Automatic Sensation: Environmental Sensors in the Digital City

This paper discusses the use of environmental sensors, wireless networks and mobile media as technologies of sensation in the city. While these devices enable a “digital city,” in many respects they appear to be immaterial, operating beyond sense. Drawing on two case studies developed by the Digital Cities project in Montreal, the paper considers how applications of environmental sensors and mobile media give rise to new conditions and questions for how we configure sense in the “digital city.” The paper ultimately finds that sensors direct us toward new sites, assemblages and practices of sensation within the urban sensorium.

A collaborative project developed through the Digital Cities Project and the Mobile Digital Commons Network.

Published in special issue of “Senses and the City,” The Senses and Society, edited by Mags Adams and Simon Guy, Vol. 2, Issue 2 (July 2007), 189-200.

Download a pre-proof pdf (please refer to the journal for the final version)