October 22, 2010

Week 4 – web links and videos

Here are a couple of the major links from the second lecture today:

We Feel Fine, the ’emotional blog search’.

The Allosphere video:

October 21, 2010

Topic switch

Just to let you know — I mentioned in last week’s lesson that I might do a lecture on generative art this week. But now I think that I’ll shift that lecture to next week (29th Oct), so as to give me time to add some new examples. See you tomorrow.

October 18, 2010

Sample essay questions

Here are examples of some of the essay questions suggested to me by students in earlier years. With a little refinement, I was happy to approve all of these…

‘To what extent are teenagers becoming genuine content creators in online Web 2.0 communities?’

‘What impacts has podcasting had on media distribution and consumption?’

‘To what extent have modern computer operating systems really integrated findings from ‘usability’ research?’

‘Selling crafts on the web: what possibilities have been explored, which have proved most effective, and why?’

‘Examine two specialised fields in which electronic textiles are currently most commercially useful, and then outline some of the reasons why they have not yet made the leap from specialised niches to the mass-market.’

‘What are the possibilities that virtual products offer the innovative product designer willing to sell in a virtual world?’

‘Explore the ways in which social status and ethics operate within the subculture of computer hacking and software pirate crews.’

‘How is branding and marketing best achieved in virtual worlds, without causing disruption to the social networking of those worlds?’

October 15, 2010

Week three – lesson links

Hi class. Some links to things mentioned in today’s two lectures. These don’t form a comprehensive outline of what was mentioned…

1. Ethics and privacy.

A useful set of scenarios for thinking about online ethics, mostly oriented toward students.

Official censorship in China.

Hushmail and Anonymizer.

Wikipedia summary of the RIPA laws in the UK.

Surveillance Studies Network is a useful academic site, and has an open-access (free) ejournal Surveillance & Society : the international journal of surveillance studies.

The historical reality and metaphor of the Panopticon.

“Core rules of netiquette”, as established in 1994 just before the birth of the mass consumer internet.

Apple buys ‘face recognition on a phone’ company, and their product Recognizr.

Storing all our emails and visited websites

2. Real-Virtual-real

Home site of Christian Nold, who did the emotion mapping project. He’s done a lot more since then.

My short essay on neogeography, the first first half tries to find a history of the term and a satisfactory definition. Some of the second half briefly outlines aspects of the politics involved, and the cultural/commercial tensions inherent on the evolving mix of technologies.

Photosynth and the video demo of it that I was actually looking for today (I showed bits of another video, nowhere near as good as this one)…

It’s possible to get a 3D virtual model of a place out of a photosynth point cloud, which might interest the architecture students.

Augmented reality on a phone, one of the earliest working demo videos.

Audio Nomad, a “three-year research & development programme into the creative and technological potentials of immersive and location-sensitive audio.” Tactical Garden Sound Kit was a similar project.

Mobile Audiences is an occasional blog that covers mobile-based art in public spaces, and art that moves between public spaces and galleries.

Three recent augmented reality demos at SIGGRAPH.

October 8, 2010

Week Two – links and admin details

Hi, class:

* For those who might want to hand in their essay early (e.g.: if you’re likely to be out of the UK, on the last week of term), I’m currently asking the admin staff about how to go about this. It used to be easy, when we had a dedicated office for the Electives administration — but that’s been closed down recently to save money. I’ll let you know how the early hand-in process will work, hopefully by next week.

* I’ll also see if I can get you a list of example self-chosen essay titles, as chosen by previous students on the module, by next week. I urge you to stay away from topics involving CAD, or that simply describe software or hardware. That approach might be OK in a quick seminar-presentation paper, but what you’re going to write for me is a proper academic essay.

Here are some Web links to things mentioned today:

A short guide to free academic search tools.

Lev Manovich’s Five Principles of New Media, which can be found in his useful book The Language of New Media.

