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Title: Validating the authentic: seeing and knowing Titanic Belfast using augmented reality
Author: Jackson , Helen
ISNI:       0000 0004 5370 364X
Awarding Body: Ulster University
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2015
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This PhD with practice is an investigation into how mobile media, in their adoption of augmented reality (AR) visual methods, situate the practice of vision and system of envisioning in a locative-based experience. Using a model of transference between past and present as the basis for the design and practice of an AR-based locative media project, the thesis is an investigation into how the shifting intensities of flows between the real and the virtual create a system of signification, and how this system sustains or subverts a mode of experience. In doing so it aims to answer two research questions: • How do we read the AR image through this mode of location-based mobile augmented reality technology? • How does this reading of the AR image act upon the user to inform an embodied and phenomenological engagement with place? In its aim to determine the affordances and constraints of the AR image in those situations where what is seen via the AR technologies contributes to the aesthetics and politics of a place-making experience, the practice of this research situates its knowledge-base in the locative space of the Titanic Quarter in Belfast. Leveraging the potential of the birthplace of Titanic as the locus of an intervention to make visible the symbolic value ascribed to a particular geographical space, the project is also a counter to the recent urban redevelopment of this site that is criticised within this research for failing to addresses how space operates within a cultural imagination. In order to intervene in the cultural distance that has, it is argued, been created in the spatial imagination when experiencing this site, the practice of the technology deploys photographic archives as the digital informational layer to form part of the representational rhetoric connecting the present to the past. As such, the politics and aesthetics of the photograph operate through very deliberate strategies to inform the interpretive methodology in this thesis. The photograph, it is argued, can logistically and consciously engage aspects of vision through how it operates to order and demarcate both internal and external temporal dimensions. As a practice for vision, the photograph is thus understood to both create a visual temporal element of what is signified to endure, and imbue a quality of looking that is durational. While the written component of the thesis provides a knowledge-based method for understanding the visual system deployed by the technology, the practice component operates as a material visual practice on which to apply a reflexive visual cultures analysis of the visual system created. As a broad framework for new knowledge, this research identifies that positioning vision and what is made visible at the core practice of augmented realities, prioritises the actual and the present, rather then the imagined and the absent, and makes stable spatial and temporal practices through the application of stable spatial and temporal referents. Providing new knowledge about how Titanic Belfast becomes known through this new narrative logic, this thesis provides evidence that the reading and subsequent meanings generated by the locative project, are dependent on how the technology creates perceived tensions between authentication and validation. Engaging the user in a practice of seeing where the materiality of the urban space operates to validate what the photograph of Titanic already authenticates, is understood to illuminate the relationships between the past and the present, and enable a practice of Titanic Belfast that operates within the poetics of lived space.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available