Accessible Data for Austin

Amy Tuttle

Accessibility, Data, Digital Archiving, Locative Media

Star Trek's Data standing in front of the Austin skyline.

The various features of built environments can allow us to access the spaces in which we conduct our everyday lives. But for some individuals, the very same features that are meant to provide access to spaces render these spaces out of reach. Barriers in public environments often prevent mobility-impaired people from being able to move and participate freely within a space. In the space of a college campus, for example, many individuals face the challenges of navigating barriers like a

Augmented Reality Has Arrived and It’s Ready to Be Analyzed! Well, Almost.

Sarah A. Riddick

Accessibility, Devices, Locative Media

Lately, augmented reality has been making a lot of headlines in the tech world. This week, for instance, Microsoft revealed its HoloLens, a visual headset that allows people to interact with and manipulate complex, projected visuals. In a promo for the HoloLens, a woman wearing the headset customizes a Volvo car before buying it, building it up from the nuts and bolts with gestures as simple as pressing her thumb and forefinger together. It isn’t quite the tech we see Robert

Mapping the Night

Rhiannon Goad

Locative Media

Moon with mapping pin

In the early fall of 1975, Susan Alexander Speeth was stabbed to death when walking home alone at night. Her body was found less than a block from her home. In the aftermath of Speeth’s death, feminists cried the slogan “Take Back the Night.” The call remains a rallying call to mourn the loss of what many women has never had: freedom in public spaces. While it’s misguided to assume that most violence against woman looks like the Speeth case,


Anxiety? There’s an App for That

Sarah Welsh

Locative Media

My students often have to give presentations at the end of the semester, and public speaking is something that genuinely terrifies a lot of people. In addition to building a supportive, low-judgment environment, I try to give them a few tips for public speaking and how to approach it with minimal anxiety, but this deserves an entire course in itself. And while it’s normal to be nervous about speaking in public, sometimes this anxiety turns into full-blown panic. If that’s the

Augmented Reality and Smartphones: Friends or Foes?

Sarah A. Riddick

Devices, Locative Media

A hand is holding up a smartphone that shows an AR-app in use. The screen looks like the camera mode is on, but there are three translucent boxes overlaid on the streetview, which show the names of three locations on a German street that have free wifi, as well as their wifi's signal strength and the walking distance to each location.

Pardon the spatial-rhetorics wordplay here, but I am increasingly getting the sense that the topic at the center of this locative media research group—augmented reality—feels simultaneously like unfamiliar and familiar territory. I have spent a substantial amount of time researching and reflecting on locative media, especially thanks to my time in Dr. Casey Boyle’s Fall 2014 course “Spatial Rhetorics and Locative Media.” There we’d often discuss the ways in which mobile technologies affect perceptions of embodiment and place, and, as

Mapping Patriarchy

Rhiannon Goad

Locative Media

hoop cross stitch reads: "a woman's place is in the house and senate"

At the center of feminist politics we often find physical spaces. Consider abortion clinics, prisons, restrooms, universities, and homes: each space a site for a struggle for safety and autonomy, each space an example of how patriarchy uses space to project an illusion of stability. An ideology that casts women inferior depends on the production of spaces where women are subject to violence. If patriarchy is only workable only insofar that gender hierarchies seem natural and, therefore justified, destabilizing spaces is a crucial step