From multiuser environments as (virtual) spaces to (hybrid) spaces as multiuser environments –- Nomadic technology devices and hybrid communication places.[Dissertation PDF, 3.6 MB]
[Defense slides, 1.8Mb]
This dissertation addresses how mobile communication technologies, such as cell phones, play an active role in creating new types of communication and social networks in hybrid spaces formed by the blurring of borders between physical and digital spaces. It analyzes the transference of social places from cyberspace to hybrid spaces. Nomadic technology devices are responsible for producing new social networks in a space that interconnects the physical and the virtual due to their users’ perpetual mobility. During the last decade, multiuser environments in cyberspace have frequently been regarded as spaces on which users could project their imagination. Moreover, digital spaces have been considered as essentially disconnected from physical spaces. Nowadays, the constant connection to digital spaces, allowed by new mobile communication technologies, transforms our social spaces, as well as the projection of our imagination in urban spaces. To develop this argument, I first analyze the existing literature on cyberspace and mobile technology devices, emphasizing concepts such as virtual, cyberspace, immersion, and hybrid. Practical aspects of this research include the analysis of current mobile practices, via interviews with artists and scholars who think and produce work on new mobile media, in addition to an Internet survey applied in Brazil about people’s use of cell phones in this country.