From Dakar to Dallas: Creative Disturbance attends Gamecamp Senegal

Virtual Africa on Creative Disturbance

The Virtual Africa on Creative Disturbance

The Audiolats channel Virtual Africa on Creative Disturbance hosted a video conference between Dallas and Dakar where UT Dallas students engaged with Gamecamp Senegal attendees on topics relating to games, language, culture and creative industries.

Students from the School of Art, Technology and Emerging Communication at UT Dallas held a virtual meeting with Gamecamp organizer Kofi Sika Latzoo and Goethe Institut Sénégal’s director Michael Jeismann, led by Virtual Africa’s project coordinator and ATEC doctoral student Yvan Tina.

The group discussed the issue of technological development in some areas, the various business models available for the gaming industry, the implementation of transmedia narratives across multiple platforms, the role of government agencies in creative industry, and the future of mobile gaming in Africa.

Gamecamp Senegal at the Geothe Institut Dakar

It follows from that discussion that microtransactions currently constitutes the most reliable business plan for game developers in Sénégal due to the high cost of internet plans that keep most people from being able to play online with their smartphones. The microtransaction strategy allows one to progress at his/her own pace and to access the game offline. The low tech approach, as opposed to high tech (virtual and augmented reality), doesn’t have good days ahead given the rapid growtth of technology. However, there are alternative solutions such as the use of solar energy to deal with the access to electricity and the internet. One could even envision the emergence on new games based on this ecological approach. Similarly, the potential of serious games, through the gamification of many aspects of life, offer the opportunity to overcome the challenge of education in some African countries.

The last issue to be pointed out remains the incredible diversity of African societies, with thousands of languages and cultures, presents a real difficulty for game designers. It remains, however, that multilingualism and the development of African storytelling (based, for example, on oral traditions or afrofuturist speculations) would be an incredible asset for anyone involved in the African creative industries.

The Gamecamp—a festival which ran from July 14-17, 2016 in Dakar, Senegal—is a partnership with the Goethe Institut, the International Game Developers Association (IGDA Sénégal) and Orange Telecommunications. The festival has toured many African countries since its inception and was marked this year by the release of Google’s Cardboard as well as of NVIDIA’s Shield, the most powerful box android TV in the market, and the cloud gaming Geforce Now.

The festival allows attendees the opportunity to discover many games that have been developed in Sénégal such as Da’karapid, Cross Dakar City, HA Buggy and Diambar. Workshops for game designers on Unity, Game Design Canvas and several gaming tournaments (Call of Duty, Leagues of Legend) as well as an initiation to 360 panoramic photography (ConceptSky VT) are also offered in this program.

Yvan Tina, PhD Student publishes papers in the Technoetic Arts Journal and SciArt Magazine

Yvan Tina is a Phd Student in the School of Arts, Technology and Emerging Communication and member of ArtSciLab. His work investigates the possible convergences of biotechnology, synthetic biology, and artificial life with the performing arts. He is a member of the international, multilingual podcast platform Creative Disturbance where he regularly contributes to Meta–Life and Virtual Africa.

His recent publications include:

1. On Complexism: Pulsion and Computation, Technoetic Arts Journal, Volume 14, Issue 1-2, June 2016

taThis article discusses a concept introduced by art theorist Philip Galanter in several publications over the past decade: complexism is a notion that looks at both past and future while aiming to reconcile (post) modern aesthetics with the cybernetic and biological paradigms. This article focuses on the re-evaluation of the performance arts within the framework of this theory, favoring the idea that every artwork necessarily resists attempts of subordination.

2. Straight Talk with Yvan Tina, SciArt Magazine, April 2016

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In this article Yvan’s insights provide a bridge between the sometimes disparate domains of art and science —a perspective increasingly necessary with the rapid emergence of new materials and technologies available for artistic appropriation.

Announcing STEM to STEAM graduate seminar for Fall 2016, ATEC UT Dallas.

ATEC 6380. 501 STEM to STEAM.

Contact roger.malina@utdallas.edu for info and approval to enroll.

Fall 2016 Instructor: Professor Roger Malina. Classes will be held on Monday Evenings.

This seminar will be co-taught with modules led by Dr. Paul Fishwick, Dr. Eun Ah Lee and Professor Kathryn Evans.

Course description: The seminar is open to PhD, MA and MFA students. May be repeated for credit as topics vary (9 semester credit hours maximum).

Syllabus is designed around the research or creative projects of each student.

