January 28, 2004

Peer Review

The papers published via this site continue to attract considerable traffic. Several people have asked if they are peer reviewed or not. As the academic chair let me reiterate, very plainly:

1. All abstracts received anonymous peer review.
2. Accepted authors were required to write completed essays.
3. All completed essays then received anonymous peer review.
4. All authors were expected to respond to the peer review they received.

The review board did all the reviewing, and they were an international group of experts in the field.

Posted by amiles at 03:51 PM | Comments (1)

November 24, 2003

Closure

Always a suspect property. This, I hope, is the final entry in the MelbourneDAC blog. You will find information here about how we ran the event, what worked what didn't, as well as an archive of the event, the papers, and various delegates opinions, sentiments, and responses. I'd like to thank, for one last time, Antoanetta Ivanova of Novamedia Arts and Anna Farago of The School of Applied Communication for being the people who actually made the event happen.

Good luck with what you find here, I hope it helps. (btw, I've turned off comments all over the place because of comment spam. grrr.)

Posted by amiles at 06:46 PM | Comments (0)

PostDAC: Executive Summary

Participants
180 delegates, 30 international from 11 countries. Australian delegates from Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia.

Papers
64 papers accepted and scheduled, 56 presented. 1 Public Forum and a day of artist'ss talks.

Publications
Published proceedings of long papers. All papers provided to delegates on CDROM. Special issue of all papers published in Fine Art Forum.

Exhibition
24 international works exhibited. Exhibition catalogue published.

Press
6 articles in the daily press, 1 radio interview.

Internet Traffic
13,000 discrete visits to web site to date.

Sponsorship and Support
RMIT, Novamedia Arts, Australian Film Commission, State Library of Victoria, Multimedia Victoria, Film Victoria, Australian Centre for the Moving Image, InterMedia:University of Bergen, Panasonic, My Mac, Ajays Catering, Grinders coffee, De Bortoli Wines, Desktop Magazine.

Posted by amiles at 05:56 PM | Comments (0)