IBM’s data visualisation tool, ManyEyes, and Google’s We Feel Fine, a tool for emotion-mapping weblogs in an aesthetically pleasing but informative manner — we’ll have a whole lesson on data visualisation and suchlike, at some point in the next few weeks.

Second Life and furries.

Donna Haraway and cyberfeminism are difficult to sum up in a few words, but this Powerpoint presentation and this rather basic Wikipedia article on cyberfeminism might give you a quick idea of the outlines of the debate/ideas.

Ideas and debates about a possible technological singularity are summarised fairly well here. Possibly this is an example of the way in which mystical and eschatological thinking infects the wider cultural debate about technology — there’s a excellent book on this topic in the reading list, Technognosis.

Here’s a pretty good 2-minute summary history of Wikipedia…

Kevin Kelly recently said of Wikipedia…

“Much of what I believed about human nature, and the nature of knowledge, has been upended by the Wikipedia … The Wikipedia is impossible, but here it is. It is one of those things impossible in theory, but possible in practice. Once you confront the fact that it works, you have to shift your expectation of what else that is impossible in theory might work in practice.” — Kevin Kelly.


Also, I mentioned the free Calibre software for the Kindle ebook reader, and I have a quick tutorial on how to use Calibre as an ebook conversion utility.

October 7, 2010

Links from the first lesson

Hi class! I said I’d put a couple of links here, to things mentioned in the first lesson (1st Oct 2010):—

1. l5-crit.pdf. The L5 marking grid, so you know how you’re being assessed.

2. For the architecture students, I mentioned LightUp for Sketchup

“LightUp for SketchUp is a SketchUp plugin that adds realistic, real-time lighting to your SketchUp models. Add lights, add windows, and watch your SketchUp scenes glow with gorgeous reflected light, soft shadows, subtle shading. Gone are the flat, boring surfaces of old.”

September 30, 2010

Module document and Assessment Brief now available

These are the required module documents for this class, and the assessment brief with deadlines, all bundled into one printable document:—

Module documents (as a single PDF file, 180k download).

September 30, 2010

Our lesson times, classroom details, and deadlines

Times: Fridays, 2pm to 5.30pm. Please consult this class blog to read of any changes.

Classroom: Room 203, on the Red Floor in the Visual Communication tower, Gosta Green.

Lesson dates in 2010:

WEEK One : 1st October 2010 :

    first lesson, introductions, discussion, module outline.

WEEK Two : 8th October :

WEEK Three : 15th October :

WEEK Four : 22nd October :

WEEK Five : 29th October :


WEEK Six : 5th November :

WEEK Seven : 12th November :

WEEK Eight : 19th November :

WEEK Nine: 26th November :

WEEK Ten: 3rd December :

WEEK Eleven : 10th December :

WEEK Twelve : 17th December (last day of term)

  17th Dec before 3pm : DEADLINE FOR ESSAY AND ADDITIONAL ASSIGNMENT HAND-IN. Please formally submit in paper form to: the Electives Office, Ground Floor, Emma Jessie Phipps building, Gosta Green, BIAD.

September 30, 2010

About your teacher

I’ve been teaching New Technologies annually since 2002. The module is taught by weekly lectures and a final essay. It gets good results for students willing to attend and give time to the final written work — partly as a result of me letting you choose your own personalised essay topic/question.

You can find out more about me on main weblog.

I also run various specialist subject weblogs:

Creative Stoke (hyperlocal for the Midlands city of Stoke-on-Trent)

JURN (ejournals and academic search, supporting my JURN search engine)

myClone (3D CG indie animation production)

Perfect Worlds (an occasional weblog on videogames)

Tentaclii (on H.P. Lovecraft)

I also have a Kindle on order, and so have just started a new Kindle 3 weblog.

September 30, 2010

Welcome to the class weblog

Welcome to the class blog for the L5 New Technologies 12-week module at BIAD, October – December 2010. Here you can find the required class documents, assessment brief with deadlines, and details of the class dates / classroom / times.