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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Precision Targets: GPS and the Militarization of Everyday Life

Caren Kaplan has created a super cool 3D graphic novel that 6 parallel stories inside an interactive cube - brilliant!

"Welcome to Precision Targets: GPS and the Militarization of "Everyday" Life. I'm Caren Kaplan and I created this multimedia piece in collaboration with Erik Loyer and Ezra Clayton Daniels, with funding in large part from the American Council of Learned Societies Digital Innovation Fellowship.

This project began many years ago in 1994 when I happened to read something in The New York Times about a new technology that could help a sight-impaired person get from one place to another. The article described a backpack-sized device that would use something called the "global positioning system" or "GPS" to locate precisely the person's whereabouts and then link to a voice-guided mapping service. Using GPS, someone who couldn't see could move about independently at will. I thought this sounded really exciting and I clipped the story out of the paper, thinking I could use it in a class I was planning to teach on theories and practices of mobility. But before I could go much further, I needed to know more about this new technology, GPS.

To my surprise, my first online search for GPS brought me hundreds of hits concerning the military and the 1st Persian Gulf War. This piqued my interest and the next thing I knew I was researching military technology, satellite programs, and the history of air power. And I have been pursuing these topics ever since—although it took me awhile to understand how my new interests were not a deviation from my studies of postcolonial travel and gender but, rather, the best way for me to grasp the links between culture, politics, and economics through the concrete example of militarization.

GPS was always envisioned as a "dual-use" technology; that is, available for both military and civilian use. Throughout the 1990s, the same technology that had guided the so-called "smart bombs" to targets in Iraq, became mainstreamed into everyday life in the U.S: mapping auto routes, identifying consumer groups, keeping track of children, and entertaining us through games and applications. GPS entered the late 20th century social imaginary and changed people's perceptions about space and time, especially the power of identifying increasingly precise locations and the pleasures of personal electronics. Of course, in the post-9/11 era, anxieties about national security and borders of all kinds have generated new conversions of GPS and allied technologies such as biometrics. Thus, the circulation of GPS between military and civilian use is instructive if we want to understand better the ways in which government and business cooperate not only to make war but to create consumers. Most importantly, in this way, people who have no particular interest in military projects or nationalism may find themselves through their use of technology in everyday life participating in the culture of war: through ways of seeing, forms of entertainment, and modes of communication.

My study of GPS in this era of seemingly endless war has led me to ask how "dual-use" technologies blur the distinction between military and civilian spheres. What are our expectations and assumptions about information technologies? How can we say "no" to war when we say "yes" to militarization every single day? Precision Targets is designed to raise these questions and others as you move through the multimedia piece to engage the animated possibilities of GPS in everyday life."

Posted via web from Siobhan O'Flynn's 1001 Tales

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spain Pavilion unveils the contents of the exhibition rooms created by Basilio Martín Patino and Isabel Coixet | Sociedad Estatal para Exposiciones Internacionales (SEEI)

This project is awesome (in the real sense of the word)! props Darren Wershler

Posted via web from Siobhan O'Flynn's 1001 Tales

Confessions of an Aca/Fan: Archives: Hollywood Goes "Transmedia"

hurray! webcasts of the USC//UCLA's Transmedia Hollywood conference are up! Lots of gnarly goodness to delve into later & I'm looking forward to catching David Brisbin's panel

Posted via web from Siobhan O'Flynn's 1001 Tales

Sunday, April 25, 2010

very funny Breaking Bad video - did I say funny? no no scary

Now I'm up later than I planned as Dawn sent me this link to a Breaking Bad viral site. Enjoy:
Hey ..., why is this guy so angry??

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Sleep Is Death Tutorial 1: Controller Basics

I like the organization of this launch - multiple tutorials on Youtube

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Sleep Is Death (Geisterfahrer)

Jason Rohrer's 7th game is up as of this month! It's a storytelling game for two players w. tutorials on

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

PepperDigital: Transforming Collaboration and Creativity across Divides

« Should Schools Allow the Use of Mobile Phones? | Main

April 23, 2010

Transforming Collaboration and Creativity across Divides

By: Sam Ford, PepperDigital

Last night, my mentor--Henry Jenkins--spoke at the university at an event that has many surrounding media studies at "the Institute" talking, if Twitter is any indication. And, while his comments are directed at the creativity but also the challenges of work relationships within that particular university, I believe his words have great implications for professionals across multiple divisions of a company, for the public relations field as a whole, and for how various entities have conversations with one another in general--the collaboration between academia and the media industries/brands; the collaboration between newsmakers and news "consumers" (a word that I think greatly misunderstands the transformative role we all play in both spreading and shaping civic communication); and a variety of other "interdisciplinary" conversations.

