From 10.30am tomorrow (Friday) morning at the State Library of Victoria theaterette MelbourneDAC is running a public roundtable discussion. This is to discuss some of the ideas that have arisen from the conference. The ostensible focus is more or less what should we be studying (how should we be studying)?, what should we be teaching, and what are our differences?
Something that has become very visible at this DAC are the national differences between the theoretical epistemes being used to think about new media (which is now increasingly obvious as a useless descriptor). Many of the Scandinavians seem to come from what I understand to be a very deep comparative literature tradition, the North Americans have always an empiricist undergirth, and the Australian's seem to be the ones about flow, event, and force. These differences are quite evident, and problematic, and hopefully productive.
So I've invited two Europeans, Espen Aarseth and Susana Tosca, two North American's, Mary Flanagan and Noah Wardrip-Fruin, and two Australian's, Andrew Murphie and Anna Munster. 10.30am, State Library of Victoria, Experimenta.
Jeremy Yuille, Melbourne sound artist, Flash whiz, member of the DAC Academic Board and one of my mates in the School of Applied Communication has put together the DAC performance night out.
Free entry for delegates (bring your name tag to flash the door if needed), $5 entry for others. Cash bar.
Being held at:
397 Little Latrobe St
9:00 Robert Kendall
9:15 boo chapple
9:45 Christina McPhee
NAXSMASH/Memoires of a cyborg
10:00 Jeremy plays ceedees - maybe Daniel will come down too
10:15 jayne fenton keane
10:30 Roger Dean
ProseThetic Memories, by Anne Brewster, Hazel Smith and Roger Dean
10:45 ceedees again...
11:15 Adam Nash
11:40 choons till we all go home
On Wednesday all full delegates are invited to come on the busses with us up the bush. We're leaving RMIT at 9:00am and will be travelling into the Yarra Valley up to Healsville. This is a small town on the edge of the Great Dividing Range (runs from western Victoria to the top of Cape York Peninsula in Queensland, in other words the length of the entire east coast) and here we're visiting Healsville sanctuary. Now for the Australians going on the trip, this is some nice bush and a park full of kangaroos, koalas, lyrebirds, snakes, platypus's and so on. For overseas guests it means you can't go to DAC and not see a koala, kangaroo, or platypus, and a chance for the Australian's to show you around and do the Australian thing of relaxing, chatting, and being in the bush.
We leave the sanctuary at 12.30 and head to De Bertoli's winery in the Yarra Valley for lunch, some wine, and a wander. We pack up at 4 to head back to RMIT.
This is a networking day out of the sobriety of the conference venue. A chance to relax after two days of talk and rush, and to return to discussions, arguments, and friendships that the conference has started.
Friday, the last day of the conference, we move location to the new Experimedia new media centre at the State Library of Victoria. This is literally next door (well, over the road) from where the conference is being held at RMIT.
We would like everyone to be able to get to the library by 10am. There are a series of artists presentations scheduled, by those who have work in the MelbourneDAC +playengines+ show, as well as a roundtable discussion in the library theaterette which will serve as a summary and discussion of the conference, future directions for new media research and practice, and so forth. Panellists will be invited to participate in the roundtable during the conference and the list will be confirmed Monday May 19.
Below is an extract from the information that is being given to session chairs. I'm providing it here so that everyone attending knows what the session procedures will be, which hopefully will also help you frame questions that are in the 'spirit of things'. Being explicit about these things I'm hoping will give the event consistency, a shape, and will help encourage and frame conversation and dialogue.
The conference committee wishes to encourage delegates to meet each other, and so we would like you to find (the authors have also been told to find you!) each of the presenters listed below to get a very brief bio so that you can introduce them.
When introducing your session please first of all introduce yourself and give yourself 30 seconds or so stating your own research or creative interests. This helps everyone else know who you are and so encourages others to talk to you through the conference too!
Please introduce speakers immediately before each speaker (not all at once), and do this quickly. Key information is who they are, where they are from, and what their general research or creative practice is. Be strict about time, and I’d perhaps give a 5 minute and 2 minute warning.
Sessions are generally not themed, in an effort to encourage people to hear work from a broad range of participants.
For your session please remind each presenter that they have only 15 minutes to speak to their papers. There are to be no questions at the end of the paper but all questions are to be held to the end of the session. This will allow approximately 15 minutes for discussion at the end of each session. Each presenter has been invited to read their co-presenters papers and to have a couple of questions or observations about what they found of value from the paper. If there are no questions from the floor then please invite a speaker to offer one of the observation–questions. If there are questions from the floor, even where they may be directed to a specific author, please try and use the question and the response in a manner that allows you to let each of the other speakers to comment or reply.
Slight changes to the technical services stuff we're providing. At this point we will have a lampshade iMac (running OS X) available in each of the presentation rooms. Will have powerpoint, some browsers, ethernet connection and data projector. There will be a vcr and TV in each presentation room (PAL), and an overhead projector.
Yes, you can connect your own laptop. If you want to do this then we invite you to go to your presentation room during the morning tea break where a tech person will be on hand to a) confirm that you can connect, b) show you how, c) answer any of your questions.
There will be lampshade iMacs available to check your email. There will be stray ethernet connections available for self serve laptop users, we'll provide full TCP/IP configuration information. It also looks like we can provide wireless access in the conference foyer, and hopefully the major auditorium. So those of you with wireless should manage pretty well.
Strange title. MelbourneDAC is serious about encouraging dialogue and conversation around key ideas. This is why all the conference papers have already been made available to presenters, and are about to be made to all delegates a week before the event starts.
