Mobile Connections was the exhibition and conference programme of the 2004 festival, and was the first event of its kind on mobile and locative media.
Mobile Connections explored how mobile and locative media reconfigure social, cultural and information space, looking beyond computing in its current form, towards the social and cultural possibilities opened by a new generation of networked, location-aware media.
The exhibition looked out of the galleries and off the screen to explore new interfaces to places and changing perceptions of location. It looked at the diverse ways in which artists and DIY technologists are pushing the limits, and soliciting unexpected or unforeseen results from communication media past and present. Seeking an art of mobile communications, Mobile Connections asked; are there any forms of expression that are intrinsic or unique to mobile and locative media?
Speakers explored the artistic potential of new interfaces, while others sought to deconstruct the panacea of access for all, exploring the boundary between open and closed nodes, or developing social and collaborative applications outside the centralised and proprietary networks of the telcos. Speakers included Sadie Plant, Anne Galloway, Andreas Broeckmann, Matt Adams (Blast Theory) and Anthony Townsend.
Mobile Connections exhibition and conference was one of the results of the accompanying innovation lab (2003-2006) which centred on locative media contributing to the emergence of the field of locative arts. It followed pioneering events and workshops by RIXC in Latvia, and preceded Wireless Experience at ISEA2004. The lab later led on to Off The Map in 2006, an exhibition exploring how evolving mobile, locative and mapping technologies, often created by independent developers working collaboratively with open source tools, are opening up new cultural possibilities across the world.