DIY: What Worked and I'd Do Again

Well, revisiting after several months the MelbourneDAC blog, largely to finish the last of the documentation and to provide here the final information. The conference hit a lot of home runs, which for the sake of brevity (and fatigue) I'll list and note here. These are all things or ideas that I'd do again if I were running another conference:
Active International Academic Board
We had an international board made up of former DAC board members, new senior academics and a smattering of young career academics. Virtually every person invited to participate said yes, and the majority did all of their reviewing and board duties brilliantly.
Review Board
All of those on the academic board were invited to nominate people to join the review board. There was an emphasis in the invitation to introduce young researchers and academics, including PhD students, to be involved. This was done because a) they would be hard working and accountable to the needs to the conference, b) it was an excellent professional development opportunity for them to develop reading and review skills and to learn what goes on 'under the bonnet' of a conference.
Use of a Database to Manage Reviewing
We found a free version of a conference database that was not particularly elegant but allowed papers to be submitted, recorded, catalogued, and then assigned for review. Reviewers logged in, found a series of abstracts or papers assigned to them, and could download them. Reviewing followed a standard template so that there was some consistency across how abstracts and papers were read and judged. The database also collated these results so an index of ranked abstracts was easily produced.
Requiring Completed Papers
Presenters first submitted abstracts which were fully peer reviewed (minimum of three reviews per abstract) by the academic board. The best papers were invited to be long papers (10 A4 pages), a second tier of papers were invited to be short papers (4 A4 pages), and the rest were rejected. All papers had to be submitted as completed for a second round of reviewing. This is when the review board was formed, as there was a substantial amount of reading to do, and all papers received further feedback and criticism, and all authors had the opportunity to amend their work in light of these comments. As a result everyone presented thoroughly researched and critiqued work.
Providing a Style Guide for Authors
A Word template was available which contained the style guide for authors. This saved a lot of time when formatting papers for publication, also caused some problems. However by enforcing a strict style guide, including page length, authors had clear constraints and it made budgetting the publications much easier.
Mentoring and Professional Development
The Review Board provided and was used as an opportunity to introduce and mentor (socialise?) new career academics into the protocols and practices of academic reviewing and to see 'behind the screen' at a major conference. As this conference was requiring an exceptional level of peer review it was also hoped that best practice would be modelled for these young academics.
Best Practice Benchmarking
Many conferences in the humanities consist of an abstract being peer reviewed, and little else. And in some contexts the peer reviewing that attaches to the abstract is mediocre, and that's being generous. By providing three reviews for each abstract, then completed papers which where then reviewed, we established a benchmark standard for such conferences. It should be noted that this sort of peer review is common in many other fields.
Distribution and Publication of Papers
All papers were available to conference delegates via the Web a week before the conference began. On arrival at the conference all delegates received a hard print copy of the long papers and a CDROM containing all papers (short papers, long papers, panel presentations). Post conference all conference papers are archived from this site, as well as forming a special issue of Fine Art Forum.
Development and Maintenance of a Conference Web Site
The migration of the conference site into this blog enabled various conference participants to document their experience and opinion of the event. MelbourneDAC considered its online presence to be an integral part of the promotional strategy of the conference. This strategy was aimed at encouraging artists, industry representatives, and researchers to attend the conference, but it extended to envision the online identity of the conference as a meeting place or information resource for those intending to attend, wanting to find out about the event, and more significantly to be available as an ongoing resource. The traffic the site currently receives indicates that this has been successful.
Effective Use of Appropriate Technologies to Manage Event
The blog, conference database, and extensive use of several email lists (for conference and review board, presenters, administrators, and general public information) were highly successful. This was helped by the digital 'literacies' of the people involved in a conference on Digital Art and Culture, but the manner in which the lists were used also contributed to their success. For example the academic board email list was used to mentor, encourage, cajole and solicit support, work, and suggestions from the board members.
Promotion of a "Flat" Conference Culture
This is a tricky one. We decided that the conference should reflect what I guess you could call an Australian informality. This was managed in numerous ways. For example the lists of names of the academic board was alphabetically sorted by first name and not family name or academic rank. Minor point I know, but it was all about being friendly. Similarly the tone of the emails sent to the various lists, particularly the academic board list, was, well, irreverant. For similar reasons a decision was made to have no key note speakers - the best abstracts became the long papers and would be presented in single session. In addition most of those we might have considered as key notes were either already intending to come to the conference, or had already been keynotes at previoius DACs! Other ways of promoting and developing an inclusive conference culture was the scheduling of a conference 'day out', including most of the conference events within one registration price structure, the conference dinner, artists' day, performance evening, and the very strong 'invitation' to all speakers to talk to their papers rather than reading.
Promotion of an Ideas Forum
