|This talk will explore how the meanings
of movement, motion and mobility are changing with the emergence of the
wireless economy and the convergence of transportation and media technologies.
Euphoric notions of techno-nomadism often equate mediated movement with
a kind of pure freedom and incipient liberation. I posit a continuum of
motion with transcendence on the one end and incarceration on the other.
New wireless technologies "free" the worker spatially from the
workplace while "exploiting" his/her time in transit, encouraging
us to imagine every place as a workplace and every bodily movement as an
opportunity for economic extraction. The interface works to territorialize
the mobile subject by superimposing his/her trajectory upon a geographic
map, making the user's movement visible either as unfettered digital navigation
(speedy connectivity) or as a failure of motion, a located communication
breakdown. I will also examine a more figurative form of movement -- that
of digital translation. Some websites now enable the user to simply click
to generate translations in different languages and thus seamlessly "move"
through cultures, ostensibly reducing the complexities, frictions, and nuances
of embodied transport between languages and cultures. It might, in other
words, conceal the physical and psychic obstacles that are often in place
when one moves from one place to another - whether state borders, collective
memories/traumas, or digital firewalls.