ITU of Copenhagen: Building

In an entry before on the Academical Village I speculated about hybrid campuses that have both virtue and physique (virtual and physical extension). Now I want to put this another way: How can the intersection of art and technology be expressed in a campus or building? I am interested in examples of buildings designed to house art and technology programs, research and development. Are there ways the design of space can facilitate the desired interactions and exhibit the intersection of art and digital technology? What would Jefferson design?

Two campuses come to mind as example, IT University of Copenhagen – The ├┐restad Building is being purpose built to house a new university around IT that includes Aarseth’s Game Studies unit. If you look at the animations you can see features like the use of glass, large atrium, and projections that suggest an architectural implementation of the values of the new university (which are direction-finding, forthcoming, and accountable.) Openness and transparency is probably a better word than “forthcoming” – I suspect something was lost in translation.
The second, and older, example is the MIT Media Lab: Wiesner Building that was designed by I.M. Pei in 1985. MIT is now added a new building next to it, see the Plan #54. Just as interesting is the Gehry Stata Center for CSAIL (Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab).
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Spring 2004 Convocation

IMG_5000.JPG.200.jpg Tuesday I went to the 2004 convocation where Daniel Lanois was honoured along with our third cohort of Multimedia students. Convocations are an emotional event for me – after all the marking and lecturing I can give the students a hug and feel joy for them. These rituals are not meaningless, they orient us to what has been achieved and allow us to be our best for a moment – to congratulate students rather than critique their work.
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Past, Present and Future at McMaster

This July I step down as Assistant to the Dean for Computing at McMaster. It has been 10 years. When I arrived the computers were not networked, we had no web server, and no servers. Now the Humanities Computing Centre, now Humanities Media and Computing, runs 15 or more servers, has far too many web services and everything is networked.
At an Open House we celebrated Sam Cioran, who in the 1980s started the Centre moving us from language labs to multimedia computing. This July my colleague Andrew Mactavish takes over. If there is one thing that seems to work it is sustained attention – directing something for long enough to build a network, make mistakes, and correct them. I will miss directing the Centre.
McMaster Daily – NEW! Posted on May 31: Humanities celebrates past, present and future of multimedia

Knowledge Dissemination: Rewards

Optimizing the transformation of knowledge dissemination is a SSHRC commissioned study being conducted by a team connected with CARL. I have been asked to address their “consensus panel” (interesting idea) about Control, Creativity and Rewards. The web site has a lot of background information around research and research about research, especially in the Candian context. The question I am working on is around recognition and rewards in the academy, especially for digital research and dissemination. The issue has come up over and over in the SSHRC Transformation process – if SSHRC wants greater impact and dissemination, then universities need to reward activities of that sort like public lectures, essays in lay publications, blogs and so on.

For that matter, how would this blog be assessed if I put it down on my CV next year as a research contribution? Ha!

In dialogue lies hope

The BBC has been hosting a hopeful dialogue between an Eygptian and Israeli woman. (See BBC NEWS | Middle East | Mid-East pen friends part 4: Shared land) Besides the hope that such conversations inspire in the face of the ordered murder both sides have fallen into, it is worth noting how this conversation works as a dialogue. Its power lies in its being witnessed – its being played out in public. The comments almost overwhelm the conversation – and in the public play conversation becomes dialogue.
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Research and SSHRC

I am the campus rep for the SSHRC Trasnformation exercise. (See my blog at Transforming Knowledge. Here is a flyer that was designed for the discussions here at Mac. (Download file) It is an example of how I am trying to move away from PowerPoint presentations following Tufte, “Cognitive Style of PowerPoint”. A well designed handout really works better (but it costs more.)

The Producers, “If you’ve got it flaunt it!”

How would a Broadway production engage the production and consumption of film, theatre, and the imagination in general?

Well, you could make a play of a film about the making of a play that is designed to be so bad that it flops (in order to make lots of money!) You could make musical theatre version of the classic Mel Brooks, The Producers! Of course, the show was a hit, despite ironically stereotyping major groups from Jews, women, gays and, yes, even Nazi sympathizers.
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Why War? and Computer Voting Machines

Why War? is a web site by students at Swathmore on issues around peace and democracy. They recently posted information from a Diebold list that documented the problems of Diebold computer based voting machines. Makes me worried about democracy. Diebold is now suing use the DCMA and has spooked Swathmore and MIT into blocking the information.