Dateline 8 May 2010

Fortunately there is much going on this weekend to keep my attention away from books and the start of the summer semester next week (& fortunately my prep is all done!). The Stone Soup Festival is happening today, the sun is out, and everyone’s in great spirits!

I had hoped to attend Northern Voice this year but tickets sold out far too fast. C’est dommage.

Open Web Vancouver

I’m attending (and presenting at) Open Web Vancouver next week, celebrating (and problematizing) with many others the many affordances and limitations of open source and open formats in our digitally mediated world. My talk will likely be rather policy-wonkish, as a current concern of mine (and a crucial chapter in my dissertation research) is that of the potential impact of broad public participation in wireless and mobile internet policy development. If you haven’t yet, register here. The leader of the Pirate Party is keynoting, so it’s well worth the hundred and eighty five clams, to my mind.

Hope to see you there.

Vancouver Digital Week, Cossette Convergence 09, and the Future of Mobile

Vancouver Digital Week is coming up soon (May 11-14), and it’s a must-attend for anyone in the New/Social/Mobile Media scenes in the Pacific Northwest. In fact, it’s an international must-attend event (even GDC is part of it this year, so it’s going to be huge in 2009!). So all you folks outside of Vaneattleland should be coming here too!

Kicking off the week on May 11th is the ever-engrossing Cossette Convergence conference, at which I will be presenting (as part of a panel called “Mobile Marketing: Are we at the tipping point?“). The program description is as follows:

Mobile marketing and applications are not new, but many marketers have been sitting on the sidelines watching savvy wireless wizards forge new relationships on emerging platforms.  Has mobile marketing finally reached the tipping point in 2009?  Learn the latest developments in mobile and leave this session appreciating the role mobile will have in the coming year and how you can best integrate mobile or build an entire campaign around this burgeoning technology.

I’ll also be demonstrating the Mobile Muse platform for the audience. Looks like so much fun!

Did I mention the keynote at Cossette this year is none other than David Plouffe, chief campaign manager for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign?

You excited now? I said “Obama” – that should’ve done it.

Open Mobile, as it happens

Scott talks about open video platforms
Irwin talks Fearless

It was fun setting up to Brian Eno’s Music for Films, which cast an alternately serene and ominous shadow over our dry runs with the 3 screens.

I think the keynote went over well. The tech worked out supremely, with all 3 screens going, SIFT aggregation, Movino, and Modul8.

Scott Nelson then talks about mobile video. Movino is the winner today. I texted as much to SIFT. then he demos Movino over TCP/IP. Unfortunately the docs for this program are slim.

Great questions and comments, including how to stream to handsets, how video streaming and other rich media features are trickling down to budget handsets.

Next Irwin talks about Fearless and Mobile Swarm.

Video about Mobile Swarm.

Next Igor talks about “Beyond the Mobile Web:context awareness as the future of internet”. wow, he’s got stats on advanced wireless web use on mobiles. in Vancouver. can’t wait.

Igor talks Mobile Web

mobile web and context awareness can solve the information overload problem (e.g., 13 hours of video uploaded every minute to youtube).

every third user of Translink’s mobile site comes from the desktop, not from a mobile.

advice: design for context.

-lunch-

“Mobile technology in Latin America: a selection of works” – Jorge Hernandez Cerda, via Skype from Chile. tech issues. psychologist.

mobile festivals in Brazil. GPSarte – using gps tracking to create art. gpsart.net

making excuses to avoid phone calls over SMS as art – Buena Letra (Argentina)

Glenn Iles – Whistler and large scale events. video from Crankworx. questions right away – professional and amateur mtn bikers don’t want their tumbles videotaped. the “scrutiny of truth”. event management. add value to productions – e.g. mobile camera operators can fill a need to keep production costs down for a production company. video coverage of sideshows too. attention to sponsors. behind-the-scenes wins, such as capturing the bear on the mtn bike course.

had to go early and miss the last two presentations…

Open Mobile

I’m presenting a keynote this Sunday for an event called Open Mobile, presented in part by Mobile Muse as part of New Forms Festival 2008. I’m co-presenting with Roland Tanglao and Jesse Scott (artist info here), who will be my visual accompanists. But hopefully their visuals will override and scramble my messages such that the audience comes away more confused than I am going in. No, seriously. It should be a good opportunity to talk about mobiles with a highly creative audience, fresh from ArtCamp and other New Forms goings-on.

