In Place: An Annotated Geography , I focused on creating site-specific, interactive experiences using location-based media. In the development of my thesis, I struggled with how technology has isolated us from one another. GPS and mobile technologies allow us to stay connected and oriented in space. However, too often they compromise our awareness of where we are. As a result, I concentrated on using technology to augment our experiences of physical spaces by connecting us to the community of a place to learn about the historical and contemporary values of the people in a particular environment.
Narrative shapes our experiences of a place. Yi-Fu Tuan, author of Space and Place, describes two physicists visiting the Kronberg Castle in Denmark. One remarks to the other:
Isn’t it strange how this castle changes as soon as one imagines that Hamlet lived here? As scientists we believe that a castle consists only of stones, and the way the architect put them together…None of this should be changed by the fact that Hamlet lived here, and yet it is changed completely.
Literature, and stories in general, augment our experiences of places. And when a story is tied specifically to a place, exemplified above, it makes the experience, when one is actually there, reshape the meaning of what a space is or could be.