Bonnie Nardi in HUMlab

Boni Nardi is in HUMlab today talking about Mixed Realities: Information Spaces Then and Now

In collaboration with the Department of Informatics

Abstract: I discuss the evolution of information spaces based on my ethnographic research in North America and China on a popular video game, World of Warcraft. I describe certain aspects of a trend to go “back to the future” in the evolution of such spaces.

you can watch her live by clicking on this link http://live.humlab.umu.se/

if you missed the live talk, you can watch a stream, or download the talk as podcast on our streams page.

Html Lapptäcke

Hej,

I’m Ele Carpenter, and I’m one of the new Research Fellows at HUMlab. I’m here for a year to develop the Open Source Embroidery project in partnership with HUMlab and the Art School at Umea University. The project developed from my PhD research with CRUMB at the University of Sunderland, where I compared the language and practice of socially engaged art and new media art.  Open Source Embroidery is a broad term to describe a range of creative practices investigating the shared characteristics of craft and code; from formal concerns of translating text into form, to the ethics of collaborative production and distribution. With its roots in the culture of open source, creative commons, and the material nature of code and computing, the project welcomes artists, programmers, knitters and crafts people to share their skills and ideas.

I’ll be facilitating workshops and exhibitions starting in November – so watch this space and my blog Ele Weekend for more info.

Stream archive (60 and counting)

We have developed a new Flash application as a gateway to our archive of streamed seminars (we have streamed seminars live since 2002). This application makes it easier to access streamed material. It also provides mp3 audio file versions of all seminars. Apart from regular media play functions, the tool also allows you to do various kinds of bookmarking and also, more importantly, indicate a segment of the stream and automatically get a reference for that segment. This makes it possible to easily refer to a specific statement or discussion. Segments may be short or long.

stream.humlab.umu.se

A sample of previous seminars:

People + Pedagogy + Place = Possibilities: Re-engineering the Georgia Tech Library (Crit Stuart, 2008)

Dynamic Vernaculars: Emergent Digital Forms in Contemporary Scholarship (Tara McPherson, 2008)

New Media and Architecture (Erica Robles, 2007)

Guds ord på nätet? En digital generation möter en religiös auktoritet (Anders Sjöborg, 2007)

Visuella vändningar i Kerstin Ekmans författarskap (Cecilia Lindhé, 2007)

Humanities Computing: The Plural Community of Method (Willard McCarthy, 2006)

Aktivism, konst och digitala medier (Ana Valdés, 2006)

My Mother was a Computer (Katherine Hayles, 2005)

Participatory Media (Henry Jenkins, 2005)

Puppetmasters and performances: Pervasive gaming in practice (Jane McGonigal, 2005)

Cyberculture, literature and the textual imagination (Bryan Alexander, 2003)

Modeling Prehistoric Culture Change in the American Southwest (George Gumerman, 2003)

Technology, Science and Art: Evolving virtual musics (Rodney Berry 2002)

We are still working on some functionality and features, but basically the application works well now. Several people have been involved in creating this platform, but the key implementation person is our excellent flash programmer Thomas Lövgren.

September seminars

We are proud to present two very interesting visitors and talks in HUMlab in September. Everyone is welcome! Both seminars will be live streamed and archived.

[25 september, 13.15]
Mixed Realities: Information Spaces Then and Now
Bonnie Nardi, UC Irvine

In collaboration with the Department of Informatics

I discuss the evolution of information spaces based on my ethnographic research in North America and China on a popular video game, World of Warcraft. I describe certain aspects of a trend to go “back to the future” in the evolution of such spaces.

[26 september, 13.15]
Desires at Play: Queering World of Warcraft
Jenny Sundén, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm

In collaboration with Umeå Pride 2008

Part reading, part lecture, this is an exploration in the intersections of queer theory, queer lives and the study of online games. How do corporeal desires and belongings map onto games? Could certain game spaces or moments of play be termed ‘queer’? The feminist critique of representations of femininity in games often engages with how female avatars tend to be designed along the lines of a hyped-up, ‘stereotypical’ sexuality. This argument presumes that excessive female sexuality is a problem, since it turns women’s bodies into objects of a (straight) male gaze. It also presumes an understanding of play primarily passed on identification. How would an analysis with queer sensibilities make the picture shift?

