Podcast Program of Create World 2008

Extending the wisdom, Brisbane 7-10 Dec 2008

Podcast Program of Create World 2008

The Three Professors reflect on Create World

December 26, 2008 · 1 Comment · Conference Podcasting - extending the paradigm, Performance, Research in the Creative Arts

Watch the Episode, or right click links 1-3 below to download:
The Three Professors

  1. The Three Professors PhotoSmall version for iPods 320×240 pixels (45.5 mb)
  2. Large version for iPods 640×480 pixels (81.5 mb)
  3. Landscape Version 16:9 HD 640×352 pixels (81.8mb)
  4. YouTube high quality version (embedded below). Hint: click on full screen button on the bottom right of the video – it looks good enough to show people

This episode is a little different from the others in the Create World 2008 Podcast Program. This 8 minute vodcast (video podcast) episode explains the character of Create World and provides a rich visual record of what happened at Griffith University in Brisbane Qld on the 7-10 December 2008.

We asked Professors Roly Sussex (UQ), Paul Draper (Griffith) and Phil Long (UQ) to reflect on the special character of Create World, and have brought you their subsequent discussion against the background of some 124 shots of this great conference, provided to us from hundreds taken by Stephen Johnston (ECU), editor, and Paul Godfrey (ECU), photographer, of the AUC magazine "Wheels for the Mind".

You can access this episode in different file formats and sizes. You can watch it on Youtube by clicking below, download it from the Podcast Program site by right clicking the links above, or have an iPod friendly version delivered to your computer as part of the program subscription.

Now we know a lot of you who attended Create World 2008 will enjoy the memories but we would like to encourage you to do much more with this episode.

Share the Wisdom and Promote Create World: Help your colleagues at your institution learn more about the knowledge and wisdom emanating from the conference. Set up a "brown-bag lunch" meeting or informal think-tank, where you can talk about ideas from Create World that may be of benefit to your institution. Use this episode as an introduction to the conference and then choose clips and ideas from any of the other 23 episodes in the Create World Podcast Program to explore those things that, as Roly Sussex says in this episode, "might take you to new places, and bounce you from where you are now to where you want to go next"

To help those who would like to run these meetings we have available a stand-alone player, for Mac OS only, which runs this presentation in an uncompressed stunning full screen mode. …. it’ll get their attention. It is a chunky 435 mb so please email Allan Carrington and we can work out how to get a CD to you.

Share your creative ideas: Help others who attended Create World 2008 by sharing with us how you use this presentation, and the other content in the Podcast Program, to disseminate your Create World learnings to your colleagues. Please contribute your ideas and experiences by commenting on this blog or better still, record your thinking on the comment board. Be part of the wisdom – and make Create World 2009 an even better experience.

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The two cultures – a narrowing gulf?

December 24, 2008 · No Comments · Research in the Creative Arts

Listen to the Episode:
The two cultures

In the late 1950s C. P. Snow set the scientific cat amongst the humanities pigeons with his claim that there was a damaging and perhaps irreconcilable divide between the two main cultures of contemporary society: the scientific and the literary liberal arts. Some 50 years and a digital revolution later, Phil Long took up the two cultures issue in his Create World 2008 keynote address, locating it within a dazzling array of research on neuroscience, learning and emerging technologies. (You can view a 3.3MB pdf of Phil’s slides and notes here, but you may need to be patient while it loads.)

Phil is currently in transition from MIT to the University of Queensland, where he is the founding director of the Center for Educational Innovation and Technology. His current research interests focus on designing learning spaces to support active learning, emerging technologies, the use of virtual worlds, and digital tools that extend understanding of the physical world. Here he is giving a guest talk at Berkeley in early 2008:

Phil spoke with Allan Carrington and Ian Green immediately after his Create World presentation. Phil is a dynamic speaker, so there’s a good chance that when you listen to this audio you’ll be fired up to make your contribution. Please don’t hesitate. Go to the comment board and express yourself.

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Hacking for global democracy?

December 24, 2008 · No Comments · Politics of the Web

Stephen Stockwell Photo

Listen to the Episode: Hacking for global democracy?

You know how a few years back we all got very excited when rapidly developing communication and consumer technologies opened up the door for the idea of ‘citizen journalism’? Well Stephen Stockwell (Griffith University) says the time is now ripe for the ‘citizen hacker’. But don’t get him wrong, he’s not suggesting that we all now have the capacity to break through the firewalls of government, corporate and security service networks, and that by doing so we will somehow make things better in the world.

