The Tuning of Place
Sociable Spaces and Pervasive Digital Media
How pervasive digital devices—smartphones, iPods, GPS navigation systems, and their networks—us formulate a sense of place and refine social relationships
How do pervasive digital devices—smartphones, iPods, GPS navigation systems, and cameras, among others—influence the way we use spaces? In The Tuning of Place, Richard Coyne argues that these ubiquitous devices and the networks that support them become the means of making incremental adjustments within spaces—of tuning place. Pervasive media help us formulate a sense of place, writes Coyne, through their capacity to introduce small changes, in the same way that tuning a musical instrument invokes the subtle process of recalibration. Places are inhabited spaces, populated by people, their concerns, memories, stories, conversations, encounters, and artifacts. The tuning of place—whereby people use their devices in their interactions with one another—is also a tuning of social relations.
The range of ubiquity is vast—from the familiar phones and hand-held devices through RFID tags, smart badges, dynamic signage, microprocessors in cars and kitchen appliances, wearable computing, and prosthetics, to devices still in development. Rather than catalog achievements and predictions, Coyne offers a theoretical framework for discussing pervasive media that can inform developers, designers, and users as they contemplate interventions into the environment. Processes of tuning can lead to consideration of themes highly relevant to pervasive computing: intervention, calibration, wedges, habits, rhythm, tags, taps, tactics, thresholds, aggregation, noise, and interference.
Hardcover$40.00 S | £32.00 ISBN: 9780262013918 360 pp. | 6 in x 9 in
The Tuning of Place is impressively well documented…Coyne's book provides a valuable interdisciplinary resource for anyone interested in the influence of digital media on social interaction.
Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
Richard Coyne has found in the idea of 'tuning' a powerful metaphor for the many ways in which we continuously adjust ourselves to our environments and each other. Coyne's analysis is as sensitive and delicate as the processes it tracks. Knowledgeable, but accessible, written with clarity, wit and grace, the book is animated by its appreciation of the intimate ingenuities of the tap, the tip, the fix, the fit, the tweak, the nudge, and all the other miniature acts of alignment and sizing up that keep us in place in a shifting world. Scanning the many devices and systems that have become part of our lives, Richard Coyne has mapped out an entire ecology of everyday digital tactics and interactions.
Academic Director, London Consortium, School of English and Humanities, Birkbeck College, UK