Augusta App


The Augustas

Celebrating an Award

The Society for Cinema and Media Studies has awarded Dr. Cooley the Anne Friedberg Innovative Scholarship Award for 2015 for Finding Augusta: Habits of Mobility and Governance in the Digital Era.

The selection committee's comments include the following:

    "Cooley's book offers an original and theoretically rich argument about contemporary mobile technologies, tracking, and our routine habits. The Committee was especially impressed by the Augusta iPhone app, which Cooley developed as part of the project and references extensively in the book. Through the use of GPS navigation, photo sharing, and QR code scanning, the Augusta app encourages users to reflect on their own everyday movements in relation to the theoretical and critical arguments that Cooley makes in the book. The app not only creates the possibility of community and enacts the book's argument in compelling ways, but also opens up possibilities for interactive scholarship. Heidi was a student of Anne's and we know she would be very proud."

The formal presentation of the award was made at the Award Ceremony of the 2015 SCMS Conference in Montreal on Friday afternoon, March 27, 2015.

Finding Augusta and Augusta App at TEDx!

Dr. Cooley presented Finding Augusta and Augusta App at TEDx in Augusta, Georgia, 30 January 2015!

Augusta App on the App Store

Augusta App is available on the App Store.

The EULA for Augusta App can be found here

Finding Augusta

Finding Augusta: Habits of Mobility, Finding, and Governance in the Digital Era (Dartmouth College Press/Interfaces Series, March 2014) is interested in routine practices that define the mobile present. When digital technologies set places, persons, things, and information in constant motion, habits of locatability and navigation assume decisive social and political importance. While most discussions of mobile media treat them as tracking devices, freedom machines, or both, Finding Augusta argues that we should attend to the everyday habits of finding places, persons, and information that mobile media encourage and discourage. "Augusta App", the book's digital supplement, serves as a kind of laboratory for exploring the book's argument. It elaborates the two-fold figure of the traveling salesman:

  1. Scott Nixon, the historical figure, whose Augustas provide content and thematic for the application; and
  2. the Traveling Salesman problem [TSP], the computational model that informs the technical processes that make the application functional.

Read in tandem, the Traveling Salesman Problem and Nixon's The Augustas invite us to consider both the pervasiveness and the inherent instability involved in the routine work of finding and tracking. Ultimately, the project hopes to point in directions of possibility for living in-relation to each other, our mobile technologies, and the broader contexts of one or several populations.

It has been announced here and here that Nixon's film has been placed on the Library of Congress's National Film Registry.


Finding Augusta

Acknowledgements and Funding

"Augusta App" was supported by a University of South Carolina Provost's Award for AY 2012-2013.

Design Team

Dr. Heidi Rae Cooley, Media Arts/Film and Media Studies, USC
Jeremy Greenberger, Programmer, Computer Science and Engineering, USC
Professor Simon Tarr, Media Arts, USC
Dr. Duncan Buell, Computer Science and Engineering, USC
Cecil Decker, College of Arts and Sciences, USC


This website is only a beginning and should not be taken as a definitive document.

Updates and changes will be occurring on a regular basis.


Heidi Rae Cooley, Media Arts/Film and Media Studies, USC