Jenkins, who I am currently co-authoring Spreadable Media with (along with Joshua Green at UC-Santa Barbara), left MIT after two decades for the University of Southern California, a move from an institution where the humanities is undervalued to an institution where studying the media is a major focus of the school's reputation. Last night's talk captured the conflicting feelings many of us have about MIT--an environment that shaped who we have become as professionals even as it created deep frustrations along the way about the rigidity of certain disciplinary boundaries, even as MIT's strength has long come from collaboration across divisions. Henry used a familiar MIT to sum this up--IHTFP--but I'll let you readers look up what that initialism stands for. But his talk's implications spread far beyond the particular boundaries of MIT, particularly two fundamental messages.

First, we can't treat making things and thinking about things as mutually exclusive. That doesn't mean some people won't be more applied than others. Obviously, we need some people who are largely charged with watching what's happening, thinking about culture, studying the history of media, deeply listening to the audience, and who bring that knowledge to bear on the current moment. We also need people who are largely charged with putting thinking to action. But the idea that "strategy" and "tactics" are unconnected to each other, that the people who do "strategy" work should do little to think about how it will pragmatically be implemented or that the people who do tactical work should not be expected to think strategically at all is ridiculous. We see enough of that happen within the media industries and the agency world. And we see that happen all too often in the academy--a lack of conversations across disciplines between the "studies" and the "practical" majors. That's not to even talk about the lack of communication between the academic world, which deeply studies the trends taking place in a culture from a variety of perspectives, and the media industries, which are going to drive the implementation of the tools, narratives, and material available to our culture to discuss, spread, and contribute to.

This is the focus of Grant McCracken's writing in Chief Culture Officer. It's what many of us who graduated from the Program in Comparative Media Studies at MIT are seeking to do in our own work. Henry charged several sectors of MIT at being guilty of making things without thinking about their usefulness in any way. In that sense, it's an example of putting major technological innovation into something that may serve very little usefulness for the culture as a whole, for thinking little about the social and human elements not just of getting technology adopted but of making the technology really resonate within its cultural context. But, beyond that danger of creating technology with little thought to how it will meet the needs and wants of people or communities, there's also the danger when making without thinking of creating content that's just not that compelling, messages that have no resonance and that no one will want to put in motion. In the Hollywood context now that he's at USC, Henry talks about creating "transmedia" narratives as being a great creative potential that we've only scratched the surface of but, conversely, of the danger that Hollywood might use it as an excuse to create more crap for people to buy when "the dung heap" of Hollywood is piled high enough already. Marketers, public relations professionals, and advertising creatives can fall into the same trap, especially in the social media space, where often the "strategy" is scarcely more than the tactic itself, a victim of making without much thinking.

There's also the danger of thinking without relationship to doing. Henry captures also the strength of the MIT model and how I believe it helped prepare those of us who came from the Comparative Media Studies program to make contributions to both the media industries and the academy through the idea of "applied humanities." While the humanist should be a critic of our culture and many of the players within it, "applied humanities" calls for thinking through the value of collaboration between the industry and the academy, of taking the knowledge within the humanities and the insights humanities research creates and giving access to those doing related work outside academic walls. Applied research is at the heart of MIT but not traditionally at the heart of the academy, a reality that CMS and a variety of other academic programs at other institutions have sought to help correct.