The sessions are divided into two streams, long papers and short papers. Long papers run to around 10 pages in the proceedings, but authors will only get 20 - 25 minutes to present their work. Short papers run to 4 pages in the proceedings and presenters only get 15 minutes to present. The major difference between these sessions is not in duration, it is audience. Long paper sessions are single track which means the entire conference cohort will hear them. The short papers are in dual track sessions, so the conference community will divide in two for these. We are not running a 5 or whatever track conference where your audience consists of 12 people.
The nice thing about single sessions is that everyone hears the work and this makes a major difference to discussion. Instead of coffee being "which session did you go to?", then "how was it?", it runs something like "what did you think of X's paper? I reckon it rocked." While the short papers are being delivered in dual sessions, the larger single track presentations still give the conference focus and some cohesiveness (socially and intellectually).
All papers have been made available to all delegates prior to arriving here, so at a minimum it is hoped that people will skim the papers that they are strongly interested in so that when they go to the relevant session it will not be to hear the paper repeated but to hear it spoken to. There is a difference there, and it is a useful difference.
Everyone will also get a CDROM with all the papers included (as pdfs) which of course means you could skim them during the conference if you have a laptop (or used the computers provided). More usefully, I hope, it just makes it very easy for each person to leave with a complete record of all the academic content in a readily accessible format, so that the conference doesn't disappear into fine fond memories of discussion and chatter, but there is a decent durable record of parts of it. This is common for scientific conferences, but in my experience is rare for humanities conferences.
The MelbourneDAC performance night is falling into place (literally :-) ). It is Tuesday, May 20th, from 9pm at <drumroll>
397 Lt Latrobe St
Bourgie is a new and very typical Melbourne bar. No signage to speak of, down a narrow city back street, local knowledge only.
List of performers available shortly.
All those attending DAC will shortly receive an email providing access details to all the conference papers. This lets everyone skim read papers before the conference. Why? Because in short paper sessions authors only get 15 minutes in which to present their work, in long paper sessions this is 20 - 25 minutes. This means no one will be reading their paper but will instead be talking to their key points, and will assume that a) everyone has skimmed the work before hand, b) is then reasonably familiar with the content, and c) lets the conference concentrate on dialogue around these ideas rather than their representation (they're written and available, let's add to that when we're all together).
The long papers are in their final format, the short papers have not had their final polish added yet, some their formatting (per the conference paper stylesheet) will be variable.
All papers will be publicly available after the conference via this site after the conference.
All the abstracts for the papers and panels being presented at MelbourneDAC are now available. Fantastic range and quality.
The conference program now has its very own Web screen. Minor corrections still need to be made, but it's there, and has links to the abstracts.
The version of the program (gold master v.1.0) that is off to the printers has been made available. I'll try and get it into HTML shortly so it can be viewed online. Of course, since the conference is still four weeks away, it will no doubt vary... It is a 212kb download.
MelbourneDAC program (pdf).
At the moment this is what we are planning on having available for delegates and presenters at the conference. But this will no doubt change. . .
Am investigating providing wireless but this is not looking promising at this point.
Melbourne DAC is a non-for profit cultural event, i.e. programmed and budgeted on a break-even model. This means we are unable to give away press passes that are the equivalent of a full registration fee.Reviewers, journalists, media, etc. who are interested in particular, one off sessions, can have access to these sessions. In these cases please email (email@example.com) or fax (+61 (3) 9639 1685) us the details of the journalist, their institutional affiliation, and any sessions they wish to attend.Alternatively we are able to offer concession registration rates to appropriately accredited members of the media.
Well, yesterday's schedule lasted 12 hours. New updated version (0.2) now available for download (44kb).
A preliminary schedule for the conference is now available as a pdf. It's a 44kb download, it will be available via html pages shortly.
On Wednesday May 21 the entire conference is being packed into busses to travel into the nearby Yarra Valley. Lunch will be provided at a local winery. Why are we doing this? For several reasons.
First of all I have attended too many conferences in beautiful cities where all I have seen is an airport, taxi, hotel, and auditorium. People are not going to fly around the world to get to MelbourneDAC to not see some real Australian bush - period.
It will be a social day, of course, and that's because the development of viable professional networks is a social activity. The conference papers are things that provide the contexts for dialogue and the Day Out is an event that is to foster these discussions and networks. Professional practice is personal and social and it ought to include friendships and families.
Finally, MelbourneDAC is an intensive conference experience because as an event it is designed to provide a forum that develops ideas and is not a 'talk and walk' event. A Day Out is an opportunity to continue working, but in a new environment, and so is also an opportunity to recharge for the final two days.
There is a list of speakers and paper titles available, though this doesn't go very far towards showing the range of material that will be presented. DAC is a conference that is serious about bringing theorists, educators, and artists working in digital culture together, and trying to find what we have in common. Just as importantly it is also to begin to find what we misunderstand in each others work, and to find how these misunderstandings might sometimes be productive, while at other times disruptive.
In keeping with previous DAC conferences MelbourneDAC provides a combination of established and emerging researchers, ensuring that much of the most exciting new work that is being undertaken in digital art and culture will be presented and discussed.
This means there are papers by practitioners and theorists on a range of key new media themes, including specific art projects, computer gaming, interactive narrative, digital poetics, hypertext, and digital aesthetics. It is about new researchers in new fields, the sort of work that represents the vanguard of new thinking in these fields (and yes, I actually do believe that).