DIRPC 2019

A cup of coffee sits on top of a stack of papers, a laptop and the programme for the DIPRC conference on Angela's lap.

But first: coffee.

It’s real now! We held the first presentation about the the SocialTech project at the Digital Inclusion Policy and Research Conference at the University of Liverpool in London.

It was a great conference, and an amazing opportunity to connect with other researchers, professionals from both the third sector and industry, government officials and students working on the intersections of society and new communication and (emerging) internet technologies.

We got some interesting feedback after our presentation.
The slides and annotations can be found on the project website, but I also want to give a short summary of the current state of the project itself:

The main points we talked about

Text slide. Text reads: Tech Support for Social Issues. Accessibility is a social issue, but often defined in technical terms. Thinking diversity, inclusion, and accessibility together. Communication is creating response-ability Goal: Reach (a broad range of) people.

We explained the project itself, and the question-response format of the resource we are working on.

Text slide. Text reads: Finding Useful Questions: We have been dealing with accessibility and inclusion on an academic level for a while. How to make these topics approachable? Our project that aims to bridge the gap between academia and everyday organizational practice. We want to provide a starting point for those interested in reaching more people with whatever they do.

Text slide that shows 3 stages: Set Up, Play and Rewind. They are connected in a cycle made of arrows, but in a twisted and wonky not at all straightforward way.

This wonky knot is supposed to show how adapting communication practices and having inbuilt feedback loops both internally and with your audience make it easier to react to one’s audience/users/visitors and their needs easily.

We are excited to start incorporating the feedback we got and continue working on this project!

Art and Technology

I got to attend a wonderful conference in Vienna, and I have to say it was the perfect start into 2019.

“Das Kunstmuseum im Digitalen Zeitalter” (The Art Museum in the Digital Age) was organized by the Belvedere and held in the museum’s beautiful Blickle Cinema.

Welcome slide on the screen in the vintage Belvedere Blickle Cinema. A laptop on a speakers desk, the stage is empty.

The vintage Blickle Cinema in the Belvedere museum is an amazing venue for a conference.

The two conference days were packed with interesting talks and discussions. While Art Education/Outreach doesn’t seem to fit in with my work, it was a great conference for me. My research is, at its core, exploring how people creatively use new technologies to communicate, build communities and structure their everyday lives – and this is exactly what this conference was about.

Topics like representation, accessibility and inclusion were also discussed throughout the whole conference. It was a joy to see how museums incorporate the internet and digital tools with the traditional visitor experience.

Conference Presentation, the slide shows a tumblr site dedicated to "Ugly Renaissance Babies", it is presented as a museum hack.

New Technologies also means new ways of playing and interacting with a space.

This second picture made me smile, it came from a presentation about visitors “hacking” the museum.

The overall message in the talks was clear: While it is important to implement stable long-term plans and tools for, it never hurts to get creative in order to engage with visitors and perhaps even a virtual audience.

After the conference

A few programmes and nametags (with pre-printed pronoun options) arranged on a desk with some pencils

And the conference is over. I wish I had found the time to take pictures of all the signs and other print products and decorations we made for the conference, but I was too busy.

People, organizing a conference is a lot of work. Turns out organizing a conference with loads of experimental features and events (such as a sound performance installation and an art exhibition) is even more work. But it was definitely worth the extra effort.

New Poster!

Tables in a lecture room with posters for the Changing Worlds Conference

Look what just came from the printers!

New conference year, new poster! It doesn’t make a lot of sense, but somehow printed artifacts make a project or event feel “more real”.

We went with a similar style as for the last conference, but this time I chose to do a digital illustration since that makes the individual elements reusable.

The main idea is the same as for the first conference poster in 2014, but our choice of artifacts reflects that this instalment of the conference focuses more on art and activism. While both the artwork and topic of the first conference were leaning more towards historical reflections, this year’s vibe is both a bit dystopian and very playful.

I kept yellow as the highlight colour, but replaced the main colours from 2014 (Blues and Greens) with Pinks and Purples.

Poster for the Changing Worlds Conference 2015. The poster is an illustrated planet earth with lots of artefacts such as a flamingo, a spray can, a swing, a tree, a robot hand, a street lamp and lab bottles growing out of it. In this forest of artefacts, signs are places that contain the conference Logo and website link.

And this is the full artwork. What I like most about this design is the potential to use all the little illustrations for the small print products that often feel a bit boring. It feels very fitting for this event to be able to play with the details that way.

Currently, I’m trying to make a plan to enlarge some of the motifs as a decoration for the conference venue.

I think this design is going to be a lot of fun.

Changing Worlds?

The poster for the first Changing Worlds Conference is off to the printers!

Poster for the Changing Worlds Conference 2014. On a white Background, 3 views of planet earth are in the bottom left corner. Together they show a full world map. A lot of cultural and technical artifacts grow out of the worlds. On top we have a billboard with the conference title, the contact details are in the bottom right corner.

The pencil sketch became a full poster.

With this poster I wanted to illustrate the multiplicity of human experiences that is also the basis for the name of the conference, ”Changing Worlds”.

We are used to seeing maps of the world centering (and disproportionally enlarging) Europe and North America. So the first decision we made when we decided to put a globe on the poster was to duplicate it to feature all continents.It was very interesting since deviating from the image most people are used to is ocnfusing at first. The 3 globes also appear in different styles, highlighting that maps are always purpose-driven rather than neutral objects.

Arranged around the 3 globes you can see a strange selection of techno-cultural artifacts. The idea behind this was to question what “technology” and ”society” can mean in this context. When someone tells me about a technology conference nowadays, I tend to think about computers and phones. We wanted to make clear that our approach would be wider, centered on the human experience, and decided to visualize that. We came up with a range of objects that span thousands of years of human civilisation. Some of them are part of contemporary discourse and technological developments, others we usually take for granted.

I ended up doing the illustrations with pencil and paper, further challenging the idea of technology as something neutral while emphasizing human impact.

poster to be

poster

This will be the poster for a conference I’m organizing with a few fellow students.

After a month of being sick and almost managing to die along the way, I finally got started on a new creative project. I learned, once again, that being able to make stuff (drawing, painting, crafting, building …) is a crucial factor in keeping me sane.

Actually, that is not much of a surprise. But those last few weeks were the worst and I’m still in a rather wibbley-wobbley my-body-doesn’t-quite-does-what-I-want-it-to-do-and-I’m-all-dizzy-and-exhausted state of being.