chapter  8
15 Pages

A Logic of Layers: Indexicality of iPhone Navigation in Augmented Reality


In this chapter, I discuss iPhone navigation as a performative practice in mobile and interactive augmented reality tours. I take the iPhone as a theoretical object and examine its specifi city as the prime-yet not exclusiveexample of today’s generation of smartphones, their layered interfaces and the navigation practices enabled by the many applications developed for them. My approach to the trend of digital cartography and augmented reality applications for mobile devices is framed in terms of indexicality. This semiotic concept as defi ned by Charles Sanders Peirce refers to the intersection of time, place and subject in their relative relationality.1 In her introduction to a special issue of Diff erences devoted to indexicality and media Mary Ann Doane comes up with the obvious, yet strangely overlooked distinction between the index that comes to us from the past-a trace of things long gone-and the index in the present.2 This distinction is mobilized and its two temporalities brought in touch with each other whenever the experience in the present is activated by means of reminiscences-a presence of the past in the present.