New spirit of NZ tertiary ‘cooperation,
collaboration’ across virtual worlds
ADA Symposium Poster
With New Zealand tertiary institutions – polytechnics and universities – sometimes at loggerheads with each other its good to see a spirit of cooperation and collaboration in their working with and within virtual worlds.
This was brought home to me 10 days ago when The 6th Aotearoa Digital Arts Symposium, Critical-Digital-Matter, supported by the Victoria University School of Design, of Wellington, New Zealand, and by Creative New Zealand, Enjoy Public Art Gallery, None Gallery, De Balie Centre for Culture and Politics, Amsterdam, Leonardo Education Forum, and Otago Polytechnic, chose Mike Baker’s (SL: Rollo Kohime) Wellington Railway Station build on the Nelson-Marlborough Institute of Technology’s Second Life island of Koru, as one of the venue’s for a keynote international debate.
This was as part of the three-day symposium’s examination of the critical intersections between digital materials and art practice in a bid to determine the relationship of the digital to matter. Other issues explored, included: How do we forge connections beyond art practices? And, what is the role of critical discourse in contemporary art practice?
The symposium featured a keynote presentation by internationally-renowned sound and intermedia artist Phil Dadson, and a remote conversation with London-based media theorist Matthew Fuller via De Balie, the centre for Culture and Politics in Amsterdam.
The “Keynote Conversation” was distributed through real life and Second Life as a live broadcast between London, Amsterdam and Wellington with projections screened at ‘Debalie’ in the centre of Amsterdam, on a screen at Goldsmiths College in London and Victoria University in Wellington. Interestingly, Victoria University leases space in the real life Wellington Railway Station, looking down upon the concourse space in which Baker have been carrying out his dance work for the past two years.
The initiators of this event were Eric Kluitenberg (Amsterdam) , Su Ballard (Wellington) and Matthew Fuller (London) with additional guests.
The other conference sessions included materiality in digital art; developing critical discourse in a small digital arts community; and forging connections beyond art. A wide range of artists and researchers from Wellington and around New Zealand presented their current projects.
Conversation across the world.
The new spirit of collaboration between tertiary institutions in the virtual world field in New Zealand was noted by the joint leader of the SLENZ Project, Dr Clare Atkins (SL: Arwenna Stardust) at a recent regular SLENZ team meeting on Koru.
But it is also expressed in the cooperation and collaboration taking place in what is scheduled to become the new New Zealand national virtual world grid, ONGENS, a development virtual world project which was initially launched by Otago and Canterbury Universities.
Although still virtually just out of OpenSim embryo the ONGENS virtual grid’s collaborators already include Auckland University (12 sims), Weltec, NMIT and SLENZ among others.
The ADA symposium followed another successful Second Life presentation by Mike Baker to the PSI#15 conference, in Zagreb, Croatia, from Koru’s Wellington Railway Station (Baker as Rollo pictured below) which is becoming known in academic and dance circles around the world for his “In the Company of Strangers – Negotiating the parameters of Departure in Urban Spaces; a study of Indeterminacy and the Roaming Body.”
The title of his Zagreb presentation with participants both in Second Life and real life was: “Misperformance: Misfiring, Misfitting, Misreading.” The title appeared rather fitting given the trauma of a previous presentation at Stanford where Second Life crashed during the key part of his address. Fortunately he was able to finish in Skype.
Filed under: Education, Education in Second Life, Education in virtual worlds, Second Life, Sl Conferences, Virtual Worlds | Tagged: ADA, Aotearoa Digital Arts Symposium, Creative New Zealand, De Balie Centre for Culture and Politics, Dr Clare Atkins, Enjoy Public Art Gallery, Eric Kluitenberg, Koru, Leonardo Education Forum, Matthew Fuller, Mike Baker, None Gallery, Ongens, Otago Polytechnic, Phil Dadson, rollo kohime, slenz, Su Ballard, Victora University, Victoria University School of Design, Wellington Railway Station | 1 Comment »