Sort of obvious for a conference really. However many conferences become theoretically slow or clumsy because speakers have only been accepted on the basis of an abstract, the paper is then unfinished (and usually finally roughly drafted the day before), and then read. At MelbourneDAC all speakers were invited to talk to their papers, since all delegates had access to them prior to the event. They were encouraged to identify what was significant in their work, why this was so, but also to acknowledge what was lacking or where further research was needed. Speakers were specifically invited to consider the conference as an opportunity to think of their research and/or practice in process, rather than as something fixed, closed and 'correct'. This gave the papers being presented an informality in their presentation which assisted in the dissemination of the ideas being discussed - simply because by talking to their papers a more appropriate 'oral' mode of presentation was adopted instead of reading the complex subordinate clauses that features in academic conference papers. In addition, since all work was completed papers, it meant that speakers knew their material well, and so could easily (generally) talk to their ideas - the need to have submitted a finished paper, and to have responded to further review of that paper, meant that an intellectual terrain and tenor was already established. The conference then became the site to explore this.
Significant Networking Events
Awful conference speak really. Generally, conferences are experienced as successful because of the quality of the material presented, how it is discussed, and the conversations that happen outside of the sessions. The latter is extremely important, and certainly in my own experience the best conferences I've participated in (and all of the previous DAC's have been llike this) have been very social events. By social I simply mean there have been a lot of discussions held informally around and outside of the conference sessions, and that it is in these informal forums that viable networks are established and maintained. MelbourneDAC encouraged this by the scheduling of several social events within the conference. This included the performance night, the conference dinner, but more significantly the DAC Day Out. This was a bus trip to the Healsville Sanctuary and then de Bortoli's vineyard for lunch. The day was completely informal, was scheduled for the Wednesday so provided a rest after two intensive days of sessions, ensured that international visitors actually saw some Australian animals and bush, and let the locals explore and explain things for others.
Conference Dinner
Well, of course you have to have a conference dinner and there's no big deal about this. However the dinner was scheduled at the end of all the academic sessions, the night prior to the artists' day and closing panel discussion. Since the artists' day was a late start this avoided the common conference problem of a dinner in the middle of the conference and so those presenting at the first session of the following day finding attendance decimated by the conviviality of the previous evening.
Performance Night
As many practising artists were attending MelbourneDAC it was decided that a performance evening would allow those artists involved in performance work and the digital to showcase their practice. This was held to a full house at a city bar (Bourgie) on the second night of the conference and was a hoot. An international cast, exciting work, another chance for delegates to come together as a group, rather than coteries.
Affordable and Integrated Conference
A decision was made quite early on in the managing of the event to make the conference affordable for artists as well as academics. The rationale for this was partly the theme of accessibility (of ideas, speakers, networks) that MelbourneDAC adopted. It was also so that we could establish a single price for the week, which would then include the DAC Day Out, performance night, all sessions, proceedings, CDROM of proceedings, and artists' day at Experimedia, State Library of Victoria. The rationale here was very straight forward. If we charged a flat rate for the conference, then additional for proceedings, the DAC Day Out, performance night, etc, then many delegates would treat these as optional and not participate. Once that happens you end up with a conference with at least two tiers or classes. Those that can afford everything and those that can't. Or those that think going to the sanctuary is sort of daggy (Australian slang for I guess geeky, but geeky without any cachet of the digital) and those who are from overseas and want to see some koalas and kangaroos. So by including all of this in the one price and making these not optional most people participated in most things. This was a major plus since everyone not only had a good time (to their surprise) but also it reinforced the networks that existed or where being established - the day out ensured that there was time to meet, talk, relax, discuss.
Technical Support
It is surprising how many major conferences do very little to provide network access or technical support. It is common to find only 2 or 3 networked PCs available for things like web mail, but no ethernet access for those with laptops (indeed I've been to major international conferences that are about Internet technologies where the only network access was in one room through dial up connections!). For MelbourneDAC we provided 6 networked iMacs, each with DVD and CDROM burning capabilities. In addition there was an ethernet hub with 6 spare ethernet ports for those with laptops, and an AirPort wireless network was established in the foyer which extended to most of the main conference venue. All presentation spaces contained a computer and network access. Technical support was available during every session. A common thank you through the conference was for providing decent network access and tech help.
Integration of Practice and Theory
A conference such as DAC has always attempted to include digital practice and digital theory. MelbourneDAC did this through the +playengines+ exhibition, hosted by Experimedia at the State Library, but it was also done through including artist's papers with academic papers in the same sessions. The traditional practice is to theme sessions, which inevitably separates practice from theory, artists from academics. This happens even in those conferences that think they're 'interdisciplinary' and the like. Placing this content together meant, and not theming sessions, meant that delegates heard a range of material, from a range of perspectives, encouraging interdisciplinarity, engagement with ideas, and helping indicate the connections between theory and practice. Much the same was facilitated by the artists' day held on the final day of the conference. This was more informal than the conference sessions, allowing the event to wind down, but also allowed the artists with work in +playengines+ to talk to their ideas.
Running a Conference Blog
Was an interesting experiment. Quite a bit of live blogging was undertaken by a small group of interested delegates. Sessions were documented, the city, the experience of the conference, and also social networking all happened via the blog. The blog engine (Movable Type) also proved useful as a simple web content management system for maintaining the conference web site.
Small Things Becoming Joined
The success of the conference I believe was in the small things that worked and the outcomes this produced. There are many of these, and those here are just a sample of what I mean.

