Charlotte Crofts

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Charlotte Crofts is based at the Digital Cultures Research Centre, and is Senior Lecturer in Film Studies and Video Production at UWE.  Her recent Curzon Memories App uses mobile media to explore cinema history and the technology of projection through a locative heritage app based at the Curzon Community Cinema, Clevedon, using GPS, Arduino and QR codes to trigger context-specific memories in the locations where they actually happened, from snogging in the back row to a bomb exploding outside in 1941.  The project draws on oral history, rephotography and augmented reality as well as dramatisation. City Strata and the Cinemap Layer take Geographic Database Software (arcGIS) out of the desktop and into the mobile arena, with the ability to both stream and contribute data. The project prototypes the City Strata platform through the Cinemap Layer – a cinematic experience which invites you to explore the city’s cinema-going culture through the ages.

Session Title: Geo-spatial and Geo-temporal documentary: The Curzon Memories App, City Strata and The Cinemap Layer

The affordances of mobile technologies enable the i-doc experience to occur in dialogue between the material world and its mediation. This presentation will primarily explore the Curzon Memories App, a smartphone heritage app designed to enhance vistors’ understanding of the history of the Curzon Community Cinema in Clevedon, supplementing their ‘Living History’ exhibition and The Curzon Collection of cinema technology.  The presentation will discuss some design principles for locative media and experience design, examine the ways in which the user is situated both by and through mobile technologies and explore the triumvirate relationship between physical location, media “content” and user interface.  The presentation will then outline the City Strata platform and the Cinemap Layer – both being prototyped through the REACT Hub ‘Heritage Sandbox’ scheme  – exploring the current drive towards geo-spatial and geo-temporal cultural mapping and what this might mean for documentary.

Key points of reference are UCLA’s HyperCities project:– which also uses ArcGIS software – whose tagline is: “travelling back in time to explore historical layers of city spaces in an interactive hypermedia environment”; ‘A Time Traveller’s Guide to Bristol’ app and website:, which uses geographically located archive films, including a section on Castle Park; ‘History Pin’ based on Google maps; Blast Theory’s ‘Rider Spoke’ and ‘A Machine to See With’ ( in which they explore “the city as cinematic space” and Circumstance/Duncan Speakman’s ‘Subtlemobs’ (, which aims to “create cinematic experiences in unexpected locations.”  See also artist Rebecca Solnit’s, Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas, particularly Map No. 3: Cinema City showing Edward Muybridge’s legacy, locations from Hitchcock’s Vertigo, and movie theaters past and present (see

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