conference activities

Working with an institutional blog is partly about finding out where to blog. I just decided that I will blog about why I do not like traditional conferences in my own blog. I wonder whether my own blog will get more personal?

Here I will reflect on and illustrate a few conference activities that I think added a great deal to the conference.

I have told the story about how I met Brendan Austin elsewhere. A random meeting, a common thematic interest and a strong personal connection. Brendan’s art installation event at the conference was about story, person and transformation. All that without any people in the photographic material.

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New Zealand motif with a 48-second exposure time

There is a very particular reason for Brendan’s profound interaction with the number 48 (which I will not describe here – not my story to tell) and he told us about eventually being able to 48-second exposures without using a timing device. In total the art event was based on three projects. All linked to the subsequent student presentation in a virtual world centered around the theme “borders and boundaries”. While the presentation mainly occurred “inworld” everything started off with a student presentation in the physical lab (for conference participants and others):

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Gertrud and Tarquin presenting their respective group’s work

Another, more traditional, part of the conference was the poster presentation (although we did present a future vision of the lab modelled in 3D and some digital artwork). It worked out really well and I am proud of our graduate students.

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Finally, I would also like to mention the project and technology session we staged on Tuesday.

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It is difficult to plan such events and you can never really anticipate the flow of people or whether there will be enough activities/points of presentation/interaction. I am very happy about the outcome of this session.

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Linda – our magnificent digital artist

There was a great deal of interaction and interest in what was presented. And there was also interaction with technology.

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Haptic-visual device in action

I think the lab is still recovering from the intensity of the conference experience (see for instance personal blog entries from Jim, Stephanie and Therese).

great day

Today was an exciting HUMlab day with a range of really good presentations. In the afternoon Henry Jenkins did a presentation on Participatory Media – at least that was the planned title. It was a brilliant seminar and after the seminar there was a very good debate between Henry Jenkins and Espen Aarseth. We will make material available from the conference later on. The Jenkins seminar is available from here (realmedia stream).

remains of the jokkmokk blog

We just had a showing of different projects in the lab and Jim and I presented the Jokkmokk project. Describing the basic purpose and structure of the blogs, as well as summarizing our experience from the trip in the context of the discussions from this conference brought to light new ideas about certain aspects of the blog. For example,the largest percentage of visitors came from Jokkmokk itself. We were unsure why this was the case, especially considering the international attention the project received before its start. Lena mentioned that she had similar results in the demographics of the blogs she studied. Do readers tend to return to pages where they feel they have a shared experience. Does geographical location enhance this experience?

For more about our results from this project, read the paper that Therese and I presented at Blogtalk 2.0

glitches

As you might have noticed there are some glitches with the blog – especially looking at extended/individual entries. We are working on this and hopefully this problem will be fixed very soon.

media attention

The conference got some regional (state) TV attention yesterday. Västerbottensnytt did a feature on the student project presentation (in the lab and in the virtual world) and on the conference as such. The streamed version is available here (click on Måndag 22:15, in Swedish). It gives you a good sense of the student project and I am glad the students are in focus (and that they are given interview time). That is actually one of the issues we discussed yesterday – the crucial role of students in developing the humanities and information technology as an area. Jeffrey Schnapp pointed out that in the humanities students typically get to do original research at a relatively late stage.