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Author Archives: Matthew Lombard

Call: The End of Place as We Know It: Shifting Perspectives on Literature and Place

[Note: The submission deadline has just passed, though it may be worth inquiring. –Matthew ]

The End of Place as We Know It:
Shifting Perspectives on Literature and Place

Keynotes: Professor Edward Casey and Professor Timothy Morton
University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, September 17-19, 2014

Literatures of place have often been considered conservative and reactionary. We see this expressed in the longing for a pastoral return to a former Golden Age, in the nostalgic desire to rediscover the home of a long lost childhood, or in that of national extremism as expressed through a practice of territorial and racial purity. However, contemporary theorists have pointed out that ‘place’ is not a stable entity. Place is ‘radically indeterminate – it is intrinsically in question, is a question’ (Timothy Morton, Ecology Without Nature). Accordingly, if ‘place itself is no fixed thing’ (Edward Casey, The Fate of Place), then place has the capacity to ‘change us, not through some visceral belonging (some barely changing rootedness, as so many would have it) but through the practicing of place’ (Doreen Massey, For Space). An attachment to, and investment in, place can be gainfully employed to open up, rather than close down, questions of identity, territory, and nationality.

Yet it is not simply the theory of place that has undergone fundamental change in recent years. Our lives have been changed due to the rapid development in transportation and communication technologies, explosive growth in migrant mobility, a rise in global population, as well as the sudden shifts enacted by natural and manmade disasters. The fabric of place is changing physically as well as socially. In addition, the breakdown of barriers between the human and the inhuman, the citizen and the foreigner, the actual and the virtual, has complicated questions of belonging for individuals as for entire communities.

The conference invites paper submissions ranging from re-readings of place and texts traditionally considered to be regressive and restrictive, to discussions of contemporary writings on place. Topics might include but are not limited to: Read more on Call: The End of Place as We Know It: Shifting Perspectives on Literature and Place…

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Cyborg glasses save users the need to control emotions

[From YouTube]

Prof. Osawa wearing Cyborg glasses

Cyborg glasses save users the need to control emotions

By Leo Kelion Technology desk editor
16 April 2014

As Google continues to stoke excitement for its Glass smart-eyewear, a Japanese researcher has developed a radical alternative.

Rather than focus on what the owner sees, Prof Hirotaka Osawa’s kit shows computer-generated eye animations in place of the wearer’s real ones.

Special lenses let the user see out or take a secret nap if they prefer.

The professor said the glasses could be used to simulate emotional reactions when users are distracted or busy.

He added that the idea of creating an “emotional cyborg” was inspired by the work of an American sociologist who had coined the phrase “emotional labour” to refer to the use of facial expressions and body movements to show feelings.

This, Prof Osawa noted, could be a requirement for nurses, waitresses, teachers, therapists and others working in interaction-intensive professions. Read more on Cyborg glasses save users the need to control emotions…

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Call: POST SCREEN: International Festival of Art, New Media and Cybercultures

Call for Submissions:
POST SCREEN: International Festival of Art, New Media and Cybercultures
November 28-29, 2014
Lisbon, Portugal

The Artistic Studies Research Center of the Faculty of Fine Arts of Lisbon University invites researchers and artists to submit, until May 31st, a proposal for a paper or artwork to the upcoming POST SCREEN: International Festival of Art, New Media and Cybercultures to be held in 28 and 29 of November 2014, in Lisbon, Portugal.

Read more on Call: POST SCREEN: International Festival of Art, New Media and Cybercultures…

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Snowden BEAMs into TED: How robotic telepresence disrupts borders

[From Edward Snowden BEAMS into TED-TED

[Image: Chris Anderson interviews Edward Snowden, who appears at TED 2014 in Vancouver via BEAM telepresence robot from an unknown location in Russia.]

Snowden BEAMs into TED: How robotic telepresence disrupts borders

by Hallie Siegel and Andra Keay
March 19, 2014

Travel in some parts of the world, or for some people, can be dangerous, but robots may soon change that. Yesterday former-NSA-contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden “walked” onto the TED stage in Vancouver via BEAM telepresence robot, while safely stationed out of the US government’s reach in Russia. It was the first time Snowden, who was granted temporary asylum by the Russian government last August, had “set foot” in North America since he was charged with espionage and theft of government property by the US government. Said Snowden from his onstage perch: “I can see everyone! This is amazing!” How will lawmakers respond?

For disclosing thousands of classified documents that revealed details about the US National Security Agency’s global surveillance programs, and for perpetrating what has been called the most significant government leak in US history, Snowden has been called by some a whistle-blower and a patriot, by others a traitor. That he should grace the stages of a TED conference while in exile would have been no small feet a decade ago.

