Podcast talk-fest at Create World 2008

Image representing Apple as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase, source unknown

I spent a few days recently at the Apple University Consortium (AUC) Create World held at Griffith U in Brisbane Australia. I was part of a podcast team headed by Allan Carrington and Ian Green from Adelaide University.

I managed to get some interviews with various presenters and participants in conference sessions, and thought I’d link to the interviews that I did right here.

  • The Importance of Being Earmarked. Brett Muray talks about crafting an interactive theatre piece where a ‘booby-trapped’ set responded to light, movement and sound.
  • iTunesU: the growing fan club. Lorraine Harker on the good stuff about using one of Apple’s new services for higher education in Australia and NZ.
  • Second Life as an arts education environment. Jason Zagami on the results of a study into the use of Second Life to teach arts concepts to pre-service primary school teachers.
  • Gaming? Consider the Possibilities. Luke Toop talks about the way online games can be turned into learning environments.
  • Cinematic Theatre. Marwell Presents (Steven Maxwell and Brad Jennings) talk about their productions and the conventions used in what they call ‘cinematic theatre’ or the blending of live action and video.
  • Using iWeb as a tool for e-portfolios. Jenny Mundey talks about the way pre-professionals in training can prepare their portfolios to show their ability to reflect upon their professions-to be.

There are lots more of course done by Allan and Ian as well as from Cat Hope from Edith Cowan University in WA. Check out the podcast program of AUC Create World 2008 blogsite here.

It was a talk-fest all right, just the way a conference should be. Why not extend the chat. Add your ideas and comments on the blog or as they say, ‘Be part of the wisdom.’

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AUC Create World Conference 2008

There’s the whiff of conferences in the air right now. Monday starts the 3rd annual AUC (Apple University Consortium) Create World Conference at Griffith University in Brisbane. I’ll be working with a team of podcasters headed by Alan Carrington from the University of Adelaide. We will be gathering comment not just from presenters and performers, but from everyone there. We’ll edit and produce episodes daily and beam them out, so stay tuned for contact details.  If you’re interested in some up to date, cool reporting from Create World and keen to contribute, your comments would of course, be most welcome.

Create World is a conference designed to bring together higher ed creative types … performers, composers, film-makers, games designers, visual artists and musicians … all using (mostly) Apple digital technology. I’m tipping there will be a slew of iPhones, MacBook Pros and Airs on display in the auditoriums this year; last year the few iPhones seen were largely in stealth mode … the iPhone hadn’t officially arrived in Oz.

One of the delights of academe is getting to create great titles and sub-titles for papers and conferences. This one is no exception: The Art of Serious Play; the Serious Art of Play – Curiosity, Creativity, Craft and Connectedness in the Digital Age. Phew! Anyhow, the week’s programme of workshops, keynotes, performances, and presentations look to be stimulating and FUN. You can check them out on the conference webpage.

I’ll be gathering the rest of the news that’s fit to print, and most probably sending out updates on Twitter @Dramagirl. How could I not; Twitter is the cool new kid on the block at conferences. And to think a year ago at this same conference I went public in saying I didn’t see much value in it. We hadn’t even invented hashtags at that time. Ah well.

You can find the Create World podcast blog here. All sessions should be uploaded by December 20. Do drop by, listen to the follow-up commentary from presenter and audience and leave a text or voice comment.

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To whom much is given …. imagination and poverty

It’s BAD day (blog action day) around the world and this year’s action revolves around poverty. BAD is a day when privileged people like me, who have access to a computer and the internet, can add fuel to the (sadly only lukewarm it seems) debate on the haves and have nots, on privilege, social justice and responsibility. We sit down, we tap out our opinions, not without some guilt I suspect, as we sip a fresh-brewed coffee made from clean water. But of course BAD is good. Whatever our motivation we the ordinary-privileged should reflect upon this challenge to our humanity, and do something about it. Our imaginations and our reach need stretching in what our Prime Minister calls dangerous economic times … a crisis brought on by irresponsibility, greed and ‘extreme capitalism.’

What on earth can I say or do as an individual about poverty? What I can add to this debate is neither ground-breaking nor especially original. I am sure today there are posts that are far more inspiring … I hope so. But this is a personal response because that is what I believe is needed. BAD has forced me to think about poverty and my relationship to it during this day … indeed it is now BAD+1 where I’m writing from in Australia … it’s taken me that long to come around to putting words down. I thought even of not writing anything as a response, but of course that serves no purpose whatsoever. The very community here is what supports us all. Here is what I have been thinking through during the past 24 hours or so.

