Place On Hold: Mobile Media Practices And Contesting East/west ‘imaging Communities’ In The Asia-pacific Region

Larissa Hjorth
Vol 26, Number 1, p.21
In a period of globalism marked by what Manuel Castells’ (2001) dubs as ‘flows’ and Arjun Appadurai (1996) defines as ‘disjunctures’ we are left with a picture that is far from the McLuhanian ‘global village’ (1964). As a symbol of global ICTs (Information Communication Technologies), the mobile phone is informed by the socio-cultural particularities of place. In short, the force of the local ensures that mobile media never puts place on hold. This phenomenon is particularly apparent in the divergent usage of mobile media in the Asia-Pacific region, where we can see multiple versions of ‘east’ and ‘west’. Discussing some case studies in the Asia-Pacific region, this paper meditates on ‘east and west intersections’ through the rise of mobile media and its impact on the local. By outlining some of the emerging forms of the mobile media phenomenon and the pivotal role of place and locality, the discussion questions the socio-technological and pedagogical possibilities for the twenty-first century’s equivalent of the flâneur: what Robert Luke dubs the phoneur (2005).