Initially, new media were credited with a redefinition of spatial systems, leaving traditional concepts like embodiment and materiality behind in favour of a disembodied cyberspace. This space seemed to transgress all kinds of socio-political, artistic and physical boudaries. However, from recent developments in new media culture one can discern a critical reconsideration of this virtual concept, manifesting itsself in new, remediated forms of material and embodied spaces.
This course will look at the use of spatiality in the digital arts and new media. It will analyze how specific audiovisual products (e.g. pervasive games, virtual architecture, locative art, net.art, gps drawings, the digital earth, satellite images) deal with space and its materialities and/or virtualities. By looking at spatial concepts such as mapping, exploration, urbanism, networks, virtual reality, cyberspace, travelling, boundaries, mediation and mobility, more knowledge will be gained about spacial theory. The course will entail a general part in which the most important theoretical and historical framework for understanding new media and space will be discussed, but it will also pay attention to case-studies that can be viewed as pertaining particular views on the relationship between space and digital culture.
Teamwork is an important part of this course since the final assignment will consist of a group-project. Students have different tasks in this communal project and will be graded individually according to their personal and team contribution.
A team of approximately 6 students will choose a theme (so not an object) for a special issue. This group will also convene outside actual class hours. The teams function as an editing board that is in charge of issuing a special issue for the (fictional) academic journal Spaces of (new) Media: Spatiality in Digital Audiovisual Cultures.
Mode of instruction
Total course load: 280 hours:
24 hours: 12 × 2 uren lectures
60 hours: Reading literature and preparations
45 hours: Studying lecture materials
60 hours: Group work journal
10 hours: Presentation
81 hours: Individual assignment
Group assignment (journal)
The final grade is the average of the three grades (70%, 20%, 10%). A student passes the class if the weighted average is a 6.0 or higher (marks under 5.0 are not allowed) and the paper is a 6.0 or higher.
The re-sit consists of two parts: paper (70%) and/or alternative assignment (30%).
Inspection and feedback
How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.
Blackboard will be used for:
The key literature will be available through blackboard, but studenst are also expected to contribute to the reading list themselves as an intrinisic part of doing research.
Aarseth, Espen. 2000. "Allegories of Space: The Question of Spatiality in Computer Games." Cybertext Yearbook:152-171.
Ash, James. 2009. "Emerging spatialities of the screen: video games and the reconfiguration of spatial awareness." Environment and planning. A 41 (9):2105.
Bissell, David, and Gillian Fuller. 2011. Stillness in a mobile world: Routledge.
Büscher, Monika, and John Urry. 2009. "Mobile methods and the empirical." European Journal of Social Theory 12 (1):99-116.
Chesher, Chris. 2012. "Navigating sociotechnical spaces: Comparing computer games and sat navs as digital spatial media." Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies 18 (3):315-330.
Davis, Stephen Boyd. 2002. "Media Space: An analysis of Spatial Practices in Planar Pictorial Media." Middlesex University, Lansdown Cente for the Electronic Arts.
de Souza e Silva, Adriana. 2006. "From Cyber to Hybrid: Mobile Technologies as Interfaces of Hybrid Spaces." Space and Culture 9 (3):261-278.
e Silva, Adriana de Souza, and Jordan Frith. 2012. Mobile interfaces in public spaces: Locational privacy, control, and urban sociability: Routledge.
Elwood, Sarah, and Agnieszka Leszczynski. 2013. "New spatial media, new knowledge politics." Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 38 (4):544-559.
Farman, Jason. 2013. Mobile interface theory: Embodied space and locative media: Routledge.
Gunn, SA. 2001. "The spatial turn: Changing histories of space and place."
Hayles, Katherine N. 2002. "Flesh and Metal: Reconfiguring the Mindbody in Virtual Environments." Configurations 10 (2):297-320.
Hjorth, Larissa, and Sarah Pink. 2014. "New visualities and the digital wayfarer: Reconceptualizing camera phone photography and locative media." Mobile Media & Communication 2 (1):40-57.
Jellis, Thomas. 2014. "Spatial experiments: art, geography, pedagogy." cultural geographies:1474474014522931.
Kalaga, Wojciech. 2003. "The trouble with the virtual." Symploke 11 (1-2):96-103.
Lammes, Sybille. 2008. "Spatial Regimes of the Digital Playground: Cultural Functions of Spatial Practices in Computer Games." Space and Culture 11 (3):260-272.
Lammes, Sybille. 2012. "Transmitting Location: Digital Cartographical Interfaces as Transformative Material Practices." Aether: The Journal Of Media Geography.
Licoppe, Christian, Carole A Rivière, and Julien Morel. 2016. "Proximity awareness and the privatization of sexual encounters with Strangers. The case of Grindr." Context collapse: Re-assembling the spatial, Chicago.
Mackenzie, A. 2006. "From Café to Parkbench: WIFI and technological overflows in the city.”." In Mobile Technologies and the City, edited by John Urry and Mimi Sheller, 137-151. London, New York: Routledge.
Mattern, Shannon. 2003. "Plurality in Space: Activating Public Pheres and Public Spaces in Seattle." Invisible Culture: an Electronic Journal for visual culture (6).
McCormack, Derek P. 2013. Refrains for moving bodies: Experience and experiment in affective spaces: Duke University Press.
McLean, Kate. 2012. "Emotion, Location and the Senses: A Virtual Dérive Smell Map of Paris." Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Design and Emotion: Out of Control.
Merriman, Peter. 2014. "Rethinking mobile methods." Mobilities 9 (2):167-187.
Nunes, Mark, and Marie-Laure Ryan. 1999. "Virtual Topographies: Smooth and Striated Cyberspace." In Cyberspace Textuality, 61-77. Bloomington: Indiana UP.
Rogers, Richard. 2009. The end of the virtual: Digital methods. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.
Schwartz, Leigh. 2006. "Fantasy, Realism, and the Other in Recent Video Games." Space and Culture 9 (3):313-325.
Schwartz, Raz, and Germaine R Halegoua. 2014. "The spatial self: Location-based identity performance on social media." New Media & Society:1-18.
Shields, Rob. 1996. Cultures of Internet: Virtual Spaces, Real Histories, Living Bodies. London: Sage.
Thrift, Nigel. 1996. Spatial formations, Theory, culture & society. London: Sage.
Thrift, Nigel. 2004. "Movement-space: the changing domain of thinking resulting from the development of new kinds of spatial awareness." Economy and Society 33 (4):582-604.
Vertesi, J. 2008. "Mind the Gap: The London Underground Map and Users' Representations of Urban Space." Social Studies of Science 38 (1):7-33.
Wilmott, Clancy. 2016. "In-Between Mobile Maps and Media Movement." Television & New Media. doi:
- For questions concerning the course content or blackboard module contact the instructor of the course: Prof. dr. S. Lammes.