As one New Zealander said to me at the wine tasting at de Bortoli's, things like the DAC Day Out had 'humanised' academic culture for them so that they no longer felt intimidated meeting people who's work they'd read, or discussing their own work with them. These are the small outcomes that I actually regard as the most significant for the conference.

Or my colleague who has been invited to contribute a book chapter to an academic anthology because someone read his DAC paper that we made sure was publically available from the conference web site.

That we made the Net Art News of the Day as an event, or that Taylor and Jakobsson's paper got Slashdotted.

The speaker who, because they were invited to reflect on why their work was significant, realised (and told us all) that they were drawn to games and theorising games in a particular way because of the games they had played using the patterns on the family rug as child.

That artists papers were included with academic presentations in the same session and people would walk out discussing both.

The provision of decent network infrastructure meant people could live blog, do email, etc from within the major conference room.

Posted by amiles at 05:53 PM | Comments (0)

DIY: What I'd Try to do Differently

After going through what I'd do again, this is the list come discussion of what I'd try to do differently, better, or not at all for next time:

Publication of All Papers Online
This was a good idea but the papers were only finally available online a week before the conference. This was not soon enough and didn't provide enough time for delegates to read what they specifically wanted or needed to prior to arriving.
Providing a Style Guide for Papers
A Word template was provided which contained the style guide for authors. There were some things missing from the style guide (for example some citation examples). Many people had a lot of trouble using the style guide, which I think was more to do with a general unfamiliarity with using Stylesheets in general. The style guide provided information about the layout of graphics, however quite a few authors went to great lengths, using things like page and column breaks, to format their papers. Unfortunately this caused chaos because as soon as the dimensions of the publication changed these arbitrary page and column breaks rendered the layout invalid. This caused a lot of angst for all concerned, and meant that formatting the proceedings took considerably longer than it ought to have. In future I think I'd state very clearly that the final formatting of the papers will be variable, and that the use of the style guide is not so that the author can control the presentation of their material, but to ease publication design for the publication designers. I'd also (and this has provoked a lot of hostility) have a rather direct statement that authors should not assume that their images will not still appear on the page where they have placed them, due to the vagaries of formatting for publication. Many people wrote their papers in a style where they would refer to an image much like "Figure One on page x" or "figure two on this page". Sorry, this is insane. Once the paper goes into the proceedings the author has no idea what page their image is going to appear on, and even where you might refer to the image as being on the current, next, previous page, frankly this can't be ensured. It might, as strange as it seem, be simply because the author used the Monotype cut of Times New Roman rather than Apple's cut which has different kerning, and so the paragraphs will move slightly, meaning that there is now an orphan which results from where the author has placed the image, requiring the image to be moved. So, what would I write. "Please refer to images in your text by figure number, NOT page number or relative page location. In the final copy of your work your images may be moved for reasons of information architecture and publication design."
Use of Panels
In the original call for papers there was an invitation for panels to be proposed. The original intent of panels was to allow artists to make presentations in a less formally academic context around germane issues associated with their practice. This did not happen. Why? Because I wrote the panels invitation in academic speak which immediately indicated (sensibly) to all and sundry that panels were for academics.
Melbourne Mentors
As part of the networking activities of MelbourneDAC I had intended to have a series of "Melbourne Mentors" (for want of a better term). These would be locals attending the conference who would have several national and international delegats assigned to them. Their job was not so much to host these visitors as to be a place to ask for information and help, the sorts of information that a local would have: where to eat this kind of food, or how do I use the trams, or a good bar, or a good place to buy clothes. This was to be done because Melbourne is a bit of a secret city - all of its treasures are hidden down bluestone allies and back lanes, and so to actually understand Melbourne you have to go to these sorts of places. It was also to be done because this would encourage and manufacture networking, so that local people would have to meet and engage with people from other places. It didn't happen because we just ran out of time to organise it. I still think it is a good idea.
Scheduling Less Sessions
Being a first time conference chair I did what I'd characterise as reactive scheduling. Saying yes to too many papers and then worrying about how to schedule them all into three days. In future I'd either make sure I could extend the duration of the conference to comfortably accomodate the number of presentations, or work out the schedule then rank the papers accordingly to fit the schedule. As it was the days were too long and there wasn't enough time between sessions to easily move from session to session, or to talk about what you'd just heard. Big mistake. More conversation, less rush.
Charge More
Only one person complained about the price of the conference. We should have charged more. Compared to other events MelbourneDAC really was a steal, for AUD$350 (currently approximately 212 Euro or USD$252, you got a print copy of the proceedings, the bus trip to the Yarra Valley, lunch on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, a free drinks night for the opening at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, free entry to the DAC Performance Night, a CDROM of short and long papers and panel descriptions, and a Freddo Frog. The only thing you didn't get was the conference dinner. Why should we have charged more? Because it would have given us a better publishing budget - I wanted to print an additional 250 copies of the proceedings to mail out to University libraries, and we could have had more room to move with our budget for providing some assistance, or just to have a higher income stream to keep the people who supported the event happier. Why didn't we charge more? Because this year in Melbourne we had Graphite, which happened before MelbourneDAC, and we had to be careful to price MelbourneDAC so that delegates didn't feel like they had to choose one or the other (though that happened for many interstate people). I of course think MelbourneDAC was a much better event, but Graphite as an ACM Siggraph regional event had the profile that DAC in Australia just didn't have (though it does now). An extra AUD$100 would have translated into at least an additional $10,000, for an even run on in kind support, good will, and a little bit of cash that amount is very, very, significant.
Posted by amiles at 05:49 PM | Comments (0)

DIY: Snail Mail Letter of Acceptance, Students

As with the academic letter of acceptance, the following template was used for those postgraduate students who required a formal letterhead style invitation to help secure funding to attend the conference.

address
date

Dear Name

As Academic Chair of the 5th International Digital Arts and Culture Conference (melbourneDAC) I would like to invite you to present your paper 'paperTitleHere' at the conference in Melbourne during May of this year. This paper will make a valuable contribution to the conference, however I would also like to invite you to consider being a session chair during the event, and also to participate in a postgraduate mentoring scheme that we are developing.

Many PhD students find that their PhD research concentrates on their thesis and that little professional development, outside of the demands of research, occurs. This is obviously inadequate in the contemporary academic world where teaching, administrative, managerial and broader academic skills are necessary. As a contribution to this sort of professional development melbourneDAC intends to mentor PhD students through encouraging their contribution to the conference academically (through the traditional avenue of presenting research via essay and giving a paper), as well as inviting them to manage sessions, and finally through a series of informal postgraduate events designed to assist new researchers to develop viable international networks of peers.

To achieve this I am specifically inviting postgraduate students who have papers accepted for the conference to participate in these events to ensure their success, and to maximise the outcomes for postgraduate participants. melbourneDAC is a major international conference and so represents an excellent opportunity for young and emerging researchers to develop broader professional academic skills, and as Academic Chair I fully intend the conference to achieve these outcomes. Your participation would be welcomed, and as Chair I hope you are able to accept my invitation to participate.