Here’s the abstract for my talk in draft form:

Opening Mobiles, Community Activation and the One Wireless Web
It was once said that the Sony Walkman, not love, would tear us apart. Contrary to these claims about mobile privatization, whereby individuating technologies are said to produce alienated populations running around in mobile media cocoons, and for some quite unexpectedly, the diffusion of advanced mobile devices and applications offers new opportunities to build and activate communities, invoking a radical reconstruction of media, art production, intellectual property, and public space. Ubiquitous, open, mobile, and accessible internetworking technologies, heralded by portable wi-fi devices such as the Nokia N95 or Apple’s iPhone, will enable us to continue the legacy of our tethered social media cloud – media sharing, wikis, tagging, twemes – in a radically different space than we’re used to (or one that we’ve simply forgotten about somewhat): public space. This is contested terrain, with a complex political economy, but the potential for a ubiquitous mobile web is now too alluring to ignore. This talk will navigate the mobile web space with one eye on media history and political economy, and another eye on the accompanying VJ screen, to assess how the speaker’s messages are being scrambled while this all unfolds.

Check out the Open Mobile Eventbrite page for more details about speakers, times, location and so forth.

Update: Here’s a compressed PDF of my presentation. I’ll post a link to the video later on…

Mobile Videobiking at Car Free Vancouver

As planned, yesterday, Roland and I strapped N-series phones to our bikes, pulled along a wi-fi/WiMAX equipped trailer, and performed Le Tour Des Car Free Fests. As my Sportstracker data indicates (in two segments), we managed to visit three of the four main sites for Vancouver’s Car Free Day.

Nokia Sportstracker routes came out in three segments, and the third segment either disappeared or NSB shut down in the middle of it.

We had severe connectivity issues throughout the ride, which meant that we only achieved a few minutes of live streaming video at a maximum. Roland has collected up most of the links for this material here, so I needn’t be redundant and repost it. The two remaining challenges for this sort of exercise (which had been identified during our last pretest on June 11, but not since resolved) are the annoying authentication page on Free-The-Net, and the limited upload speeds of WiMAX. Clearly, another solution, other than Rogers Portable Internet, is in order.

I must say, the Car Free day is a great event. I’m glad it’s expanded into other ‘hoods this year. Each one had a very different vibe. I’ll do a follow-up post on this dimension of the experience later. Today I need to actually spend some missed time with my daughter. The Father’s Day extended dub remix 12″, or something…

MUSE3 Showcase Forum :: Fearless City

Video thumbnail. Click to playWe had a whirlwind day of great presentations (and challenging deliberations) at the MUSE3 Showcase Forum last Friday, at SFU Harbour Centre. Embedded at right is the first of these presentations, from the Fearless City group. To view the rest of the, go to my blip page.

This video was originally shared on blip.tv by jeanh with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.

MUSE3, public displays, NV08 & Fusion recap

MUSE3 CMNS planning whiteboardI’m chin-deep in MUSE3 planning (excuse the outdated site at them thar preceding link – that’s part of what I’m working on), gearing up for our Showcase Proposal Forum this Friday (check back on Friday morning with that link for the webcast), adjusting my Web 2 specs after all the Northern Voice interaction last weekend, reading about commercial applications** for live public displays, listening back and forth between Bob Dylan, M.I.A. and Wire, trying to think when I’ll get time to get back at the comps.

**Akoo International sees much commercial potential in growing its mVenue network of interactive public displays. This is quite similar to MUSE3’s plans, with the caveat that we are also looking to create live public displays as just that – public digital space, not more sites for strictly commercial exchanges to happen in public**

Northern Voice was, as usual, great for chatting and renewing/starting acquaintanceships that make sense in the fuzzy, biz/social tech scene in Vancouver – which is more and more resembling an indie music scene, just with more computers in it. The content was more engrossing for me than last year, esp Alan Levine’s 50 Ways to Tell a Web 2.0 Story. While I shouldn’t complain (I did have a slot to present my research [PDF download], after all, for which I’m very grateful and honoured to be selected!) there were times in a few sessions when I felt a bit out-barked. The emphasis on adhocracy in the structure of some sessions tends to make shouting out of turn the way to be heard. More than once this happened, and I imagine others in attendance (who might’ve had valuable comments to make) may have also felt left out of some discussions. Anyway, that’s my .02 cents on how to improve the loose moose dimension of NV (can I get a mod please!), which in every other regard was fun, lively and highly informative.

