Walking Phone Booths: Wireless Telephony in Mongolia

Event Date: 

Thursday, December 6, 2007 - 4:00pm

Event Location: 

  • CTL Trailer 932

Lisa Parks

Professor Lisa Parks of the Film and Media Studies department presents work on wireless telephony in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar. Using a critical practice called footprint analysis, she maps wireless coverage zones and describes localized conditions within them. This geo-annotative practice moves between cartography and ethnography, in an effort to explore media not only as texts, but as systems of distribution, patterns of everyday life and cultural atmospherics. In so doing she demonstrates that public wireless telephony in Ulaanbaatar has emerged that employs a new class of workers, combines the collectivist ethos of communism with aspects of digital capitalism, and reinvents nomadic practices in urban space. Originally recorded December 6, 2007.