report from days of the media labs I

I spent Tuesday and Wednesday this week in Amsterdam. I had a great time. It was very intense. I would have liked to say on for the rest of the PICNIC conference, but I had to go back to Umeå.

The first day was a closed discussion for the media labs and some other parties, and this was carried out with the help of paired discussions, double-pair negotiations, interviews, structured dialogue (where you were supposed to keep track of the argument and give accounts of previous points) etc.

I was not sure about the term ‘media lab’ at first – not least because I would probably not describe HUMlab as a media lab. But it worked really well and I think the Media Guild and PICNIC did an excellent job of bringing different people and organizations together. A well worked out composition.

One of the things discussed was the values of a media lab, and this is how Andrew Bullen – our host – summarized some of the points made in the open session the following day.

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The second day was action packed with a great many 12 minute presentations of lab activities and selected projects/concepts. I liked this. Despite – or maybe because – the brevity of each presentation, there was a flow of ideas, impressions and perspectives. And the space was really cool. This shot is from before the event had started. The remote control for the projector did not seem to work properly.

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One important point is that what made the second day interesting was partly the examples and demos. David Polinchock did a great demo of a game-like application which used a web camera and audience participation.

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This concept was developed for the release of Spiderman 3 I believe. Here is a video.

At the end. Andrew presented some of the ideal conditions for media labs discussed the day before.

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I will reflect more on the presentations and the rest of the activities in a later blog entry.

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