Assignment 3_Hybrid space
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A semacode (http://semacode.com/pages/about) is 2D barcode containing some information. To read this information, the image of the semacode has to be scanned through the phone's camera. The telephone decodes the tag and convert it into a message, for example a website address.

Searching this kind of interface in the city, i found a semacode related to one of the projects developed by the theatre company Katapult. These projects are based on ”AudioMove” concept: the user plays, among the streets of the city, the main character of a story and the real urban environment becomes the scenography.
In particular the project called AudioMove Viking crime mystery (http://www.hikuinsblod.dk) is a journey back in time to when Aarhus was the Viking town of Aros. The Viking drama takes place at 12 locations in the central area of Aarhus. To experience the drama, you must scan and decode the 12 TAGs at the locations with a mobile phone, then you will be able to hear and see the part of the drama which fits with your location.

For more information about how this Mobile Urban Drama works:
User guide
Getting started

I found a semacode at the third step expected of the journey: Smedjen-Vestergade 1.

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The semacode represents one of the way in which digital space accesses and merges into physical space. As Adriana de Souza e Silva underlines in her paper, "a hybrid space occurs when one no longer needs to go out of physical space to get in touch with digital environments"(p.264).The semacode looks like a sticker, so it could seems belonging to physical space but actually all the information it contains aren't immediatly visible in the physical world, to access to them you need to use a technology (a mobile phone with camera and online connection); through this tool you move in the virtual world and finally find the message. Then many semacodes (as that one i found) refers to something belonging to physical world, so again your interaction experience come back to real world. There is a continuous shift from one space to the other one, so users do not perceive physical and digital spaces as separate entities [From Cyber to Hybrid: Mobile technologies as interfaces of hybrid spaces - Adriana de Souza e Silva, p.263]. Through the semacode, we are able to perceive more contexts in which we could 'move'. According to N. Katherine Hayles, space is becoming enfolded, “so that there is no longer a homogeneous context for a given spatial area, but rather pockets of different contexts in it.” [From Cyber to Hybrid: Mobile technologies as interfaces of hybrid spaces - Adriana de Souza e Silva, p.269]. Having the possibility to move in different contexts as Usman Haque clarifies we begin to read cities as more than just a collection of destinations – they are overlapping fields of differing experiences and logics (p.3). You, just walking around the city, could decide if and which possibilities, offered by the space, actuate. The walker transforms each spatial signifier into something else. [From The practice of everyday life - Michel de Certeau, p.98].

References:

  • de Souza e Silva, Adriana (2006), From Cyber to Hybrid: Mobile Technologies as Interfaces of Hybrid Spaces
  • Haque, Usman (2004), Invisible Topographies
  • Certeau, Michel de (2002 [1984]), The practice of everyday life
  • Hansen, Frank Allan and Kortbek, Karen Johanne and Grønbæk, Kaj, Mobile Urban Drama - Setting the Stage with Location Based Technologies
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