The conference brings together international practitioners and thinkers to discuss both the growing dependency of urban societies on their technological superstructures, as well as the phenomena of massive online virtual environments with their unstable population and continuous reformulation of their own raison d’etre.
This connects to the physicality of real-urbanism that loses its own purpose and function without networked technology, and to virtual environments that are losing their purpose without the physicality of human presence.
PANEL 1 – SUPERSTRUCTURAL DEPENDENCIES
Through the technological superstructure of cities, the fast development of mobile devices and the automation of services, the urban environment is undergoing rapid changes. With Superstructural Dependencies, a discussion opens on the effect of a state of complete dependency on such an artificial technical (urban) superstructure – not only regarding for instance resources like food, water or energy, but as well other key activities like communication.With Konrad Becker, Eric Kluitenberg and Michiel de Lange
PANEL 2 – VIRTUAL FLIGHT
Virtual flight depicts the slow movement from the autonomous exclusive realm of virtual worlds, toward something that is more connected to real world physicality. Stagnation in MMO worlds shows how technological, virtual platforms are dependent on a meaningful raison d’etre for individual participation, and that the massive euphoria around virtual online worlds from the mid 2000s ended in ontological dead-end, mostly because it didn’t take into account the complexities of social laws. With Esther MacCallum-Stewart, Ilias Marmaras, Jaakko Stenros.
The conference is made in collaboration with the Department of Media and Culture Studies of Utrecht University. Moderation: Matteo Pasquinelli and Kristian Lukic.
KONRAD BECKER― Speaker
Konrad Becker (Austria) is an author, artist and producer in the field of culture and technology. He is director and co-founder of the Institute for New Culture Technologies/t0, and of Public Netbase during 1994 to 2006. He started World-Information.Org, a cultural intelligence agency and runs Global Security Alliance, a cultural peacekeeping agency. Publications include: Strategic Reality Dictionary (2009), Tactical Reality Dictionary (2002), www.t0.or. at, world-information.org, global-security-alliance.com
ERIC KLUITENBERG― Speaker
Eric Kluitenberg (The Netherlands) is an independent theorist, writer and curator on culture, media and technology. Since the late 1980s he has been involved in numerous principal media art and culture events. Currently he is head of the media and technology program of De Balie, centre for culture and politics in Amsterdam. He taught at various art colleges and universities, and lectures regularly throughout Europe and beyond. Recent publications include the thematic issue Hybrid Space, OPEN 11, journal for art and the public domain (2006), the Book of Imaginary Media (2006) and Delusive Spaces (essays, 2008).
MICHIEL DE LANGE― Speaker
Michiel de Lange (The Netherlands) is finishing his PhD on mobile media technologies, urban life and identity (Erasmus University Rotterdam). He is co-founder of The Mobile City, a knowledge network about new media technologies and urban culture (http://www.themobilecity.nl). He collaborated in a locative media art and science project in Nigeria. Previously, he worked for Kennisland/Knowledgeland, a Dutch thinktank that aims to strengthen a knowledge-based society, and Cybersoek, a computer neighbourhood center in Amsterdam-East. He blogs at http://blog.bijt.org.
DR. ESTHER MACCALLUM-STEWART― Speaker
DR. Esther Maccallum-Stewart (UK) is a lecturer at the University of Chichester and a Research Fellow at SMARTlab, UK. Her work investigates the ways in which communities and players understand their worlds in online spaces, in particular in online games. She has written widely on this subject in relation to gender relations, roleplaying, protesting and ‘griefing’ in online worlds. She is currently writing a book; Social Narratives in Online Games, due to be published in 2011.
ILIAS MARMARAS― Speaker
Ilias Marmaras (Greece) is a media artist. He studied plastic arts, urbanism and philosophy at the university Paris VIII. He is a co-founder of the new media arts collective Personal Cinema. He writes articles regarding media arts and activism for newspapers and magazines, and he directs projects mostly concerned with game art and political criticism like The making of Balkan Wars: the game (2004) and Folded-in (2008).
JAAKKO STENROS― Speaker
Jaakko Stenros (Finland) is a researcher working at Game Research Lab at the University of Tampere. He has studied pervasive games, role-playing games and play on social networking sites, and is writing his dissertation on games as activities. He has co-written Pervasive Games: Theory and Design (2009) and co-edited Playground Worlds (2008) and Beyond Role and Play (2004). Later this year he will publish a book on Nordic live-action role-playing games. Currently he lives in Helsinki.