He suggests rather that there is a new ‘hacker ethos’, one which applies to those who are ‘repurposing the media machine to open and extend debate beyond traditional national and social borders’. And he makes the claim (Stockwell 2008:8) that:
This new form of politics connects to its public via “viral campaigning” using music, humour, fuzzy logic, ambush promotion and interactivity to infect populations with arguments that generate political debate and take off on a life of their own.

So how can you become a citizen hacker? And do you really want to be one? And just by clicking on the latest Sarah Palin send-up on YouTube and forwarding it to your friends, have you in fact, without knowing it, become one already? …. To explore these issues, our old hack, Allan Carrington, ventured forth to interview Stephen. Hear it all in this podcast episode.

True to his principle that ‘information wants to be free’ Stephen has kindly made his paper – We’re All Hackers Now … Doing Global Democracy – available for distribution. It is a powerful, challenging and scholarly piece, so please get fired up and hack into our comment board with your take on this topic.

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Luke Toop: this ain’t no disco

December 23, 2008 · No Comments · Digital Music, Performance, Research in the Creative Arts

Luke Toop VJ performance photo

Listen to the Episode: King of the VJs
Luke Toop (University of Adelaide) is a Video Jockey. Well not just any old video jockey. Having cut his live coding teeth on the Isadora graphic programming environment, Luke Toop is now the undisputed king of Quartz Composer, a visual programming language that is integral to Mac OS X.

Which is a very dry and techno-geeky way of saying – this guy can crank out stuff like you have never seen before. Luke’s Create World 2008 performance was simply stunning: Luke on his own at the front of the auditorium, armed with just a Mac laptop, pumping out the music and throwing up on the screen the most exciting set of visual ideas that you are ever likely to see interacting together in one place.

In this podcast episode Allan Carrington interviews Luke about his work, and along the way does some rueful reflection on how far we’ve come since Allan got to plug in his first set of disco lights. A long way indeed. Luke’s performance wasn’t any ordinary disco. My brain was frazzled with new ideas, and my eyeballs were fried.

Unfortunately this episode is the only recording we can offer you – Luke’s emphasis, it seems, has been on the real-time performance, on the act of creating itself, not on capturing it for later replay. (I guess it comes as a kind of relief to find that in this most digital of arts there is still a premium on the ephemeral rather than the archival.)

But if you want to keep in touch with what’s going on with Luke you can monitor his Epiphanies blog at http://luketoop.com, and you can find out more about applications of the composer at the Quartz Composition site. And get into some mind-bending stuff about the world of live coding over at Toplap.

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Conjectures in Digital Aesthetics …

December 22, 2008 · 1 Comment · Education in Virtual Worlds, Research in the Creative Arts

Watch this Episode, which is a vodcast in three parts; files are mp4 format, playable on an iPod. To download please right-click links:

  1. Conjectures in Digital Aesthetics part 1 34.9 mb
  2. Conjectures in Digital Aesthetics part 2 38.7 mb
  3. Conjectures in Digital Aesthetics part 3 36.8 mb

Panel members (L to R above): Prof Roly Sussex, facilitator (University of Queensland); Prof Paul Draper (Griffith University); Dr. Kate Foy (late of University of Southern Queensland); Prof Phil Long (University of Queensland).

Analogue and digital have re-defined their relationship in artistic production over the past two decades. This panel raises as many questions as it attempts to answer. What a perfect opportunity to use the feedback facility offered by this site!

Digital reigns for recording, the placing of output on permanent record in the performing arts. And it has won the day for dissemination for all the arts. True, one attends an exhibition. But what exhibition of note does not have a website, the better to project its work to an international audience?

In the visual arts, oils, paper, pastel, lithography, stone are surely still fundamental, not only to the artistic object, but also to its means of conception and production. And yet there are digital resources for graphic production, from CADCAM to drawing programs to digital printing, which meansthat the artist’s output is not just disseminated digitally, but is directly
experienceable in the digital form.

Nonetheless, there are many practices which will remain ‘analogue’. In fact it is the extended relationship between the new and the old that makes both traditional and now niche  practices more effective and sustainable. And then there are hybrids – a cross-mixing of analogue and digital.