Yours sincerely
Adrian Miles
MelbourneDAC conference chair

Posted by amiles at 05:48 PM | Comments (0)

DIY: Snail Mail Letter of Acceptance

For many academics a formal letter (letterhead, logo and the full catastrophe) is needed to assist in gaining funding to participate in a conference. This was offered to those presenting, approximately 20 academics and PhD students took up the offer. This is the template for academics:

address
date
Dear Offical Title and Name

As Academic Chair of the 5th International Digital Arts and Culture Conference (MelbourneDAC) I would like to invite you to present your paper 'paperNameHere' at the conference in Melbourne during May of this year. This paper will make a valuable contribution to the conference.

I would also like to invite you to consider being a session chair during the event, and also to participate in the various forums that we are developing.It is well recognised that conferences form a significant aspect of professional development, knowledge dissemination, and knowledge gain for academics.

However, beyond presenting current research many conferences only rely on informal and largely self initiated activities for such professional development. MelbourneDAC intends to provide a series of activities, events, and forums that are designed to facilitate the various professional development activities that an international conference ought to foster. This includes such things as ensuring that the conference allows individuals to establish a sustainable network of peers, postgraduate mentoring opportunities, collaborative and peer defined panels and forums, and specific social activities that will provide various processes to encourage dialogue between delegates around cognate professional practices, research, and teaching.

To achieve this I am encouraging all participants who are attending MelbourneDAC to participate in a full range of conference activities, and to emphasise that this conference is not a 'talk and walk' event. Your participation in this process will be valuable and significant, and as a presenter at the conference your contribution will be substantial and well recognised by your peers.

As a major international conference MelbourneDAC provides an excellent opportunity to not only foreground your research but to actively participate in an ongoing debate about future directions in the broad fields of digital arts and culture. As Academic Chair of MelbourneDAC I hope you are able to accept my invitation to participate.

Yours sincerely
Adrian Miles
MelbourneDAC academic chair

Posted by amiles at 05:45 PM | Comments (0)

DIY: Short Paper Acceptance Email

To: Subject: Your DAC03 paper

Dear AuthorName:

-------- cut here ------------
please cross box as appropriate (one box only) and reply to dac.edu.au by Monday December 9th.

[ ] yes i have read the explanantion below and would prefer a short paper (4 pages maximum)
[ ] yes i have read the explanation below and will NOT be writing a paper

Papers must be submitted by February 1, 2003.
-------- cut here ------------

Congratulations! On behalf of the DAC03 Program Committee, I am delighted to inform you that the following paper has been accepted for development and possible presentation as a short paper at the conference:
PaperTitle

We apologise for being late with responding to you (we received a lot of abstracts).

Please read what follows with great care. Acceptance of your abstract does NOT mean that you will be presenting at this conference. You must submit a completed paper by 1 February 2003 which will then be fully peer reviewed.

ONLY COMPLETED PAPERS THAT HAVE SUCCESSFULLY BEEN PEER REVIEWED WILL BE PRESENTED AT THE CONFERENCE.

All short papers submitted, reviewed, and accepted, will appear in a fully referred conference proceedings.

_____________

The conference committee would like your paper to be part of a short paper session at MelbourneDAC. Short papers are to follow the paper style sheet available for download from http://hypertext.rmit.edu.au/dac/download/DACFormat.rtf

Short papers are limited to 4 pages only in this format. When writing your short paper please be brief in your introduction and spend most of your space dealing with your major point or points - assume that your readers are reasonably familiar with some of the literature, and provide references to the theoretical works you are relying upon. Do not spend 2 of your 4 pages describing previous work!

We are interested in what your work can contribute to thought, debate, and criticism in the field so please spend your time making your thoughts and ideas apparent and understandable!

Again, congratulations. On behalf of the conference committee we look forward to reviewing your final work, and your contribution to what is shaping up to be a major and exciting event.

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to get in touch.

Best Regards
Adrian Miles
MelbourneDAC conference chair

Posted by amiles at 05:42 PM | Comments (0)

DIY: Long Paper Acceptance Email

To: Subject: Your DAC03 paper

Dear Author:

-------- cut here ------------
please cross box as appropriate (one box only) and reply to dac.edu.au by Monday December 9th.

[ ] yes i have read the explanation below and am writing a full paper [ ] yes i have read the explanantion below and would prefer a short paper (4 pages maximum)
[ ] yes i have read the explanation below and will NOT be writing a paper

Papers must be submitted by February 1, 2003.
-------- cut here ------------

Congratulations! On behalf of the DAC03 Program Committee, I am delighted to inform you that your abstract has been accepted for development and possible presentation as a full paper at the conference.

We apologise for being late with responding to you (we received a lot of abstracts).

Please read what follows with great care. Acceptance of your abstract does NOT mean that you will be presenting at this conference. You must submit a completed paper by 1 February 2003 which will then be fully peer reviewed.