Even if game cultures rarely encourage non-normative (or anti-normative) ways of doing gender and sexuality, it is possible for players to come together and play at least partly on their own terms. In interviews with queer female players, it becomes clear that the strategies can be many and varied. They belong to guilds carrying names such as “bad girls”. They play around with the in-game censorship of ‘bad’ words, such as the impossibility of naming certain female parts. They meet up, they flirt, and have hot play dates across candle lit kitchen tables. World of Warcraft becomes in such moments a space for sexual attraction and desire in ways not predicted by the game design.

Second Life: Streaming and Learning

I introduced the students who are taking second year museum studies at the Department of Culture and Media to Second Life yesterday. The students will be using the HUMlab Island in Second Life as the site for their assessment projects, which is exciting and will hopefully allow them full reign with creativity and reflection.

This morning I took part in a test to see if we could stream live video into Second Life and show it on a large screen on the HUMlab Island. It was very easy to open the stream and then it took a little time to fine tune the appearance and quality of the stream inworld. I first built the screen myself, which caused problems with dimensions and size. I tried then to build one from joined objects which resulted in a double then a quadruple image (very Andy Wahol…no?).

Double Image SL Stream

We received help with setting up the live stream from the University Pedagogy Center (UPC) at Umeå University, which supplied a QuickTime server (the accepted file format for video streaming in Second Life). Thanks to Jörgan for the assistance.

On Friday at 13:00 until 15:00 we will be streaming on the HUMlab Island in Second Life a lecture (in Swedish and English), an introduction to blogging as part of the museum studies course. If you are interested in watching the stream please log into Second Life (Account necessary, details on the web page from link) and teleport to the Island from this link (will activate closer to lecture time).

HUMlab Seminar Fall 2008

This is the provisional seminar schedule for this semester (more seminars may be added later):

[September 25 at 1.15 pm CET]
Mixed Realities: Information Spaces Then and Now
Bonnie Nardi, UC Irvine
In collaboration with the Department of Informatics

[September 26 at 1.15 pm]
Desires at play:queering World of Warcraft
Jenny Sundén, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm
In collaboration with Umeå Pride 2008

[October 7 at 1.15 pm]
Interactive Architecture and Interaction Landscaping
Mikael Wiberg, Department of Informatics

[October 21 at 1.15 pm]
The big bang: A case study of mobile media and gaming as new media in South Korea
Larissa Hjorth, RMIT University, Australia

[November 5 at 1.15 pm]
The Weaving of the 3D Web: Hierarchies and Subversion in online 3D worlds
Maria Bäcke, Blekinge Institute of Technology

[November 19 at 1:15 pm]
In[ter]venting Multi-Modal Rhetoric(s)/(a) Poetics of Emergence
Talan Memmott, Blekinge Institute of Technology
In collaboration with the Department of Culture and Media

[November 26 at 1:15 pm]
The Strategic Environmental Archaeology Database
Phil Buckland, Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies

[December 10 at 3:15 pm]
Den svenska datorspelsindustrin – historia, nutid och framtid
Ulf Sandqvist, Department of Economic History
[In Swedish – the Swedish computer game industry – past, present and future]

[December 11 at 10:15 am]
Ungdomars kommunikation via mobiltelefoner och datorer: Kommunikativa verksamhetstypers betydelse för språkanvändning och val av interaktionsmedier
Theres Bellander, Uppsala University
In collaboration with Department of Language Studies
[In Swedish – Youths’ communication via mobile phones and computers]

Individual seminars will be presented here in more detail as we go along. All seminars will be streamed live and archived.

I am very happy about the seminars we offer this semester and the total composition. Should be very exciting!

Everyone welcome!