Hybrid Spaces

This isn't really a place, neither did I discovered it, although I thought it would give a great perspective of what a hybrid space can be.
In this game, as you can see, the guy kind of lives in a bubble [check the other picture, which is not about the video, but still interesting], because of the device he carries along with him - it has the perfect size to be seen only by him (or who else he chooses to show the screen to) and to fit easily in any pocket. This can help him to swap more easily between his private little world to the public and much broader space he is embedded into. The device creates this self-centred atmosphere that allows him to be unaware of the world around, to pay attention only to that that deserves his gaze at that particular moment (and what are people really paying attention to? Are we in or out the conversation when, talking to our friends, someone texts us and we reply? Are we at two different places at once? Can we?).
In this particular video there is a network of people that communicate in a video-game-reality for a short-term period or until they disconnect themselves from it. They are communicating in one of the two spatial logics that Manuel Castells recognizes (“two opposing types of spatial logic, the logic of material places and locations – space of place – and the logic of intangible flows of information, communication, services and capital – space of flows), which can also be what Manovich understands by augmented space: “the mix of social practices that occur simultaneously in digital and physical spaces, together with mobility”. Therefore, we can find hybrid spaces, not only in this particular case, documented by the video attached, but also and much closer to our daily practices, by people on the street or elsewhere communicating through the electromagnetic waves of a cell-phone that allow us to evade to a private space, just by pressing a single button, and creating a field of flows and a complete new map of the reality, or as Usman Haque would say, the Hertzian Space – electromagnetic radiation – “this abundant and invisible territory, a topography that is altered in shape and intensity by both natural and human constructed landscapes”.
One of the characteristics of this kind of spaces is its richly textured ethereal cartography, a real (non-virtual) space that affects us but which we only know about through the use of our instruments (take the video as an example of this description, by Usman Haque – only the players knew what was going on, through their mobile phone screens).
The public space is thus reconstructed the minute people start interacting with other people, in the middle of people they don’t or may eventually know; and by referring mobiles one can also refer iPods or laptops, creating a barrier and launching reality into a new sphere, conducted by humans, to humans, among other humans, rebuilding interaction and reconfiguring social practices.


Video and image found here.

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