The panel asks many questions:

  • What is the relationship between digital and pre-digital artistic media?
  • How does the new affect the old?
  • How does the old affect the new?
  • Does ubiquitous dissemination affect the status of the aesthetic experience?
  • And what of creation?

Help formulate the responses to these questions. Watch these episodes and then go to the comment board to contribute your ideas.

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Music, Recording and the Art of Interpretation

December 21, 2008 · No Comments · Performance, Research in the Creative Arts

Listen to the Episode: Music, Recording and the Art of Interpretation
Leading Australia pianist Stephen Emmerson and audio producer Paul Draper (Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre, Griffith University) are collaborating on a piece of music in a new way, undertaking some thoughtful unpacking of notions of interpretation, creative arts research and the performer – recording method nexus. Cat Hope talked to them about the collaborative process between ‘technicians’ and musicians, and the possibilities for sound colour from within the studio.

Emmerson & Draper Music

Stephen and Paul’s presentation is available here as a pdf. And for more of Paul Draper’s ideas see his blog, Proximity Effect

Tim Landauer ECU PhotoParticipants Comments
Listen to the commentary:
Create World is the place
Tim Landauer (Edith Cowan University) talks to Cat Hope in the middle of the noisy networking going on at a coffee break at Creaate World … everyone is obviously engaged with and enjoying the conference. Tim has just walked out of the Emmerson Draper presentation and explains why he thinks Create World is the perfect place for this sort of collaboration.

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A post card from Second Life

December 21, 2008 · No Comments · Education in Virtual Worlds

Jenny Grenfell, Deakin University photoListen to the Episode:
Second Life and Engagement
It seems Second Life is popping up everywhere. Hot on the heels of Jason Zagami’s Second Life presentation at Create World 2008, reported on in our earlier blog came Jenny Grenfell’s discussion of the Second Life initiative at Deakin University, and its capacity to enhance student participation and engagement. In the Deakin implementation, the idea is to provide virtual forums for peer-to-peer and teacher-to-student collaborative engagement and to promote the development of multiple learning channels. The Deakin island on Second Life is closed to the public, but you can see some screen shots of it in this YouTube video, put together by Gary Hayes:

(By the way, if you want to see this in a bit more detail a medium res version of the presentation (mp4, 105MB) is also available. Alternatively see it frame by frame, with comments, on Gary Hayes Flickr site.)

In this podcast episode Cat Hope talks to Jenny about potential problems with Second Life as a learning platform. Do students just want these sorts of systems for their own social networking purposes, and not for formal learning? What are some tips for those trying to set up these networked environments in their own university? Do virtual environments like Second Life draw students out of real life tutorial scenarios and into an asocial, virtual realm?

Participants Comments
Catherine Duncan & Malcolm Riddoch photoListen to the commentary:
Managing Change to Second Life
Inspired by Jenny’s presentation, Catherine Duncan (University of Ballarat) and Malcom Riddoch (Edith Cowan University) had a wide-ranging chat with Allan Carrington, starting out with some reflections on Second Life.

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Caryl Shaw on SPORE – the inside story

December 20, 2008 · 1 Comment · Education in Virtual Worlds, Gaming & Education

Listen to the Episode:
Caryl Shaw and a journey into SPORE
Developed by Maxis, the same outfit that gave the world the legendary SimCity and Sims games, Spore appears to have gone gangbusters since its release just a couple of months ago. Maxis set out to make a game in which players could design and evolve their own creations, building them up from small cell-like entities into larger and more social beings, building and creating along the way, and sharing those creations with others. It is a game that can be played either socially or more aggressively, but the emphasis is always on creativity and the telling of one’s own story. As Will Wright, creator of Spore, puts it, the aim of the game is to turn out a generation of George Lucas’s, rather than a generation of Luke Skywalkers. Will expounds further on the game in this YouTube video:

OK, so lots of kids love it, so lots of adults love it too, and so families can sit around getting quality creative time together. But is it educational, or can it be adapted usefully to educational, especially higher educational, purposes? … Well, we might have to wait a while to get a definitive answer on that one. As Caryl Shaw, Online Producer for Spore, and a keynote speaker at Create World 2008, points out in this podcast episode, it is early days yet; good educational applications can take 12 months or so to emerge, and, after all, the game wasn’t designed primarily as an educational tool.

In the meantime, the debate within the teaching and learning community is beginning to heat up, with some commentators hailing Spore’s huge educational potential, while others express some serious concerns about just what kind of science the game may be communicating.

