The Curzon creative technologies project: Context aware media in a screen heritage context
Crofts, C. (2011) The Curzon creative technologies project: Context aware media in a screen heritage context. In: MeCCSA Annual Conference, Salford University, Manchester, UK, 10th - 12th, January.
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Abstract for MeCCSA 2011 Conference The Curzon Creative Technologies Project: Context Aware Media in a Screen Heritage Context The practise-based project is based at the Curzon Community Cinema, Clevedon, home of the Curzon Collection, an archive of cinema projectors donated by the Projected Picture Trust. The original cinema was built in 1912 and is one of the oldest, continuously operating, purpose-built cinemas in the world. They have recently won a Heritage Lottery Fund to renovate the building and reinterpret the collection and I am working closely with them to pilot a number of “locative” or “context-aware” technologies (such as WiFi, RFID, QR Codes, GPS, handheld PCs and mobile phones) that will enhance their new exhibit, enabling visitors to gain further insight into the history of the building, projection equipment and cinema itself. This paper presents the first phase of this year-long project which involves a context aware tour of the exterior of the building downloadable as a GPS enabled mobile phone application. Passers-by download an Android or iPhone application that will trigger context-aware audio recordings according to where they are positioned in relation to the building. Digital memories, voice over narration and dramatisation are used to bring the history of the building and the community to life. The idea is to use locative media to add depth to the everyday architecture of the cinema beyond that which is immediately apparent, and so enhance visitors’ experience and understanding of the cinema and the collection. One of the key aims of the overall project is to use locative media as the context within which to critically explore both new and old “apparatus” of seeing (as theorised by Comolli, Metz, de Lauretis, et al), and the ways in which we both remember and imagine them. At its heart, then, the project is concerned with the interface between cultural memory and the technological imaginary of the moving image.