This year, Pixelspaces has been staged a setting for a discussion of strategies and methods of community informatics that are being applied to location-based services. The Ars Electronica Futurelab is thus carrying on its practice begun in 2000 of intensively focusing on leading-edge trends in a series of symposia and exhibitions, and scrutinizing these developments from the perspective of an atelier-lab.
The analogy at the basis of the wide range of approaches that has been discussed is that the movement of an individual through physical space can correspond to the active use of social software and instant messaging. Thus, Web-based functions to facilitate the formation of virtual communities and to make possible new ways of perceiving space and new practices of utilizing it are being applied to the physical sphere in which people live out their daily lives. Through linkup with physical localization of users and user-generated content, the metaphor of “being online” becomes “being onfield.”
The research and development fields that are represented by the invited speakers from different backgrounds and disciplines range from the changing functionalities and interaction paradigms of the mobile devices needed here, to the elaboration of meaningful multi-user scenarios in urban space.