Saturday, May 27, 2006

From Wolfville part 2, final

I'm feeling pretty guilty as I missed Heather Lotherington's work which sounds so interesting from its abstract. Here is a link to a school website which showcases some work that involves her on 'rewriting goldilocks - emergent transliteracies'.

But I cannot tell you any more. I hereby sack myself from this blog.

I think I might have been trying to photograph high tide or low tide here where there are the biggest tides in the world. My photos are useless though - if you had a person down in the mud you would see how tiny they are and therefore why, when I saw, the change, I turned into Victor Meldrew.

I think digital player needs a Doctor Who transition. This one hasn't even worked out how to clean out the tardis i.e. archive, arrange photos, well never mind, plenty of room for improvement!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

From Wolfville, Part 1

Greetings from the eclectic Narrative Matters conference in Wolfville, Nova Scotia! This incarnation of Digitalplayer has come and hopes to share with you a few things along the way. I’ve been to Nova Scotia before and this second glimpse confirms my impression that it is dominated by trees and churches. Hisorically church-driven universities set up many small universities that seeded teachers across Canada. Last time I visited Antigonish and wondered if there was anywhere else in the world where billboards were dominated by images of John Paul II (‘friend of youth’); yesterday during my stopover in Halifax my companion told me, ‘there are more churches to the square inch here than anywhere else in Canada.’ I bring you slightly more irreverent images from Halifax.

I want to explore the notion that I (perhaps misremember) from Bruner, that there are two types of thinking, of ways of structuring thinking, narrative and – can someone help me out? – analogical? ‘scientific’? Wherever I think there are two types of anything then of course it always turns out not more complicated, but also that there are more inter-relations between the two.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Is technology changing our brains?

Is technology changing our brains?

So asked the Guardian here.

Is a consequence of the impact of new technologies an alteration of the mind itself? Susan Greenfield, the prominent neuroscientist, suggests we mustn’t take it for granted that ways of thinking remain constant: ‘the human brain is exquisitely sensitive to any and every event’. Are young, IT literate people acquiring different skills? Her Institute of the Mind project at Oxford is asking four questions:

What are the influences on children today?
Where is the actual evidence of a new type of impact?
What do we actually want children to learn?
How do we deliver these aims using the new technologies?

Exciting questions, but am I alone in wondering why they are being posed in tandem with some rather trammeled, even tired ways of thinking. How depressing is the following, also by Susan Greenfield,

‘Memory, for example, may no longer be as essential as it was for those of us who had to learn reams of Latin grammar, but with everything just a click away, perhaps we are at risk of losing our imagination, that mysterious and special cognitive gift that until now has always made the book so much better than the film.’

Monday, May 01, 2006

E-identities - thought from Daniel

Daniel suggests that an interesting point to research would be cooperation among online anonymous gamers. Why are they generally cooperative? On 'Half-Life' for example, people tend to willingly forgo the preferred role of sniper and contribute to the good of the team, although identifies are temporary and fluid. So it would be quite possible to act selfishly and then come back the next day with another identity so that nobody recognised the egotistic short-term player of the previous game - yet few do this.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

All busy in San Francisco

San Francisco!

American Educational Research Association annual meeting in San Francisco was the wonderful venue for Digitalplayer today. Despite being the final session of a long conference, academics from all over the world watched/listened and otherwise semiotically responded as:
Jackie Marsh enthralled and challenged with Digital Beginnings

Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel held the audience spellbound with this
Sue Nichols drew gasps and laughter with her networks
Guy Merchant explained and entertained
Kate Pahl sparkled on Barnsley
Jennifer Rowsell was ‘crossing’ with cultural and global flows
The audience was loth to leave, although San Francisco waited outside.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Parallel Realities part 3

I can't bring you images as I was not allowed to photograph. That prohibition makes sense to me as it wouldn't be fair to any of the artists to take a two dimensional still image that you would then see on the confines of this monitor. The experience made me think that, sometime hence, when we think back to 'digital cultures' around the millenium, we'll think how primitively we were constrained to spend so much of our time sitting stationary in front of (mostly small) rectangular screens. These contemporary Asian artifacts and installations offered opportunities to explore. I moved around different sorts of spaces, had different kinds of sensory and emotional experience. Mizuko Ito (2005, p. 6) challenges 'the notion that PC-based broadband is the current apex of Internet access models. ' Indeed we do experience through our bodies, situated in specific, if hybrid places, at particular points in time (saturated through perceptions of past events and future expectations). Through digital and other kinds of technology, woven in new pattern, these artists are offering - . ... what use would my words be?
By the way Hickling was right and I was wrong - the interplay of the exhibitions with Blackburn is, indeed, bizarre.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Hoping again to approach parallel realities

Alfred Hickling, writing in the Guardian here, is better at finding things in Blackburn than I am. He writes that 'the most significant collection of contemporary Asian art in the world'... is 'everywhere' [in Blackburn]. Though isn't it just a little condescending to write, 'Yet nothing is quite so bizarre as the fact that it should have come to colonise the centre of Blackburn' ? I look forward to venturing out again, seems a particularly good idea when work is piling on tables but the central heating isn't working and it needs a part that won't arrive till Monday....

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