Arrived at the first day of #Netizen21, the Institute for Network Society annual #conference (#INS). Realized today's talks are all in Chinese. This must be what it's like for non-English speaking folks coming to most tech politics conferences. Being a native English speaker is a privilege that's hard to recognize until I find myself in this kind of situation.
The first speaker at #Netizen21, a woman in a pink lab coat, does an amazingly visual presentation on the mobile device as a magic mirror biased towards making everything "beautiful". She plays with these tools live on the screen, demonstrating "beautification" and then hacking this concept to showcase the more creative and expressive use these same tools can be put to.
The second speaker is a young man in a cap and hipster glasses. He starts off with demonstrating something that involves a group of audience volunteers standing in a circle, numbering off. Then moves on to something about #Stanislavski and continuous consciousness.
This second speaker is making minimal use of the presentation screen, as I often do. I'm having an experience maybe akin to that of a visual person attending one of my presentations 😏 He seems to be talking about various examples of #AI applications, and a #Rasabox? A tool for recognising emotions in human faces based on a #vedic schema? A photo of a person doing calligraphy with a brain scanning web attached. Who is Rosa? Why are these posts turning into bad haiku?
Fourth speaker seems to be talking about #geotagging of notable architecture. She quotes #ManuelCastells. A photo of a set of sails above a city. #SailPunk? Photos of white folks in period aristocratic costume, and of palatial built environments, The White Palace? A photo of the contrast between low-rise and high-rise housing, in China? Photos of an old, communal neighbourhood. She quotes #PeterHall and others. A video of lit-up city nightscapes with massive group dancing.
What would you call a #FlashMob that turns up predictably at the same time every week? That's a common sight in public squares in China. Most of them seems to be huge dance classes.
Fifth speaker is talking about "Computer Vision Syndrome" and quoting #AnneFriedberg. Now she's talking about MS Windows and maybe how the overlapping nature of windows on a desktop contrasts with paintings like Alberti's Window and Magritte's window painting, and Friedberg's writing about windows. She quotes #JosephPieper and #TheInvisibleGorilla. Then moves on to "trees blindness" and tree walks. Then to teen use of#SocialMedia and discourses of #DigitalNarcissism.
Today's speakers seems to come from a range of universities around China. Now we seems to be moving on to a panel discussion and/or Q+A with the first group of speakers.
The first panel at #Netizen21 was 'Spiritual Life in the Network Society'. The second panel is 'Political Economy Criticism of Social Media'.
The third panel at #Netizen21, is called 'Media Archaeology'. I really wish I could understand Chinese because all three of the panels today had fascinating topics. Mind you, even if I had been studiously working on my #Mandarin skills since before we got here, I imagine I'd still be struggling to follow academic lectures ;)
Michael Goddard. Focusing on #VR. Recycling of media modes using new waves of technology. "Claims to novelty" reflect cultural amnesia. Media technology develops in spirals rather than linear progression. Presence is the "holy grail" of VR. Part of a history of "audiovision", Zelinski. "post-cinematic", still primarily concerned with sight and sound. References #HowardRheingold 'Virtual Reality', #ArthurKroker 'Spasm'.
So what fine arts contributes to the aesthetic development of new media, like cinema in the 1960s, is an exploration of process and the possibilities of what can be done with new creative tools and experiences, outside of a tunnel vision focused only on producing marketable products. There would be no #StarWars products - movies or merch - without the artistic experiments that prefigured cinema VFX.
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