ONLY COMPLETED PAPERS THAT HAVE SUCCESSFULLY BEEN PEER REVIEWED WILL BE PRESENTED AT THE CONFERENCE.

All full papers submitted, reviewed, and accepted, will appear in a fully referred conference proceedings, available to delegates at the conference.

The conference committee would like your paper to be part of a long paper session at MelbourneDAC. Long papers are to follow the paper style sheet available for download from http://hypertext.rmit.edu.au/dac/download/DACFormat.rtf

Long papers are limited to 10 pages only in this format. When writing your long paper please introduce and contextualise your research and problem in a way that will make it accessible and understandable to others in cognate discilines. Please spend most of your space dealing with your major point or points - assume that your readers are reasonably famialiar with some of the literature, and provide references to the theoretical works you are relying upon. Do not spend 5 of your 8 pages describing previous work!

We are interested in what your work can contribute to thought, debate, and criticism in the field so please spend your time making your thoughts and ideas apparent and understandable!

Only a small number of the 120 abstracts submitted for this conference have been considered by the academic committee to make an original contribution to their fields, and only these have been invited to be long papers. It may sound trite, but well done!

_________________

Again, congratulations. On behalf of the conference committee we look forward to reviewing your final work, and your contribution to what is shaping up to be a major and exciting event.

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to get in touch.

Best Regards
Adrian Miles
MelbourneDAC conference chair

Posted by amiles at 05:39 PM | Comments (0)

DIY: Call for Papers

Like the general announcement for the conference this call for papers was distributed to the same email lists and individuals.

Digital Arts and Culture::2003::Streaming Wor(l)ds
The 2003 iteration of the Digital Arts and Culture (DAC) international conference series is to be held on the city campus of RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia from May 19 to 23, 2003.

keywords: Augmented Reality, Cyberculture, Electronic Fiction, Electronic Music, Electronic Nonfiction, Electronic Poetry, Electronic Spatiality, Electronic Temporality, Flash Fiction, Flash Nonfiction, Games Culture, Games Sociology, Games System Design, Games Theory , Hypertext Literature , Hypertext Theory , Interactive Architecture, Interactive Cinema and Video , Interactive Graphic Narrative, Interactive Performance, MOOs, MUDs, RPG, Networked Improvisation, Networked performance, Streaming Narrative, Time Based Interactive Media, Virtual Reality, Virtual Worlds, ,

++proposals++
Artists, scholars, developers and practitioners working in these and cognate fields are invited to submit 500 word proposals for papers and panels by September 15, 2002. All proposals for papers and panels must be submitted via the submission page which will shortly be available from the conference web site:
http://hypertext.rmit.edu.au/dac/

All contributions will be reviewed by the conference academic board and short listed nominations will be contacted by November 1, 2002.

Short listing does not mean that your work has been accepted for the conference. Short listing means you will be invited to write a full paper, panel proposal, or forum description for review by the program committee. Only complete papers, panel submissions and forum descriptions will be considered for acceptance and this is subject to full peer review by the program committee.

Paper and panel submissions must be completed and submitted by February 1, 2003 for final peer review and consideration. All accepted work will be published in a full conference proceedings.

++papers++
Papers are academic presentations that reflect any of the conference themes. Proposals for papers are limited to 500 words and should give the program committee an indication of your major argument or arguments, and your theoretical approach. It is expected that only abstracts that suggest an original contribution to the field will be short listed.

++panels++
Panels are themed discussions that concentrate on any of the conference themes. Panels are to consist of a position statement (that may or may not be collectively authored) that panel members respond and contribute to. Panel proposals ought to include a draft position statement (maximum of 500 words) and list the members of the panel. Panels are expected to make a constructive and original contribution to debate and ideas in the field.

++what is dac?++
DAC is an international conference focusing on new media theory and practice in critical contexts. It has nurtured a significant international community of young and innovative researchers, artists and scholars in the interdisciplinary field of new media, and has become the benchmark conference for research and collaborative endeavour in new media. DAC has always offered a specialised forum that has emphasised the importance of bringing together leading practitioners for the exchange of ideas and to develop international professional networks and knowledge economies. MelbourneDAC:Streaming Wor(l)ds recognises and intends to continue this role through the papers, panels, and forums it hosts, and the innovative series of collaborative workshops and events that will be undertaken by all conference participants. The mission of MelbourneDAC is to not only exchange ideas and promote new developments in digital arts and culture but to ensure that all participants develop relevant and sustainable professional communities.

Adrian Miles Conference Chair
adrian.miles@rmit.edu.au

Posted by amiles at 05:32 PM | Comments (0)

DIY: DAC Email Announcement

This is a copy of the email announcement that was distributed for MelbourneDAC. It was prior to the call for papers and call for works and was a heads up. We had set a date for the event but the online management system wasn't ready to receive papers, however people were asking, so a generic announcement was made. It was also distributed so that people could pencil it into their diaries, after all to travel to an international conference requires a good 18 to 24 months notice for preparing funding applications and the like. The email was distributed to every new media, computer game, cultural theory and interent theory themed list I could find. I think it totalled 27 or so. I also sent it to over 60 individuals. The email obviously points out where and when, but also thematically contextualised the conference.

