The study of media discourse has diversified as media technology has improved and gained wider public usage. In the contemporary society our lives have been mediated through the transformation of technologies such as, what Volker describes in her article “Mobile Media and Space;” ‘mobile media technologies’ (cell phones, Semapedia, Socialight, Wireless) as compared to the preceding era, which was based on ‘digital technologies’ (wired PC computers) (p.135) . Although Volker describes the various technologies within a historical context, her argument is based on the usage of technologies in our lives as augmented into reality, rather than technologies belonging to a separate “world” that being “non-real” or virtual. Volkers article is strikingly effective in projecting this concept of the “virtual linked to physical coordinates,” (pg.135) and, that “reality does not get deprived when a new technology enters and enables our practices,” as she validates her argument by using theorists from the 90s, as well as drawing examples of technologies, as Semapedia and Socialight.
It is inevitable that with mediums such as Semapedia, whose puropse is to coordinate both the virtual and geographical worlds, or even the use of a cell phone; ‘the user’ becomes connected to different ‘worlds’ through mobility, and that the person’s world becomes mediated through a smaller space. This is clearly analyzed through Volkers article on the section of Supplementations. In that particular section of the article Volker analyzes using Semapedia as an example, the idea of information systems and networks having a place with reality, and being intertwined with human mobility. For example Volker states that, “digital informational spaces are no longer restricted to fixed places and cable networks, but hold the possibility of opening themselves almost anywhere…/and in relation to physical places or non digital virtual spaces.” In our modern society there is reason and truth in her argument regarding the virtual and physical environments being interconnected.
Space in media pertains to mobility, it refers to a “performative practice” (p.137). Volker argues that digital technology such as wireless devices are mobile and hence virtual spaces are part of a reality. In the article Michel De Certeau and Marc Auge are referenced by Volker to show this. Both these two theorists argue that the sense of spatiality and place is defined upon history and identity. ” Regarding to Certeau’s concept, Volker states, “places are geometrically defined entities such as streets…/Space is created by acting upon given places- for eg, walking the streets- and therefore is temporal and perfomative.” Volker goes on to argue that this concept “seems quite pessimistic and hostile towards new technologies.” (p.136-137) Although there maybe some truth in both these arguments, I do maintain the idea that technology has changed significantly and it is evident that society is becoming more and more constraint in the spacial use of the media, however this has only just began. Like Auge and Certeau, this optimistic view of the world that Volker argues is dependent on the capitalist society and is not as yet emergent in a globalized society. Media tends to relate to it’s user, it is a subjective form. One’s use of the media is different to another, and there exists a universal language which everyone receives through firstly traditional mediums, such as the newspaper, or the television. On a personal level, media transforms our space, the use of GPS systems, the interconnectedness of communication such as widgets and e-mail makes one’s space smaller, as they can personalize what news they receive, where-ever they are.
Volker, Clara, “Mobile Media and Space.” In Goggin, Gerard and Larissa Hjorth, Eds. Mobile Media 2007 Sydney University Press, Sydney, 2007 pp.135-142