Archive for the ‘CCS-blog’ Category


Monday, May 21st, 2007

If interactive art is still experimental, then we sometimes need to step back and remember how the experimental method goes. It’s not enough to constantly seek novelty. We also have to ensure that our experiments can be repeated, and see whether we get the same results.

Since interactivity involves humans, we won’t. That’s no reason not to try. The differences in response may tell us something about how humans have changed in the intervening period. Our own understanding may have changed, and the results of the experiments may therefore tell us new things.

Also, at the very least we should be reminded of what we’ve learned, so that we can build on it. I so often see interactive art that tries to do too much, or fails to understand what will happen to the work once people start to play with it, explore it, ignore the instructions, break it and subvert it.

I have a concrete suggestion here. Let’s recreate some of the waypoints in our history. I’d like to see Myron Krueger’s Videoplace up and running in the Powerhouse Museum, and Kit Galloway & Sherrie Rabinowitz’s Hole in Space installed in oh, Sydney and Perth, or Newtown and Harajuku. Ah, the classics!

Terra Nova: The feeling of space

Tuesday, April 24th, 2007

Terra Nova is talking about the feeling of space in different virtual worlds. The discussion focuses on things like camera tracking and proprioception, which makes me think of the papers on embodiment in CVEs that I’ve been reading recently.

However embodiment is used in a couple of ways in the literature. Sometimes it describes the feeling of being in a body, interacting with the virtual space. This is where you can start to think of the avatar as if it were an animal within an environment, and that’s how the term is relevant to the discussion above.

At other times it’s used to describe a user’s avatar as perceived by others in the space. The distinction is: how it feels to be in your (virtual) self vs. how your (virtual) self appears to others. These are so far apart that to call them both “embodiment” confuses me terribly. Is the term really meant to cover both of those things, and if so do we have words for each separately as well?

I am.

Thursday, February 15th, 2007

I now exist on the web. That is, I have a URI. Here it is. A machine-readable description of me in the foaf (Friend of a Friend) vocabulary. My main reason for doing this is that Tim Berners-Lee told me to, and he’s been right before.

You can’t really do much with it, unless you have a URI yourself. You can make your own foaf file here. You can extend Firefox to understand foaf if you wish. Then if you go to, you’ll see an icon that takes you, finally – to a human-readable description of me.

Space, Place and 場.

Wednesday, December 6th, 2006

Let’s start with 場.

If you’re seeing a little square instead of the kanji character for “ba” (as shown in the banner image up the top of this page), then Here’s a nickel, kid, go buy yourself a real computer.

In Japanese, 場 is pronounced “Ba”. Japanese/English dictionaries say it means “field”. However this is a very sparse translation. The character means the same thing in Chinese also; in Mandarin it is pronounced “Chang” using the third tone.

The true meaning of 場 is a little richer than that. It’s a dynamic, inhabited place; a place for doing something. Somewhere to hold a festival, or work on a project together. A collaborative place.

In architecture we say “a place is a space with a history”. However history is in the past. What about the present? What do we call a place where history is being created? A rich place full of interaction and possibility, a place for emerging relationships?