Like many privileged people, I have acquired the materialistic bug over the years. I like shiny things, gadgets, being what I call ‘comfortable.’ No these are not the basics: food, water, shelter; I’ve never lived below that economic marker that politicians and social workers call the poverty line. I am privileged through accident of birth, the acquisition of a good education, and a career that has helped to pay for those nice things in life. I am privileged through family and friends, acquaintances and where I live. I can travel freely, live in a society that gives me as a woman and a citizen freedom of a kind unknown in many other places. What is my responsibility then to those who have none of these things? Do I have a responsibility? My education, moral and social inclinations tell me that yes, I do. The frustration is how to do something … anything to make a difference. Do I believe that one person can  make a difference to a subject as appalling as poverty? Yes I do.

The problem is that many, and I include myself here, find themselves somewhat shockingly, to be immune to images and even to the reality of material poverty amongst others. I flick the channels at the sight of yet another child ravaged by malnutrition, homelessness, injury in some godforsaken part of the world ‘out there.’ Over the years I have sponsored children through World Vision, give to other local care charities … cast off clothing and goods, books to be sold on or to assist. I’d rather give something I don’t want or need any more than sell. Perhaps that indicates some residue of generosity. But I feel I am not sufficiently generous any more. I do feel paralysed by the inertia of the size of global poverty. If I have the philosophical belief in the power of one, then what can this one person do?

Like the movement to take some responsibility for the global warming crisis, there needs a personal response that is meaningful and appropriate to the individual, and it needs perhaps to take us face to face with the real tragedy of poverty … to see for ourselves. I wonder if we had the ‘beam me up’ technology of StarTrek, if we could somehow materialise ourselves into the middle of a refugee camp or a slum or the empty kitchen of a fellow citizen would our behaviours change … and for how long? Living simply so others might simply live is another mantra that is attractive and possible for individuals. The price of a meal a week given to a charity would be meaningful; I remember setting up a 40 Hour Famine group in my last year or so of school some 40 years ago now and being met with hostility by the parents of my fellow students. It wasn’t healthy apparently! Maybe … but it was effective in bringing the power of our imaginations and reality together.

Whatever I can do … with cash, goods, by living a little simpler and resisting the lure of more nice things, lobbying any politician out there, through volunteering to assist in adult literacy … because there is poverty of another kind when a man or woman cannot read … is what I have been thinking about doing on this Blog Action Day.

I’ve not polished or edited this post very much and I’d ask you to see it more in the nature of a diary entry to myself. Thank you for reading this far.

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Online art show: Timeframe

So I went for a virtual walk through the online Timeframe video-art exhibition currently showing on Seesmic, and what did I find?

Well for a start, fascinating pieces that are clearly the beginnings of something other than the ‘funniest video’ type format usually found on YouTube, and which … you can bet your bottom dollar … are then virally transmitted around the web. Timeframe’s videos (at their best when confined to a minute or two) are clearly ‘arty’ with a perspective that frames them within the ‘take me seriously’ category. Some are derivative, playing with the medium itself, grabbing images from computer games and resassembling them into a game-free context. They’re little dynamic, colourful beauties which do indeed hark back to the punchy rhythms of online gaming.

Then there are the personal statements, tiny stories that play with time and perception … blurry, out of focus images moving in slow motion force the viewer to delve deeper into the representation. Cuts and pastes of an evening with an artist and a bottle of booze and pills have their own realist tension. More abstracted and dislocated images are coupled with soundtracks that blend the human voice, breath, sound effects and music … these can be eerily and compellingly disturbing or hilarious in turn.

The artists appear from time to time to interact with the viewers … the viewers interact with one another, a glass or two of wine is shared (screens are clinked for the ‘cheers’) and all in all it’s quite a jolly, non confronting experience … and an exciting one. We’re in at the start of what I have no doubt will be a new way of creating and showing work locally and globally.

Organiser and artist Christi Neilsen deserves kudos for getting this show together, as do the 10 artists who have gone public in a big way with this seminal exhibition. It all ends today but of course, will remain in the Seesmic timeline for a revisit.

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TimeFrame – an online video art show now open

I posted two days ago about Christi Nielsen and her innovative art show called TimeFrame which has just opened using the Seesmic video platform. TimeFrame will be showing for the next 72 hours or so.

Here’s the thread which will continue to update as the hours roll by. Check in and join in if you feel inclined. Just hit the reply button. Timeframe has been designed so that viwers can talk with the artists and others who stop by. I’d advise your viewing Christi’s first post which lays out the parameters of the show.

I’m going to drop in and out and comment if it’s appropriate and probably drink a little wine … later on! Why don’t you join us.

TimeFrame ExhibitionAnd we’re off!

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