This course will study current and emerging topics, approaches, and practices, where arts, sciences, and humanities interact or converge, with the goal to advance new research questions and areas of inquiry.

The integration of the arts, humanities and design into Science, Technology, Engineering and Math has become an important research and education agenda in the US and internationally. In this seminar each student will work with the instructor and/or other students on topics in science and engineering that are part of their ATEC or EMAC PhD, MA or MFA project of interest.

The syllabus will be modified to discuss topic areas of each student. Deliverables from each student for the seminar will be defined individually so that each student makes significant progress on their own project. TOPICS Guest lecturers will include visitors to ATEC and also online guests proposed by the students. Topics and readings will include the following topics, with others to be added responding to student areas of interest: The ethics of curiosity, Readings from the work of Indian philosopher of science Sundar Sarukkai, Foundations of inter and transdisciplinary research with readings from the work of Allen Repko, The science of collaboration, readings around the methodologies used to develop successful collaboration strategies when the work bridges the arts, sciences and humanities, Key readings from the Science of Team science initiative, anthropologist James Leach and other experts on training collaboration techniques.

Required reading will be the NSF funded study led by Dr. Malina on enabling new forms of collaboration between the arts and humanities with science and engineering. How researchers and artists can use developing techniques in cultural analytics, data visualization and representation, data Science. How digital humanities are enabling new research questions and methods. Data immersion and exploration. Performing data. Contemporary initiatives in cognitive sciences and neurobiology that can inform research and creative practices. Innovations in scholarly and art publishing and education. How researchers and artists document their work and present to different audiences today. The history and current practices of inter, multi and transdisciplinary research including recent work on the second wave of “consilience’ or emerging practices to succeed in ‘vertical integration’ of the sciences/engineering with arts/design/humanities. Research in arts and design.

We will look at how international programs are developing research methodologies in arts and design and emerging best practices. Development of rationales for art-science and art-technology in society in the USA and Europe. History and trends in design education. Creative industries today. Citizen science, collaborative science and open science developments today.

Deliverables Students will be expected to use social media and new forms of professional documentation such as video abstracts, podcasts, an online research web site or blog. Each student will record a podcast discussing their work to be published on the Leonardo Creative Disturbance podcast platform at MIT Press. Strategies for public engagement. Funding is available for student presentations at local events and conferences. Students who wish to enroll are encouraged to contact the instructor at roger.malina@utdallas.edu. So that, the syllabus can be augmented in areas of specific interest or need of the student.

Grading will be based 10% on attendance, 45% on participation and presentations made during the semester and 45% on the final deliverable. The final deliverable for the end of the semester is intended to help each student work and advance their ATEC or EMAC PhD, MA or MFA project or interest. Format of the deliverable will be determined by the student in consultation with the instructor.

 

 

 

 

ArtSciLab Students Move Onto New Ventures

Two students in the ArtSciLab, Sruthi Ayloo and Stephanie Brisendine, will be graduating this spring 2015 semester and going into new jobs and opportunities.

Sruthi will be graduating with her Masters in Computer Science from UT Dallas. She says:

Working at the ArtSciLab as a graduate research assistant was the best thing that happened to me during my graduate studies. It was an amazing opportunity, as I got a chance to play and experiment with new technologies and was also introduced to the arts and music. I learned a lot during my stay here. Interacting with diverse people within the lab gave me a better understanding of various cultures and made my work fun. There were days when I used to get more work done for my lab than my coursework as I truly relished my job here and I really loved what I did.

I have always wanted to work on products that help with advancing computation across fields. In line with this goal, I have taken up a full-time offer as an Application Support Engineer at Mathworks (Massachusetts) and will be joining their Engineering Development Group. I will be solving different types of MATLAB problems and at the same time work with different teams within the company to build better features for MATLAB and its various toolboxes.

Stephanie will be graduating with her undergraduate degree in Emerging Media and Communications from UTD. She says:

My post-graduation plans evolved as I gained confidence in my ability to actualize opportunities. My two years at UTD, and more specifically, my year and a half with the ArtSciLab has given me confidence and curiosity in the world again. I’ve been able to learn, fail, experiment and create things that I never thought possible before. Being surrounded by an infinitely interesting international and academic community has also played a crucial role in my long-term goals. I remember thinking that finding a job after finishing my undergraduate would be sufficient, because going to grad school just equaled more debt. However, my current long-term goals include graduate research as well as becoming internationally established. The beautiful thing is there are multiple paths that I can take – job offers, grad school, abroad opportunities – which is extremely exciting. And as of late March, I’m happy to say that I was accepted into the JET Program in Japan and I will be living there for at least a year. I plan to use this time to become fluent in Japanese as well as continue investigating some of the questions I present in my capstone (senior project) this semester.