Find out more about Spore in this interview with Caryl Shaw, and get the real inside story.

And for a broader overview of the whole Games & Education interface, this Futurelab site on Games & Learning is probably not a bad place to start.

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We hope you like Jam2Jam too

December 20, 2008 · No Comments · Digital Music, Performance

Jam2Jam Borwn and Dillon PhotoListen to the Episode:
Jam2Jam

OK all you frustrated Brian Enos sitting at home alone with a hard disk full of lonely Garage Band files that no-one else will ever rock along to, its time to come out of the closet, get connected and get jamming with the world. Jam2Jam is an exciting new piece of networked interactive software, brilliantlly demonstrated by Steve Dillon and Andrew Brown (Australasian CRC for Interaction Design) in a live online collaboration at Create World 2008, and designed to bring out your inner DJ, or even VJ perhaps, by enabling you to jam along live with other users.

The great thing about this software is that you don’t need to have joint PhDs in digital composition and software development to make it work. You can control it visually, intuitively, and you don’t really need much musical background at all. So its not just for professionals; indeed, the current version of the software is designed specifically for school-age children – have a look at it at work in a primary school setting in this YouTube video:

Cat Hope spoke to Steve and Andrew after their performance, finding out a bit more about what Jam2Jam offers users across different musical genres and cultures and about its pedagogical context.

Jam2Jam software development was partially funded by the AUC as part of their grants programme . The AUC has further supported the project by lending hardware for workshops with children. This facility is open to all AUC member universities.

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Using iWeb as a tool for e-portfolios

December 19, 2008 · No Comments · ePortfolio

Jenny Mundey photoListen to the Episode:
iWeb as a tool for e-portfolios
So you want to start using e-portfolios, either because you see the value to your students of becoming trans-literate, and digitally-savvy, or because your institution says you have to? e-portfolios are becoming a standard requirement in many universities, but often the right tool for the job isn’t apparent or isn’t available. So where do you go to find one?

Jenny Munday (Charles Sturt University) chose iWeb as the platform for her incoming Bachelor of Education students to map their learning journey, the resulting web pages functioning not only as a record of educational growth, but also as a CV for prospective employers.

So why iWeb, a Mac only application with, compared say to Dreamweaver, restricted customisation options? Listen to this episode and find out ….

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The importance of being earmarked

December 19, 2008 · No Comments · Performance

Brett Murray photoListen to the Episode:
The importance of being earmarked

In this podcast episode Brett Murray (WAAPA, Edith Cowan University) talks to us about the crafting of an interactive theatre piece. What were the challenges involved in creating music from an ‘interactive set’? Indeed, what is an ‘interactive set’? And why did Brett decide to work this way, and how did the creative team respond to working in an indeterminate environment where randomness was such a key issue? Listen to this episode and find out ….

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iTunesU … the growing fan club

December 18, 2008 · No Comments · Media management systems, Podcasting, Sharing & Copyright of Digital Resources

Lorraine Harker photoListen to the episode:
Making iTunesU work for you

At Create World 2008 Stephen Atherton (Apple) put iTunesU through its paces in a session which posed the question ‘Why should Australasian universities and academics adopt iTunesU?’. That was a question which drew lots and lots of responses, some of them long and detailed, but which mostly boiled down to ‘We’d be mad not to’.

Now we try to maintain a critical edge in this podcast program, but scour the audience as we might for iTunesU cynics, we turned up no-one. iTunesU clearly has a solid fan base amongst Create World delegates, many of whom, including our interviewer Kate Foy, already regularly pick up on the public iTunesU offerings from top US universities. They all reckon that iTunesU is a pretty neat way of getting all sorts of multi-media program material out to students. Its elegant, effective, user-friendly. Its the same familiar interface that students use to access their music and entertainment. And the cost to the hosting institution is almost negligible.

In this podcast episode Lorraine Harker (Flinders University) and Kate Foy get quite excited together about iTunesU. Lorraine does have one bone to pick though – she wants iTunes to be available for Linux and Solaris operating systems as well. (Well at least we found one criticism!).

This is Apple’s own Introduction to iTunesU:

And a simple google search will turn up plenty of people who are pretty happy with whats on offer at iTunesU. This one is typical.