But this is 2014, the 30th anniversary of TED, and as was pointed out by Chris Anderson (who was interviewing Snowden for this event), a lot has changed since 1984: “Today, if you go to look at a copy of 1984 on Amazon.com,” said Snowden, “the NSA can see a record of that. The Russian Intelligence Service can see a record of that. The Chinese Service can see a record of that. The French service, the German service … They can all see it because it’s not encrypted.” I doubt very much that the Orwellian irony of this fact was lost on anyone in the audience, but what about the significance of Snowden’s appearance via telepresence?

Tellingly, Snowden told us, “If I had to describe myself I wouldn’t use words like ‘hero’ or ‘patriot’ and I wouldn’t use the word ‘traitor’. I’d say I’m an American, and I am a citizen, like everyone else.”

But in an age of telepresence, what does it mean to be a citizen? … a political refugee? … a dissident? … a fugitive? … a traitor? … or an alleged or convicted criminal? How does robotic telepresence technology disrupt our sense of location, boundary, border and space? Read more on Snowden BEAMs into TED: How robotic telepresence disrupts borders…

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Call: The Art of Living with ICT: Exploring the Range of Options from ‘Adoption’ to ‘Rejection’

The Art of Living with ICT:
Exploring the Range of Options from “Adoption” to “Rejection”

iMinds-SMIT Lecture Series – Friday April 25th, 2014

Speakers:
Andrew Feenberg, Pieter Lemmens, Søren Riis, Ike Kamphof, Mark Coeckelbergh, Yoni Van Den Eede

http://smit.vub.ac.be/event/103/The_Art_of_Living_with_ICT

Our lives are nowadays impregnated with information and communication technologies and digital media, to the extent that it is all but impossible to distinguish between who “we” are and what those “media” are. We define ourselves, even give meaning to life, by way of technology.

This process of meaning-making can be framed as a project, a work that one must carry out on an everyday, personal-existential basis. But the process comes in different sizes and shapes. First, not all of it is done in an equally conscious way. Second, the larger frameworks – or worldviews – within which meaning is sought after, can differ: functionalist, consumerist, ethical, … Depending on where the emphasis lies, another form of “living with ICT” gets instantiated. Third, exactly the degree to which one understands oneself as either intertwined with or independent from his or her media, may influence implicit or explicit decision-making processes concerning the place and meaning of ICT in one’s life.

In this colloquium, we explore these issues, in general through the prism of philosophy of technology, and in particular by way of the guiding notion, significant in the recent history of philosophy, of “the art of living.” Read more on Call: The Art of Living with ICT: Exploring the Range of Options from ‘Adoption’ to ‘Rejection’…

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Oculus creator: “If you can perfectly simulate reality, why do you need to actually go see people in real life?”

[From Palmer Luckey

Oculus creator: “If you can perfectly simulate reality, why do you need to actually go see people in real life?”

Palmer Luckey says VR needs to incorporate touch-based feedback to further the feeling of immersion and wonders if some day we’ll think it’s wasteful to actually get on a plane to meet people in the real world.

by Eddie Makuch on April 15, 2014

Virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift must expand beyond visuals and allow for touch-based human-to-human interaction, creator Palmer Luckey said in a new interview from PAX East in Boston, Mass. All of this is in the way of creative a fully immersive experience that makes you feel like you’re really in a “virtual reality,” Luckey said.

“[Virtual reality], it can’t just be a visual thing. If VR remains a visual only thing, then certainly we’ll never replace human touch-based interactions,” Luckey said in a group interview captured by Maximum PC. “But for many interactions, it could.”

Luckey went on to say that over time, virtual reality technology can become so advanced that you won’t be able to tell what is “real” and what is not. Read more on Oculus creator: “If you can perfectly simulate reality, why do you need to actually go see people in real life?”…

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MisTable uses water vapour planes for interactive display screens

[From MisTable fog display screen

Research Team Uses Water Vapour Planes For Interactive Display Screens

A Bristol University team has produced “touch-enabled” images that float in the air on a cloud of vapour

On April 14, 2014 by Eric Doyle, ChannelBiz

Technology that could bring R2D2’s projection of Princess Leia in Star Wars a step closer has been developed by a University of Bristol research team. The MisTable uses a set of vapour curtains as interactive projection screens to display computer images.

The team will present their development at the prestigious ACM CHI 2014 to be held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre between 26 April and 1 May by the Association for Computer Machinery (ACM).

Mist information

Attendees at the computer-human interface (CHI) conference will see how the table uses two fans above and below the edges of a tabletop display to create thin walls of mist which are used as screens. The medium is a mixture of glycerine and water vapour similar to the rolling mist effects used in theatrical productions. According to the developers, the vapour is dry and does not wet the hands of the users.

