced understanding of what ubiquitous media means analytically.

In contrast to other existing texts on mobile media, these contributions on mobile media are contextualised within a larger discussion on the nature and history of ubiquitous media. Other sections of this edited volume are dedicated to historical perspectives on ubiquitous media, ubiquitous media and visual culture, the role of ubiquitous media in surveillance, the political economy of ubiquitous media, and the way a ubiquitous media environment affects communities, spaces, and places throughout the world.

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Chapter Five: Wearable Technology in the Production, Diffusion, and Active Use of Ubiquitous Knowledge (Marco Centorrino / Sebastiano Nucera)


chapter five

Wearable Technology in the Production, Diffusion, and Active Use of Ubiquitous Knowledge

Marco Centorrino and Sebastiano Nucera1


Human history is a history of technology and mediations. The emergence of ever more sophisticated and functional technologies and related forms of mediation have created new relationships between real, virtual, and augmented experiences. Advances have favoured the creation of relational environments that extend beyond their intended design and application (Ingold 2004), which in turn has substantialized a different culture of interaction between individuals and contexts (e.g. Mazzoli 2011). The weaving of these contexts is, after language, the most powerful grammar at the base of interactions between individuals and their environments. We are now witnessing the creation of ecosystems steeped in higher-performing technology, though that technology is less visible.

Between the 1950s and the 1980’s (Negroponte 1995), the idea of “ubiquity,” which was already latent, became an object of study. Lifton and Paradiso (2009) define ubiquity as the possibility to merge real and virtual contexts. However, McLuhan (1964, 79) had previously suggested a predecessor to ubiquity, which he referred to as a form of “technology of explicitness” which enable a “translation of immediate sense experience into vocal symbols [so that] the entire world can be evoked and retrieved at any instant.”

Nonetheless, the fading of boundaries between the body and technology, combined with the ubiquity of information flows today are not merely theoretical, or at least cannot be analyzed...

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