Luminiferous Funeral: Journeying in Delusional Pavilions

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In response to the growing climate crisis, Luminiferous Funeral is an interdisciplinary Virtual Reality game-art work with a physical sensory perception installation. This work explores the invisible erosion of climate change and environmental breakdown by offering audiences an opportunity to dialogue with nature and seeks to focus participants on the inner communication with oneself about the essential nature of life and death. The relationship to nature is harnessed by our open-source framework in which we seek collaborative interactiv-ity from others-encouraging them to journey within their local nature space and document their phenomenological relationship with the environment through sound clips, sketches, video, photographs, and other forms of digital media. Through communication with corresponding environmental and climate scientists, and by combining this user-centric data input with known local climate and weather models, the playable game-art is continuously evolving-downloadable game patches periodically transform a player's virtual world. With a Zen inspired ideology, our cloud-based Artificial Intelligence systems employ Natural Language Processing on texts describing Eastern and Western philosophies of nature , power, fear and love, space and environment-crafting responses into poetic expressions, and physical interpretations of, this ongoing accumulation of climate content used to create the downloadable game.

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Interactive media art is an art form that ‘transforms digital information and translates it into aesthetics of participative processes.’ In their artistic investigations, the artists and architects Fleischmann and Strauss focus on the concept of the ‘thinking space’ [Denkraum]. Following Aby Warburg's ‘space of thought’ (1929), they define the thinking space of interactive media art as a ‘space filled with data’ (Strauss, W., and M. Fleischmann. 2001. “Imagine Space Fused with Data.” In: CAST 2001. Living in Mixed Realities, Fraunhofer IMK. Proceedings p. 41–45.). The artists’ thinking space is the artistic exploration of an architecture of interactivity that ‘evokes’ communication ‘in a culture of simulation’ (Turkle, S. 2004). “A true evocative object … ” by involving people in a performative way. This article presents three of their projects, all based on the metaphor of the thinking space: ‘Semantic Map’, ‘Media Flow’ and ‘Energy Passages’ illustrate strategies of interactivity using artificial intelligence to ‘reinforce human intelligence’. The question is not whether machines can think, but whether people can still think when everything is automated.
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Cultural studies seems to have passed into the shadows of academic interests, replaced by globalization and political economy as the new millennium's privileged concerns among left academics. Yet, cultural studies' longstanding interest in the interrelationship of power, politics, and culture remains critically important. Matters of agency, conscious- ness, pedagogy, and rhetoric are central to any public discourse about politics, not to mention education itself. Hence, this article argues that the promise of cultural studies, especially as a fundamental aspect of higher education, resides in a larger transformative and democratic politics in which matters of pedagogy and agency play a central role.
Current findings from anthropology, genetics, prehistory, cognitive and neuroscience indicate that human nature is grounded in a co-evolution of tool use, symbolic communication, social interaction and cultural transmission. Digital information technology has recently entered as a new tool in this co-evolution, and will probably have the strongest impact on shaping the human mind in the near future. A common effort from the humanities, the sciences, art and technology is necessary to understand this ongoing co- evolutionary process. Interactivity is a key for understanding the new relationships formed by humans with social robots as well as interactive environments and wearables underlying this process. Of special importance for understanding interactivity are human-computer and human-robot interaction, as well as media theory and New Media Art. »Paradoxes of Interactivity« brings together reflections on »interactivity« from different theoretical perspectives, the interplay of science and art, and recent technological developments for artistic applications, especially in the realm of sound.
Modernity need not be synonymous with abstraction or with a lack of cultural resonance. The art of China's historical literate elite, and the environments they surrounded themselves with, are ripe with inspiration for a formal language that is relevant today. The academic group Arcadia and the related design practice Zaoyuan Gardening Studio have been investigating how aspects of these artificial landscapes might spur a new poetics in Chinese architecture. Two of Arcadia's founders, Xin Wang and Qiuye Jin, describe their work – spanning teaching, research and built projects.
In this first book-length study of the internationally renowned Canadian artist Char Davies, Laurie McRobert examines the digital installations Osmose and Ephémère in the context of Davies' artistic and conceptual inspirations. Davies, originally a painter, turned to technology in an effort to create the effect of osmosis between self and world. By donning a head-mounted display unit and a body vest to monitor breathing and balance, participants are immersed in 3D-virtual space where they interact with abstract images of nature while manoeuvring in an artificial spatial environment. Char Davies' Immersive Virtual Art and the Essence of Spatiality explores spatiality through a broad scope of disciplines, including philosophy, mythology, biology, and visual studies, in order to familiarize the reader with virtual reality art - how it differs from traditional artistic media and why immersive virtual art promises to expand our imaginative horizons. This original study provides us with an important exposition of two of Char Davies' acclaimed projects and an exploration of the future impact of digital virtual art on our worldviews.
This book takes a close look at places of learning located outside of schools, yet deeply concerned with the experience of the learning self. It explores what it might mean to think of pedagogy not in relation to knowledge as a "thing made," but to knowledge in the making.
This article argues that Stuart Hall’s work provides an important theoretical framework for developing an expanded notion of public pedagogy, for making the pedagogical central to any understanding of political agency, and for addressing the primacy of public pedagogy and cultural politics in any viable theory of social change. Hall’s work becomes particularly important not only in making education crucial to the practice of cultural studies, but also in providing a theoretical and political corrective to recent attacks on cultural politics, which cut across ideological lines and include theorists as politically diverse as Harold Bloom, Richard Rorty and Todd Gitlin.
As increasing numbers of educators explore the use of virtual worlds for education, there is a need to consider which pedagogical approaches can provide an opportunity to do more than recreate the traditional classroom by leveraging the unique characteristics and potential that the technology can offer. This study identifies Communal Constructivism as a potentially appropriate pedagogy for use in the virtual world Second Life. Five groups of learners took part in a learning experience specifically designed to provide opportunity for the features of Communal Constructivism to emerge through the affordances of the technology. The chat logs, learning artefacts, post-activity semi-structured interviews and researcher’s observations from each of the five groups were analysed to explore participants’ experiences and both the operation and outcome of the pedagogy in action. Findings from the qualitative analysis of the data sets indicate that learners collaboratively constructed knowledge for themselves as a group and for others, as the features of the pedagogy emerged.
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