Congrats and good luck to Sruthi and Stephanie!

Carolyne Adhiambo Ojwang Joins ArtSciLab

Carolyne Adhiambo Ojwang was born and raised in Kenya before I relocated to the US to join her family. She is currently a University of Texas at Dallas student in the Masters program in ATEC graduating in Spring, 2015. As an immigrant, she is  interested in the African Diaspora, especially the East African community and how they can use cultural discussions and technological initiatives to provide a gateway to the rest of the world. Her Masters project will address how to enable East Africa to become visible in the global scene as part of the ArtScilab experimental publishing initiatives.

She will be carrying out her masters project in collaboration with the Art Sci Lab Virtual Africa project led by Yvan Tina and contributing to the ArtSciLab Creative Disturbance podcast and collaboration platform.

Susan Eriksson Joins ArtSciLab as a Research Fellow!

Susan C. Eriksson is a geologist, educator, and artist, with a specialty in translating cutting-edge scientific research into programs that impact students and society. She has served as a research scientist for a major oil company; faculty, administrator, and museum director at Virginia Tech; and Education and Outreach Director for UNAVCO, an NSF facility for geodetic research and for the Earth Observatory of Singapore.

She supports an emerging community of scientists and artists working together in the subject of the Earth by founding  Bella Roca, a website with news and articles on people and events in the geoscience and art arena and by co-convening several sessions on geoscience and art at the American Geophysical Union annual meeting.

Susan has exhibited her Earth-inspired art work nationally at the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Eriksson is also an independent consultant in strategic planning and evaluation of STEM programs.

Dr Eriksson is producer of the podcast channel on Art and Earth Sciences on the ArtSciLab Creative Disturbance project ( www. Creativedisturbance.org )

Jack Ox Joins ArtSciLab as a Research Fellow!

Jack Ox is an artist who used research as the method behind her art works and is now taking the procedures developed as an artist to the scientific and engineering world of visualization. She is also a longtime member of Leonardo Journal’s editorial board, and has served as both a Research Assistant Professor in Art and Art History, and Research Associate Professor of Music at the University of New Mexico; also at UNM, she is a researcher at the Center for Advanced Computing (CARC). Ox just finished a PhD dissertation on “Manifestations of Conceptual Metaphor and Blending Theories” for Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne. Her 30-year career of mapping musical scores to paintings such as Kurt Schwitters’s intermedia masterpiece, “Ursonate,” can be seen at http://www.jackox.net/pages/Ursonate/ur_MAINindex.html and virtual reality renditions, such as the “Gridjam” at http://www.jackox.net/pages/gridjamIndex.html. Recently, Ox presented a paper at the IEEE VIS 2014 conference in Paris on how knowledge representers can use analogy and conceptual blending in visualizations.

Jack Ox, together with Fluxus artist Ken Friedman, is leading the 3-year Leonardo symposium on the PhD in Art and Design. This project is documenting best methods and practices, as well as issues and challenges, that are emerging with the introduction of the PhD in Art and Design in universities internationally and in particular for hybrid professionals in theh art-science and art-technology fields.

TIm Perkis named as a Research Fellow in ArtSciLab!

Tim Perkis is a researcher, engineer, musician and filmmaker, who has
been working primarily in the field of digital sound for decades. As a
musician, he is a founder of The Hub, a pioneering group in the field
of computer network music, as well as a internationally-known
performer of improvised music, having worked with many of the leading
figures in the field in North America, Europe and Japan.  He has
taught at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and the
California College of the Arts (CCA)and has been resident
artist/researcher at Mills College in Oakland California, Xerox
Corporation’s Palo Alto Research Center, Paul Allen’s legendary
thinktank, Interval Research, and at the Mediterranean Institute of
Advanced Research (IMéRA) of the University of Aix-Marseille in
France. As an engineer he has designed tools, toys and software for a
variety of corporate clients, including Mattel, Sony, and Sennheiser,
and consulted with the San Francisco Airport and Art Commission as an
expert on technology-based art.  He is also producer and director of a
feature-length documentary on musicians and sound artists in the San
Francisco Bay area called NOISY PEOPLE (2007). His music is available
on over a dozen labels, including Tzadik(USA), EMANEM(UK), and
Creative Sources (Portugal).
Perkis is collaborating with ArtScilab on the Connectome Data
Dramatisation Project

Richard Wirth Appointed as the First Leonardo Fellow!