The screens are touch-enabled so viewers can manipulate the images in front of them or transfer displays back and forth from the screen in front of them onto one of the other three screens or down onto the LCD on the table’s flat surface. Read more on MisTable uses water vapour planes for interactive display screens…

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Call: ACE 2014 – Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology Conference

CALL FOR PAPERS

ACE 2014

11th ADVANCES IN COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE
Incorporating 9th International Conference on Digital Interactive Media in Entertainment and Arts (DIMEA)

Funchal, Madeira
11-14 November, 2014

http://www.ace2014.info

ACE – the leading scientific forum for dissemination of cutting-edge research results in the area of entertainment computing is inviting the submission of papers, posters, creative showcases, and workshop proposals to its 11th conference to be held in Funchal, Madeira, 11-14 November, 2014.

Submission deadlines:

Papers:   May 12, 2014
Workshops:  May 12, 2014
Creative Showcases:  June 2, 2014
Posters:   July 14, 2014

We solicit submissions on a broad range of topics, including, but not limited to: Read more on Call: ACE 2014 – Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology Conference…

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‘Leviathan’ project explores future of immersive storytelling

[From Audience experiences Leviathan at CES Keynote

[Video] Leviathan: The Future Of Storytelling

By The Creators Project — Apr 9 2014

Considering a future wherein cinematic experiences are participatory, audiences would interact with narratives as if they were concurrently films and video games. Enter: “Leviathan,” an experimental leap forward in cinematic technique that heralds such an evolution:

This past January, in collaboration with Intel Labs, the USC School of Cinematic Arts World Building Media Lab unveiled “Leviathan,” at CES 2014′s Intel CEO Keynote speech. As the audience used Intel Ultrabooks and tablets to simultaneously control flying jellyfish creatures that swam alongside the eponymous augmented reality behemoth, Leviathan soared off the screen and into the crowd, yielding an as-of-yet unparalleled mixture of film and gaming experience. “Immersive storytelling” doesn’t even begin to describe it.

The project integrated both the physical and digital universes by using a multimedia platform that may very well set a precedent for future AR and immersive-narrative creativity. The Creators Project was fascinated by the collaboration between Intel Labs and USC’s World Building program, and subsequently made a documentary that details the partnership, the project, and its unprecedented results. Read more on ‘Leviathan’ project explores future of immersive storytelling…

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Call: Discovery, Exploration and Understanding of Urban Context – Workshop in conjunction with MobileHCI ’14

Discovery, Exploration and Understanding of Urban Context
Workshop, in conjunction with MobileHCI ’14

http://www.urban-context.eu
organisers@urban-context.eu

September 23, 2014, Toronto, Canada

Call for Papers

Mobile technology offers significant potential to connect users to their immediate geographic environment. Yet existing approaches to doing so are largely visual, which can isolate users from that environment, and utilitarian, such as directing a user to a destination or showing nearby coffee shops as a list. The recent rise of geo-social media (images, text updates and check-ins) has offered new ways to support contextualising the environment and connecting users with it. Work such as PULSE (that presents geographically nearby tweets as audio), Columbus (that allows the rediscovery of photographs taken in the nearby environment) and HotCity (that uses check-in data to create context-sensitive heatmaps to show tourists the socially active areas of a city) have shown how this media can be used to provoke and engage users with the environment through mobile technology, without isolating them from that environment.

In this workshop we will explore how this media, or ‘urban context’, can be used to encourage more playful and exploratory engagement by users with their immediate built environment. Using the geo-social media about that environment as a way to encourage users to discover it in-situ. Contribution areas include (but are not limited to):

  • Geo-Social Media
  • Geo-HCI
  • Multimodal Interaction
  • Data fusion
  • Tourism Applications
  • Pedestrian Navigation
  • Pervasive Displays
  • Urban Context
  • Pervasive Interaction
  • Geo-Visualisation

The workshop will take the form of a “challenge”. To support the challenge, we will provide an historical social context dataset from three cities: Oulu (FI), Glasgow (GB) and Patras (GR). Oulu and Patras are relatively small cities (~200K people), Glasgow is mid-size (~600K). These datasets provide publically accessible data about the city-centre areas based on the Foursquare, Facebook and Google Place datasets (e.g. when and where people check-in, likes and tags of locations etc.), collated over several months. A RESTful API on historical social media use will be provided on the workshop webpage.

To obtain access to the dataset and participate in the challenge, participants should email an (up to) 4-page CHI EA format abstract in pdf format to the organisers. This should clearly articulate a position relevant to the workshop. It should also briefly describe a proposed prototype (installation, artefact, app or other system) that illustrates this position.  Note that submissions may use other data sources as necessary, and are not required to use the dataset provided. A document describing the dataset in detail is available on the workshop webpage (www.urban-context.eu).

On acceptance, authors are expected to construct the whole or part of their prototype and bring it to the workshop as a discussion aid. Note these are not expected to be fully working systems, but they should clearly illustrate the position to others at the workshop. At least one author must register for the workshop and the conference. Read more on Call: Discovery, Exploration and Understanding of Urban Context – Workshop in conjunction with MobileHCI ’14…

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