Scope and theme

Conference scope and theme
Geomedia is a relatively new term that has been given only a few definitions so far (see, e.g., Thielmann, 2007, 2010; Lapenta, 2011, 2012; McQuire, 2016). What these definitions have in common is that they refer to geomedia as a particular technological condition. This condition, in turn, is associated with the most recent decades of rapid digital development, which has led to the interweaving of “locative media” and “mediated localities” (Thielmann, 2010). However, the notion of geomedia may also carry a wider ontological and epistemological purchase than the obvious fusion of geography and media (as suggested by the term itself). It may then refer to the expanding interdisciplinary research terrain at the intersections of media studies and geography where various ontologies and epistemologies of space/time and mediation/mediatization come together. The terrain of geomedia studies deals with the fundamental (and historical) role of multiple media in organizing and giving meaning to processes and activities in space. It includes both mediated representations of space/place and the “logistical” properties of media that arrange people and property into time and space (Peters, 2008). It also includes the geographical qualities of media per se – for example, the flows of digital signals between particular places and the infrastructure carrying those flows – and their consequences for society. The Geomedia conference addresses geomedia in this latter, broader and more inclusive, sense.

The special theme of Geomedia 2017 is “Spaces of the In-Between”. The theme will be addressed through invited keynote talks, a plenary panel, film screenings and artistic installations.

 

Participants are also encouraged to submit proposals for paper sessions addressing the conference theme. “Spaces of the In-Between” sheds light on how media are, and have been, agents in the production of spaces and places that fall in-between or resist dominant categorizations. Such spaces include, firstly, fluid media spaces that bridge or problematize the divisions of, for example, work and leisure, home and away, production and consumption. Secondly, spaces of the in-between are produced through various forms of mobility, related to for instance commuting or migration, that are shaped by and giving shape to particular media forms. Finally, the conference theme highlights mediations of concrete places that can be understood as “neither/nor”. Such places can be found on the margins of society or fall in-between dichotomized geo-social constructs like urban vs. rural, front-stage vs. back-stage, etc. Ultimately, the conference theme opens up for critical discussions of what forms of power and domination are expressed through the mediated/mediatized production of various in-between spaces.

Organizers and venue:
Geomedia 2017 is hosted by the Geomedia Research Group at the Department of Geography, Media and Communication, Karlstad University, Sweden.
Conference Director: Linda Ryan Bengtsson
Conference Coordinator: Lena Grip
Director of the Geomedia Research Group: André Jansson