[announcement]
Digital Arts and Culture::2003
MelbourneDAC::streaming wor(l)ds
The 2003 iteration of the Digital Arts and
Culture (DAC) international conference series is to be held on the city campus of RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia from May 19 to 23, 2003.

MelbourneDAC:streaming wor(l)ds will bring together an international cohort of artists, practitioners, developers, theorists and teachers to define and explore major themes and ideas confronting contemporary new media practice. The 2003 event will explore the theory and practice of computer gaming, ergodic narrative, distributed and/or immersive performance environments, and streaming media with a particular focus on the real, imagined and wished for worlds that these things create.

[what is the Digital Arts and Culture conference?] DAC was founded in 1998 by Espen Aarseth as an international conference focusing on new media theory and practice in critical contexts. DAC seeks to bring together new media artists and theorists in a spirit of collaboration and exploration. It has nurtured a significant international community of young and innovative researchers, artists and scholars in the interdisciplinary field of new media, and has become the benchmark conference for research and collaborative endeavour in new media. DAC offers a forum that recognises the importance of bringing together leading practitioners from art and theory for the exchange of ideas and to develop international professional networks and knowledge economies. MelbourneDAC:streaming wor(l)ds intends to continue this role through the papers, panels, forums, and exhibition it hosts, and the innovative series of collaborative workshops and events that will be undertaken by all conference participants. The mission of MelbourneDAC is to exchange ideas and promote new developments in digital arts and culture and to ensure that all participants develop relevant and sustainable professional communities.

A call for papers will be distributed shortly.

A call for entries for the MelbourneDAC::streaming wor(l)ds exhibition will be distributed shortly.

All conference material will be published (all participants will receive their copy during MelbourneDac).

A mentoring process will be available to postgraduate students and new academics who wish to have feedback in the development of their contributions.

A moderated announcement list for all interested in receiving additional information and updates is available. Subscription details at http://monaro.adc.rmit.edu.au/mailman/listinfo/dac/

a web site containing this and other information is located at http://hypertext.rmit.edu.au/dac/

[and this is from?] adrian miles conference chair
antoanetta ivanova conference producer

Posted by amiles at 05:31 PM | Comments (0)

DIY: Email Board Invite

This is the email that I used to first invite people onto the MelbourneDAC academic board:

Hi

I am writing to you as Chair of DAC 2003, which will be held at RMIT University, Melbourne from May 19 to 23rd, 2003. (see below a detailed blurb on DAC 2003)

I wish to invite you to become a member of the DAC 2003 Academic Board. The duties involved in the membership would include contributing ideas and feedback on the peer review process between August 2002 & January 2003 & specifically:

1. peer review abstracts (300 words each) *note... abstract deadline to be approx. late August 2002 & comments to be returned by late September 2002

2. help to shortlist abstracts for invitation to submit full papers

3. provide a list of additional reviewers to assist with the review of full papers

4. assist in the peer review of full papers which will be available in published form for DAC2003

5. help in the selection and invitation of possible keynote speakers

6. if you're able to attend DAC then you'll probably receive a formal invitation to participate and to be a session/panel/workshop chair.

Please reply to Adrian Miles at adrian.miles@uib.no if you're able to participate on the DAC Academic Board, if you're unable to I would appreciate it if you could suggest a colleague who may be able to be a member of the board.

DAC ANNOUNCEMENT

[keywords]
computer games, hypertext, graphic narrative, new media narrative, digital arts and culture conference, streaming media, interactive performance, digital aesthetics, interactive cinema, theory, art, academics, artists.

[announcement]
Digital Arts and Culture::2003 MelbourneDAC::streaming wor(l)ds The 2003 iteration of the Digital Arts and Culture (DAC) international conference series is to be held on the city campus of RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia from May 19 to 23, 2003.

MelbourneDAC:streaming wor(l)ds will bring together an international cohort of artists, practitioners, developers, theorists and teachers to define and explore major themes and ideas confronting contemporary new media practice. The 2003 event will explore the theory and practice of computer gaming, ergodic narrative, distributed and/or immersive performance environments, and streaming media with a particular focus on the real, imagined and wished for worlds that these things create.