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Second Life as an Arts Education Environment

December 18, 2008 · 1 Comment · Education in Virtual Worlds

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Second Life and Arts Education

Jason Zagami (Griffith University) has been investigating online 3D virtual environments and their potential as learning spaces, and he and his team have just completed a study into the effectiveness of Second Life in training of a group of pre-service primary school teachers. In the study Second Life was used to support the development of primary school arts education, focusing specifically on the Queensland Education Department’s key learning areas of dance, drama, media, music, and visual arts.

Which key areas do you think responded most positively to exploration through Second Life? Have a listen to this podcast episode – the results that have emerged from testing might surprise you.

A number of universities and tertiary insitutions in Australia have bought real estate in Second Life and are delivering programs in that virtual space. The growing interest in the platform is reflected in the fact that at the recent ASCILITE 2008 conference there were three papers on it, by Muldoon et al (USQ), Butler & White (QUT), and Saeed et al (Swinburne).

John Lester, of Linden Labs, developers of Second Life, is reported as saying that it “gives both students and faculty a new medium for exploring things like distance learning, experiential learning, simulation, and scientific visualization in a fundamentally collaborative environment.” For those interested in following up further on Second Life educational applications, Jeremy Kemp’s SimTeach site, which covers a range of multi-user virtual environments, might prove useful.

Participants Comments

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Reflecting on Second Life

Deirdre Russell Bowie (University of Western Sydney) & Mark Foster (University of NSW) were at Jason’s talk, curious to find out more about Second Life. During the presentation Deirdre suggested conducting a follow-up study that might compare the learning outcomes of students who studied in virtual space to those of conventionally taught students. And in this commentary, Deirdre and Mark discuss whether virtual space students will get sufficient experience in the real world practice of such skills as singing and dancing to be able to actually teach them; it has to do with confidence, they say. They also offer other reflections on the platform, and formulate a range of interesting questions for further investigation.

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The vanishing bass

December 15, 2008 · No Comments · Digital Music

Listen to the Episode: The vanishing bass

Malcolm RiddochMalcolm Riddoch and Cat Hope (Edith Cowan University) believe that bass is an inherently embodied experience, and that bass heard through earbuds – no matter how grunty you might think it is – is merely a pale imitation of the real thing. Bass, they say, is both spatial and sensory; you feel it through your bones, you sense it on your skin, as much as you process it through your ears.

So they are concerned that predominantly and persistently listening to music through earbuds might just cause us to stop paying attention to this bottom end of the musical spectrum. This is not of course because bass is disappearing from our acoustic environment in general. Indeed at the movies, at concerts, via your lounge room sub-woofer, or booming out from hotted up boganmobiles, there is clearly plenty of doof-doof to be had.

But, according to Malcolm and Cat, its not a matter of whats out there, its more a matter of what we teach ourselves, consciously or unconsciously, to pay attention to. This is a phenomenon known as neural retuning. Malcolm expands on that notion in this podcast episode. There is no added bass in this episode, by the way, though there were lots of big fat notes being played behind Malcolm’s live Create World 2008 presentation.

Find out more about music and neuroscience generally at the Tuning the Brain for Music website, and read an overview of the topic in this article in Nature.

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Topology: music as the food of … being fully human

December 14, 2008 · 2 Comments · Performance

Listen to the Episode: Topology: the music of speech

Topology at Create World 2008

Topology are interested, amongst many other things, in the musicality of speech, and at Create World 2008 four members of the the group – John Babbage, Christa Powell, Bernard Hoey and Robert Davidson – rammed home to us how powerful the music-speech connection could be with a series of pieces blending video, digital speech audio and wonderfully accomplished live performance on good old fashioned analogue instruments. They started off with this number, incorporating the famous Martin Luther King speech:

Not so surprising perhaps that a great orator like Martin Luther King should be so amenable to musical interpretation (and presumably only Topology’s preference for historical rather than contemporary speech is preventing them from doing something similar with Obama). But what about something more home grown for us Australians? Gough Whitlam after the dismissal perhaps, on the steps of Parliament House? Not at all musical you think? Well, try listening to the following sample, you might change your mind. (For more of this, go to Topology’s The Big Decision website.)

Well may we say (click player buttons to play, pause or stop)

After their exhilarating Create World performance, Topology discussed their work with Allan Carrington. They talked a bit about the speech, intonation and music nexus, but they also enlarged on the role of music in human life generally, seeing music as opening us up to senses and feelings in ways that complement our thinking selves and help to make us fully human.

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