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Call for Papers

Geosemiotics: from locative media, diffused images, to big and small data

editors Federico Montanari, Nicola Dusi and Guido Ferraro.

deadline: 25 July 2017

The purpose of this special issue of Ocula is to investigate a vast field of research, which has become at the same time of great relevance and in deep transformation: the field of locative media and their interweaving with the question of data, their status, and their definition: to be studied not only in semiotic and sociosemiotic terms, but open to the contributions of contemporary Media Studies. In last years, the explosion of the locative media is in the eyes of everyone, and this happened thanks to the use of universally widespread technological tools (such as smartphones, tablets, to get to the latest wearable devices) that have allowed the intersection among social media, geo-localized information, to instant access to source images, news. Media Studies have insisted multidisciplinaryly on the importance of this intersection and ratification.
Our call for papers seeks a dialogue between Media Studies and the wider socio-semiotic approach. From a socio-semiotic point of view, this field is not so easily delimited and identifiable. It extends from the question of technological devices with geo-localization features, from smartphones to the latest tools, wearable devices, such as glasses to which the phone screen can be applied, often made of very cheap and of simple materials; gadgets, such as google cards; up to smart glasses like the recent snapchat glasses. Or devices such "Horus", nvidia device (nvidia.com): a visual device dedicated to deep learning and augmented reality. It also takes into account the failure of more complex objects such as google glasses while launching various types of wearable devices such as iWatches or various wrist devices. Let's try to point out some more specific points. If a possible definition of geomedia" (Thielmann, 2010) is related to their "spatial", "georeferenced" or "locative"
character. But the issue of geolocation crosses several other issues, such as the hybridization of media systems, on the one hand, or those of the status of their contents, with problems of veracity, reliability (let us think about the very current issue of fake news or so-called "post truth" regimes). Moreover, the question of localization today does not only concern the fact that the information or images are tagged and therefore, geolocated on territorial maps, but also that geo-referenciation becomes itself a means, a new substance of expression, able to produce new connections and new languages. Let us think, for example, to "diffused cinema", with its different uses and consumption: aesthetics, territorial communication, etc.; up to the developments of live streaming. Or to the question of the relationship between different media genres, and in this case we must think to the use of geo-localization in relation to the different media formats, for example in television series. This is linked to another very topical issue: the management, analysis and evaluation, and manipulation of data. This opens the big issue with regard to images, with problems related to their storage, distribution, enhancement and maintenance. In this respect, it is of great importance the creatian of complex objects through the many new examples of visualizations: from new forms of audiovisual, to augmented reality, 360 video, etc. Data and Geomedia interweave the use of new media locates to enhance
the audiovisual archives, and shift the focus from the place of action to the agency and the actions of the subjects, in a time dimension of these actions.
New locative technologies place our social interactions, perhaps help create a specific cultural way. As Wilken and Goggin (2015) say, in locative based media, we find a tension between actions and where things happen space-temporally, and it should be thought of as productive.

Possible thematic areas:

Media Studies and Geolocation
Semiotics of social networks
The mobile turn (from the web to the locative media)
Big data, small data, tagging, new forms of knowledge
Netnography and new sociosemiotic research modes
Intermediality and transmediality: geomedia between cinema and TV series; geomedia and transmedia storytelling; Web series; new forms of ''postmedial cinema''
Augmented realities and wearable media
Economics, politics, dissemination of knowledge: new forms of network relationality


The acceptance of the articles and their publication is subject to double blind peer review.
The Authors can find all the editing and format rules at the page ''Come si collabora" (How to contribute to Ocula), on the home page. Please read it carefully and follow the recommendations.
There are no official limits of length to the articles, yet we recommend 40.000 characters as a reasonable maximum measure (including spaces, notes and references).
Files format accepted are .doc, docx, .odt.
The articles may include any kind of images.
Images (photographies, graphs, tables) must be included in the main text file and submitted each as a separate file, in .jpg, .png, .tif, .eps, .psd formats.
The Authors must send their contribution in two versions: one in anonymous form, to be sent to the reviewers, and the other containing name, position, email, website, biographic notes. Each version must be a separate file.
In the anonymous file, in any reference to the Author's publications the name must be cancelled and replaced by ''Author" and the titles by ''Title of the publication''. The date must be let visible.
Please, add an abstract of the paper.


Akrich, M., 1992, “The De-Scription of Technical Objects.”, in: Shaping Technology/Building Society, eds., W. E. Bijker, J. Law. MIT Press, Cambridge, Ma. (tr. it., in Mattozzi, 2006).
Avezzù, G., Fidotta, G., “Introduzione. Il mondo in forma disciplinata. Cinema, geografia e cultura visuale”, Cinergie, 2016, 10.
Barreneche, Carlos, 2015, “Platform specificity and the politics of location data extraction”; European Journal of Cultural Studies, Sage.
Bratton, Benjamin H., 2008 “iPhone City”, in Digital Urbanism, AD: Architectural Design.
Crary, J., 2013, Le tecniche dell’osservatore, tr. it., Einaudi, Torino.
de Souza e Silva, A., Sheller, M., 2015, eds., Mobility and Locative Media,Routledge, London, New York.
de Souza e Silva, A., Frith, J., 2012, Mobile interfaces in Public Spaces: Locational privacy, control, Urban sociability, Routledge, London and New York.
Dusi, N., 2014, Dal cinema ai media digitali, Mimesis, Milano-Udine.
Eugeni, R., 2010, Semiotica dei media, Carocci, Roma.
Eugeni, R., 2016, La condizione postmediale, La Scuola, Brescia.
Farman, J., 2012, Mobile Interface Theory, Routldege, London and New York.
Fontanille, J., 2015, Formes de vie, Liège, Presses universitaires de Liège.
Frith, J., 2015, Smartphones as Locative Media, Wiley-Blackwell, Hoboken.
Latour, B., 1992, “Where are the Missing Masses?”, in: Bijker, W.E., and Law, J., eds., Shaping Technology/Building Society, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA (tr. it., in Mattozzi, 2006).
Latour, B., November, V., Camacho-Hubner, E., 2010, “Entering a risky territory: space in the age of Digital navigation”, Environment and Planning, 28 (4), pp. 581-591
Manovich, L., 2013, “Media Visualization: Visual Techniques for Exploring Large Media Collections”, in: The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies: Media Studies Futures, ed. Kelly Gates, Blackwell, Hoboken.
Montanari, F., 2014, “Mapping Cities: The Bologna Self-Mapping Project”, in: Liberto, F., Contours of the City, La Mandragora, Bologna.
Montanari, F., 2016, “Ancora un “turn”? La svolta Locative nei media e sue possibili implicazioni socio-semiotiche. Casi, esempi, e questioni.”, in: Ferraro, G., Lorusso A. M., eds., Nuove forme di interazione. Dal Web al Mobile, Libellula, Lecce.
Montani, P., 2014, Tecnologie della sensibilità, Cortina, Milano.
Thielmann, Tr., 2010, “Locative Media and Mediated Localities: An introduction to Media Geography”, in: Aether. The journal or media geography, Vol. V.A. 1-17, March, California State University, Northridge.
Wilken, R., Goggin G., (a cura di), Locative Media, Routledge, London-New York, 2015.


Submission of the essays: postponed: April 30 2018
Notification of acceptance, rejection or revision request: July 30, 2018
Scheduled Publication: December 31, 2018
Accepted languages: Italian, English, French

Abstracts and articles must be sent to:
Federico Montanari: federico.mont@gmail.com
Nicola Dusi: nicolamaria.dusi@unimore.it
Guido Ferraro: guidfer@gmail.com


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