[what is the Digital Arts and Culture conference?] DAC was founded in 1998 by Espen Aarseth as an international conference focusing on new media theory and practice in critical contexts. DAC seeks to bring together new media artists and theorists in a spirit of collaboration and exploration. It has nurtured a significant international community of young and innovative researchers, artists and scholars in the interdisciplinary field of new media, and has become the benchmark conference for research and collaborative endeavour in new media. DAC offers a forum that recognises the importance of bringing together leading practitioners from art and theory for the exchange of ideas and to develop international professional networks and knowledge economies. MelbourneDAC:streaming wor(l)ds intends to continue this role through the papers, panels, forums, and exhibition it hosts, and the innovative series of collaborative workshops and events that will be undertaken by all conference participants. The mission of MelbourneDAC is to exchange ideas and promote new developments in digital arts and culture and to ensure that all participants develop relevant and sustainable professional communities.

A call for papers will be distributed shortly.

A call for entries for the MelbourneDAC::streaming wor(l)ds exhibition will be distributed shortly.

All conference material will be published (all participants will receive their copy during MelbourneDac).

A mentoring process will be available to postgraduate students and new academics who wish to have feedback in the development of their contributions.

A moderated announcement list for all interested in receiving additional information and updates is available. Subscription details at http://monaro.adc.rmit.edu.au/mailman/listinfo/dac/

a web site containing this and other information is located at http://hypertext.rmit.edu.au/dac/

regards Adrian Miles

Posted by amiles at 05:14 PM | Comments (0)

DIY: Board Invite Letter

For those of you interested in running a conference, here is the template I used for the snail mail invite for the MelbourneDAC academic board. This was sent on letterhead to those who required one after the email invitation.

Offical name/title
address
date

Dear Name Goes Here (duh),

As Academic Chair of the forthcoming international digital arts and culture conference, melbourneDAC, I would like to invite you to join the conference Academic Board. The full academic review board consists of a panel of invited international academics with expertise in various areas of digital culture, aesthetics, and theory, and members of this Board have nominated you as an expert peer.

Your duties as a member of the Academic Board will be to review papers submitted for the conference and to participate in Board decisions about the academic management of the conference. All submitted and accepted papers will be published in the conference proceedings, and so your role is to provide commentary, criticism, and editorial opinion for those papers that you review.

As a fully peer reviewed international conference, with a full published proceedings, submitted work is to meet a high standard and I believe your expertise will contribute to this process substantially.

If you wish to accept this invitation then please contact me via email at either adrian.miles@rmit.edu.au or adrian.miles@uib.no

Yours sincerely
Adrian Miles
MelbourneDAC conference chair

Posted by amiles at 05:09 PM | Comments (0)

August 08, 2003

Fine Art Forum

Fine Art Forum have just published the entire proceedings of MelbourneDAC online, including long and short papers.

Posted by amiles at 06:22 PM | Comments (0)

June 04, 2003

Papers Online

All the conference papers have now been made publicly available. As I noted the other day, to cite these the following information is relevant:

Lastname, Firstname. Proceedings of the Fifth International Digital Arts and Culture Conference. "Title of Paper". RMIT, Melbourne, Australia. May 19 - 23, 2003. http://hypertext.rmit.edu.au/dac/papers/n.pdf accessed: insert date of access here.


Continue reading "Papers Online"
Posted by amiles at 06:29 PM | Comments (0)

June 03, 2003

Blogging a Conference

Well, post MelbourneDAC and one of the several things I've been wondering is the role of this blog. Obviously it will shortly go into hibernation, well, be closed actually, as it was never intended to be the generic DAC blog (for future conferences for example), but was always a sort of 'sideways' appropriation of blogging to easily manage and update a website. Along the way I was also interested in the ways in which I could use a blog to provide some rudimentary project documentation, particularly with my interest in developing and exploring ways or methodologies of managing a conference that provided and encouraged something that was a bit more sophisticated than the more usual talk and walk events so common in the humanities.

Did it work? Yes and no, of course. There was some tension as the blog become a site of reportage, tensions between novice and experienced blog authors, but also tensions between what the object of the MelbourneDAC site might be and what the content of a semi-public space becomes. Frankly this is quite a positive thing, certainly productive, as the multiple voices and trajectories turned it into something closer to a forum than just a conference web site and promotes some sort of test scenario to simply see if indeed it worked, and is it worth (was it worth) doing.

On the other hand, the project documentation has not been fantastic because I only moved this to a blog quite late in the process. Organising the conference started over 15 months ago, and I do think if I'd run the blog from the start, and used it to document the organisational side of the conference more substantially, then it would have been much more effective as a documentation system.

What I've liked about using a blog for the conference is that is does tend towards documentary. Not in a distant 'voice of god' sort of manner, though that is pretty much my tone now I suppose, but in the thick of things a sort of observational direct cinema sort of textuality. So in that sort of way the blog works well to document the conference as an event rather than as some sort of solidified or stable thing. And using a blog has made adding new information very very easy, and I'd certainly encourage anyone thinking of maintaining a web site for a conference to seriously consider something as simple as an installation of movable type.

Posted by amiles at 05:16 PM | Comments (0)