I think my view of mobile development is basically the same as that of a petulant child. I just announce what I want into the ether and hope it magically appears, not unlike lunch for an infant. But building on these posts:

I want to go to a place, ideally at a level of granularity greater than the city level, and understand what art was produced when encountered by the locale I am now finding myself in. So, I stand on the banks of the Seine staring at Pont Mirabeau and I want to hear Apollinairre talking through my headphones. You don’t think that is possible? Just sit back and listen:

Pont Mirabeau (and yes that is indeed Apollinaire reading it)

Apollinaire-Guillaume_01_Le-Pont-Mirabeau_1913.mp3 Listen on Posterous


So there are a few things here in terms of what I want to find that additional layer of meaning from art I appreciate:

1. Locale-let it stem from a place, artists! If I read that a poem was written in London in the 17th century, that won’t change the impact it had on a 16 year old in Ohio. However, if that Ohio lad finds himself standing in the same spot, looking at the same veranda that inspired the artist, imagine the layer of meaning that adds to the enthusiast. Imagine the impact that art can have when it is recycled through the coincidence of place and time. 

2. Let us know what that place is, artists! My submission is that all art produced going forward should be geolocated. Mark it, put it on a map, give it coordinates. That doesn’t hurt discovery; it doesn’t inexorably link it to that place. It just augmentes impact when one finds themselves standing (literally) in the footsteps of their favorite artists. 

Case in Point: Pablo Neruda

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

Write for example, ‘The night is shattered
and the blue stars shiver in the distance.’

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms.
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

To hear immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to a pasture.

What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is shattered and she is not with me.

This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

My sight searches for her as though to go to her.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.

The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.

I no longer love her, that’s certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.

Another’s. She will be another’s. Like my kisses before.
Her voice. Her bright body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, that’s certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is short, forgetting is so long.

Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.

The same night withering the same trees? I know he is referring to a night and trees in particular, but where do they lurk? I just want to see the night and sky that served as a backdrop for all of this. At least Manet let us know the bar he was in when he painted this (obviously a regular-and notice the Bass bottles on either side of the barmaid; early product placement). 


So, geolocate for us everyone. And literary scholars, if you spend years investigating the work of one novel or poem or author, try and place those works in time and space. Imagine the serendipity of walking to the edge of Seine and hearing from Baudelaire and Sartre; wandering into Greenwich Village and hearing from Ginsburg and Kerouac and Fitzgerald and all of the place’s contribution to art read into your ear. Imagine the energy imposed on the place when the learner embraces the literary content of that space, that corner, that bridge. 


By Michael Gallagher

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

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