I also made some interesting contacts after presenting on my mobile research last week at New Media BC’s Fusion Digital Venture Forum, which was a great prelude to NV. Thanks to Kelly, Adam and the rest at NMBC for putting me on the bill at the last minute, and to the audience for tolerating my wiggy tech.

panel 2 panel

4S PlenaryI’m back from Montréal, having had a good but curt time in la belle province. 4S (image of the plenary at R, more available here) was, to be honest, hit and miss; some panels were dull as television, and some others were painful to watch due to speaker-unpreparedness. Sometimes I wonder about the fine line between sociology and fannying about.

However, I saw some great presentations, too. I very briefly met Ron Eglash and Tarleton Gillespie, who’ve both written recent must-reads in my area, and got an earful of value out of their panel on appropriating technology. I also took in some interesting debate about bioethics, particularly as regards the personhood or patenthood (I’m making that expression up of course) of genetically modified organisms. And while these debates sorely lacked any real progressive ethical opinions about animal welfare (about which I tried to chime in but was squarely edged out of the ring by the ushers of positivism masked as dispassion), they were certainly stimulating conversations. At least, that was my reading of the situation…The most important question that I came out of the conference with, pertinent to my research, that is, was, “is music like other forms of knowledge? can we study it in the same way scientific knowledge is studied?” If I follow this path, it would situate my dissertation research squarely between fan/amateur studies and STS. I’ll tentatively suggest those as comprehensive areas and start exploring from there, I think.

Anyway, I’m rambling without naming names. One of the best outcomes of this conference is that I seem to have overcome my fear of flying. Out of the three flights it took to get there and back, I endured about two hours’ worth of turbulence without so much as stiffening up. It was fun again, like when I flew as a kid – sort of like a low key amusement park ride.

And now, AOIR…the command centre is built, the stations are being assigned, parties are being canceled, and the internet research community is about to swoop down on our unsuspecting, digitally-divided city. I’m still pulling my presentation together, but it should generate the feedback I need at this early stage of research. Hope to see some of you there!

AOIR 8 update

AOIR Program coverHere’s another update on AOIR 8, happening Oct 17-20 in Vancouver. The Program (cover featured at right) is complete and off to the printers, room assignments have been made, and things are generally getting all keyed up around here.

There’s quite a range of papers and panels happening – too much to summarize in one post, and certainly too much for one person to attend them all. It’s the same pattern we observe with the VIFF (happening as we speak), which, partly due to my involvement in AOIR (though for myriad reasons), I’m unable to attend this year. If anyone catches anything exceptionally good, toss me the IMDB link and I’ll hunt for it later.

Also – now that the bulk of my work on AOIR is out of the way, I can put a bit of time into organizing the 50 Parties thing. So, here’s another shoutout to ppl who might be interested in pitching in, who missed the call the first time. If yr on Facebook, add this event. And make your promises (and break ’em) on the 50 Parties wiki. I’d like to have people throw pies at each other.

If you’re a local venue that’d like to host 50 Parties, and can hold around 200 or so nerds, then get in touch with me directly (jeanh at clicknoise dot net) to discuss yr terms. We’ve got a DJ or two lined up already, and we’ll have a whole whack of academic and tech people from out of town looking for something fun to do between panels.

Also – if anyone could drop me a hint on a good local source for those fake cream pies that get thrown in politicians’ faces (see the image below for an example of how this works), I’d be appreciative enough to buy you a beer at the event. Cheers!

Chretien gets pie in face

Step One: sidle up at public grip n’ grin

Step Two: remove fake cream pie from pocket

Step Three: briefly show upper surface of pie to target politician

Step Four: mash it in his face

Step Five: run like hell. the security guards will think it’s an act of terrorism.