We’ve all seen tech demos of location aware augmented reality apps in recent years, but what else can be done with this “format”? The writing on a gravestone is also an example of site specific literature, writes Andrew Wilson at The Literary Platform, because it depends on its physical location to create a memory. He continues, “Of course all books make memories, but site specific literature uses ‘here’ to help make them.”
Wilson then goes on to examine other possible characteristics of this largely experimental concept of writing, such as it’s non-linear, it relies on the real world for world building, and it tends to recontextualize reality—”undermining” it rather than augmenting it.
The essay is all fairly abstract, but then again site specific literature is a fringe concept that edges up against mobile technology and digital publishing, so everything is still pretty experimental (and might always remain so). Wilson writes, “This piece is no more than trying to bring these experiments and curiosities together in a list, to speculate about why people have tried to do them, and to identify what features unite them.”
If you’re curious about the concept but don’t want to read the full essay, be sure to scroll to the bottom for links to examples of site specific literature.