I’ll be in Boulder, Colorado next week to present at the biennial Conference on Communication and the Environment. My paper offers a critique of the way environmental communication approaches new media, and suggests an alternative based in phenomenology. Here’s the abstract:
This paper discusses the scholarly treatment of new, interactive media for environmental communication. Noting that environmental communication tends to approach new media primarily based on the latter’s informational, discursive and organizational uses, it is argued that since this approach neglects both the origins of new media in social processes of design, and the kind of experiences they evoke, it risks reducing new media to their functionality. In response, the paper suggests that environmental communication would benefit from analyses of the mediating capacities of new media – the way they modulate users’ perception of the world, themselves and others; promote certain understandings of human-environment relations; and, consequently, enable or foreclose different paths of action on the environment. This alternative approach is briefly demonstrated by three cases: BreezeOmeter (mobile app), Owl (augmented reality viewer), and Futura (tabletop game).
Hit me up if you’re attending!
[update: my presentation starts at 59:26]