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Christian Licoppe

Digital locative media in the city and the interaction order.
Encounters between mobile ‘pseudonymous strangers’.

The aim of this talk is to discuss a shift in the interaction order relevant to urban public, some evidence for which we find in the emergent uses of locative media. The availability of such technologies makes possible the chance discovery of other users nearby on the screen of mobile devices. While such ‘discovered’ fellow users may be previously unknown they are not complete anonymous strangers either, for some profile and personal information about them will usually be available digitally through the locative media. I describe encounters of this sort as encounters between ‘pseudonymous strangers’ and describe some of their specific features. ‘Timid encounters’ are thus a characteristic form of encounters between pseudonymous strangers, which build on the different ways in which embodied, physical interaction in public places and on screen, online interactions, may be entangled. I also point out how location-based digital awareness may reshape some transgressive and threatening forms of urban encounters by discussing a case of ‘digital stalking’. Finally I discuss how the spread of locative media might reshape the urban experience, with the smart city of the future being a ‘place for pseudonymous strangers’ as much as the modern metropolis was and still remains a ‘place for strangers’.

About Christian Licoppe
Christian Licoppe is professor in Sociology of Information and Communication Technologies at Telecom Paristech, France.
Christian Licoppe is currently working within the following research projects:

Sociological Studies on the Uses of ICTs
– Analyses of interpersonal communication devices
– The Uses of Instant Messaging in Professional Contexts
– The Uses of Mobile Games and Ringtones

Comparative Studies of Mediated Interactions
– Suicide Calls on the Telephone and the Internet.
– Consumption at a Distance
– Co-present and Distributed Courts of Law

Activity Analyses
– The Work of Operators in Call Centers (Banking and Telecom Sectors)

Case Studies on Innovation and User-Centered Design : Mediated Encounters
– Designing a Geo-localized Collection Game for Mobile Phones and the Internet : Game, Quasi-Encounters and Sociability.
– Digital Auras : The Design of a Proximity-Sensitive Matching Service for Mobile Phones

  • Christian Licoppe
  • Scott McQuire
  • Gillian Rose
  • Sara Broos
  • Jacek Smolicki
  • I am Dublin
  • Julie Firmstone
  • Matthew Weber
  • Lars Nyre
  • Nikki Usher
  • Lars Tunbjörk