Richard Wirth is a Master’s candidate in the Arts and Technology program at the University of Texas at Dallas. Richard’s fellowship will be designed around his research of MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) as interactive storytelling environments, comparing the function of secondary oral media across different modes of social interaction through the lens of video game ethnography. During his fellowship, Richard will explore Leonardo publications for his writings and research and also will serve as a guest editor of the Leonardo On-Line blog, among other activities.

The Leonardo Fellowship program recognizes accomplished graduate students and junior faculty from Leonardo Senior Affiliate organizations. Selected Leonardo Fellows will have an opportunity to advance their selected research or project area through such activities as publishing in the internationally renowned Leonardo journal or creating a unique art-science project under the auspices of Leonardo, as well as to receive mentorship from senior Leonardo editors. The Leonardo Fellowship includes a cash stipend of $1,000 (U.S.).

Throughout its history, Leonardo has presented the work of renowned international theorists, artists, scientists, curators and other practitioners of contemporary art involving 20th- and 21st-century media. The Leonardo Archive, spanning nearly 50 years, provides a rich basis for exploration of the genesis of art-science work, from the introduction of pioneering applications in kinetic art, computer animation, net art, interactive, telematic, algorithmic and genetic art, environmental, bio and land art to more recent artistic applications in nano art, CAVE installation work, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, wearables, sound art, cloud-based art and beyond.

Fellowships may be realized in a variety of possible forms, such as (but not limited to):

  • Guest-editing a themed special section in Leonardo journal
  • Curating a Leonardo Gallery devoted to work in the field of art-science-technology
  • Researching a topic area drawing on the 50-year Leonardo archive, leading to publication of an article in Leonardojournal or Leonardo On-Line
  • Or another project that utilizes the content or other resources of the Leonardo Network.

The creativity of the proposal will be a factor in the selection of Leonardo Fellows. Leonardo Fellows will also have opportunities to interface with the Leonardo community:

  • One month as a guest editor of the Leonardo On-Line Blog
  • Opportunity to speak at a Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous (LASER) event.

Note: Submitted writings and projects are subject to editorial review and are not guaranteed to be published.

Who is eligible? During the announced nomination period, Leonardo Senior Affiliate Members may nominate one (1) graduate student for the Fall Fellowship and one (1) junior faculty member for the Spring Fellowship.

What is a Senior Affiliate Member? A Senior Affiliate Member is a paying member institution, department, lab or organization that is creating work in the intersection of art, science and technology. For more information about the many benefits of joining the Leonardo Affliate Program, please see www.leonardo.info/affiliates.

The nomination process: We accept nominations twice a year for the two fellowships: an autumn fellowship for a graduate student and a spring fellowship for a junior faculty member.

           Step 1 Nomination period opens and is announced by the Leonardo Affiliate Program. Senior Affiliates are invited submit a nomination.

           Step 2 The Leonardo Senior Affiliate nominator sends a preliminary email to Leonardo/ISAST indicating the name and position of the organization’s nominee and his/her contact information and including the nominator’s letter of recommendation in support of the nominee.

           Step 3 Upon acknowledgmentand request by Leonardo/ISAST, the nominee submits a project proposal as well as a resume and writing sample for consideration.

Where and when is the fellowship? The fellowships are conducted remotely, with periodic telephone or video contact with the Leonardo editors. The duration of each fellowship is either one academic quarter or semester. One fellowship takes place at a time, rotating between the graduate student and the junior faculty fellowship.

Does the fellowship offer a stipend? We offer a $1,000 stipend, awarded at the beginning of the fellowship project.

Have more questions? Contact Danielle Siembieda, Leonardo Affiliate Manager, dani…@leonardo.info

Timeline of Spring 2015 Fellowship (Junior Faculty Members)

October 15, 2014:  Fellowship Nomination Period Announced (for Fall: Graduate Student Nominations Only)
November 15, 2014:  Fellowship Nominations and supporting materials due
December 15, 2014:  Materials From Nominee Due 
January 15, 2015:  Fall Fellowship Awardee announced
February 15, 2015:  Fall Fellowship begins
April 30, 2015:  Fall Fellowship ends

The Leonardo Affiliate Program