Heidi Rae Cooley investigates what it means to live in an age when mobile devices have become our partners, when our accessories keep track of our steps toward optimal health, when the landscapes around us are ever “smarter” and more responsive to our movements. Instead of interpreting mobile media as surveillance apparatuses, freedom machines, or both, she considers the routine practices—that is, habits—they engender and revise. To explore habit-change in the mobile connected present, she has collaborated with interdisciplinary teams to design geo-locative software applications that present unacknowledged histories of place.
Cooley’s first book, Finding Augusta: Habits of Mobility and Governance in the Digital Era (2014), along with its digital supplement Augusta App, received the 2015 Anne Friedberg Innovative Scholarship Award from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. Recent essays appear in Applied Media Studies, ed., Kirsten Ostherr (Routledge 2018) and Making Things and Drawing Boundaries: Experiments in the Digital Humanities, ed. Jentery Sayers (Minnesota 2017). She is currently working on a second book project tentatively titled “You Are Here? Charles Sanders Peirce and the Vagaries of Location Awareness.”
Cooley serves as co-director of the Public Interactives Research Lab.