Second, we can't become too constrained by discipline. Henry points out that the MIT seal puts the humanities and the sciences with their backs to one another, a narrative that has in many ways played out over the years within MIT's industrial walls. In Henry's talk, he alludes to the positives of "the discipline"--a body of work to draw from, a way of theorizing and training that is passed down, etc.--but also the negatives--the idea of constraint and punishment for breaking outside the box. The Comparative Media Studies program sought to draw not just between a mix of "thinking" and "doing" but also a mix of disciplinary backgrounds, from anthropologists and cultural theorists to business school types and professional communicators to historians and literature scholars. In the marketing and communication world, we see the lack of collaboration among professionals in a chosen field as the competitive mindset overtakes a collaborative one. We see a lack of collaboration among marketing disciplines, as advertising and public relations and other marketing forms see themselves in competition with one another for budgets. We see a lack of collaboration within brands, as departments compete for budgets and jurisdiction rather than working together to solve problems.

Today, CMS will be celebrating its 10th anniversary with a variety of panels, on the heels of Henry's talk last night. I was honored with having the chance to shape the agenda for today's events, and I'm looking forward to the perspectives of a mix of professors, research managers, and CMS alum talking about the nature of the applied humanities, the acceleration of participatory culture, the nature of global media flows, and the transformation of creativity and collaboration in a digital age. Sadly, there are way too many of us who can't be there for a variety of reasons. It speaks to the power of digital media to be able to have the podcast of last night's talk available to listen to immediately after the event was over. And I'm hoping that today's sessions will likewise be made available shortly (in part because, before circumstances arose that prevented my attendance, I was scheduled to speak on the "Creativity and Collaboration in a Digital Age" panel). I have a feeling, considering how many interested audiences weren't able to attend in person today, the event will be as valuable as a media artifact for discussion after the fact as it was a live event. The questions the CMS program has tackled over the past decade and that CMS and MIT will continue to tackle in the coming years have great implications not only beyond the walls of the Institute but far beyond the academic world as well.

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such a worth-while read!

Posted via web from Siobhan O'Flynn's 1001 Tales

Rule, fairy tale cartoon created in Sleep Is Death - Boing Boing

surprisingly affecting animation just up on Boing Boing - really charming:

"Inspired by an early Superbrothers animation and Rohrer's own memento mori game Passage, animator Simon Cottee created Rule, a life-to-death tale of an unnamed king composed, painted, and animated entirely in Jason Rohrer's Sleep is Death."

Posted via web from Siobhan O'Flynn's 1001 Tales

Friday, April 23, 2010

Academy Award Winning Movie Trailer

FITC // Storytelling X.0

What's it all about anyway? Why should I go?

This day is about connecting today’s best practices with future possibles and envisioning multiple ways that stories might be told. It will change the way you think, design and communicate.

Digital Storytelling X.0 brings together visionary thinkers and innovative trail blazers for an in-depth discussion of emergent trends, best practices, and inspiring projects, to sketch out ideas of where we may be heading next and how to make your projects part of those futures.

Who is this event for?

If you’re a digital creative wanting to make the experience of your projects richer, more engaging and more immersive or if you’re a film and/or tv content creator interested in working in the digital media industry, this day is for you, because slapping on a twitter feed or creating a character profile for your project is so last year’s update.

The Interactive Narratives Initiatives

The Storytelling X.0 symposium is one of four components of The Interactive Narratives Initiatives project. INI, a project conceived and developed by C3/Communitech in support of FITC and it's secondary partners, will be introducing to Ontarian storytellers a new software system that is a new way of telling stories. Shapeshifting Media Technology is the very latest in interactive content management software – by introducing a new media architecture featuring an adaptive nature that can change the users’ experiences on the fly during the playback of audiovisual content. In doing so, creators of audiovisual content in Ontario will be able to display their present content in a more engaging fashion than is possible with more traditional linear film or TV techniques.

INI is also made up of a series of events hosted by our secondary partners : Women in Film & Television (WIFT), Augmented Reality Lab at York University, CFC Media Lab, Communitech, Digital Arts & Technology Association (DATA), and the Writers Guild of Canada (WGC). INI is funded by the OMDC and lead by FITC.

For more information please contact Kathleen Webb.

FITC Background

FITC has produced events over 30 events over the last 9 years with over 15,000 attendees through 18 cities around the world. From Flash to Motion Design, Mobile and more, FITC events each stand as unique and exciting experiences that inspire, educate and challenge. We have also collaborated on dozens of other projects widening our scope and allowing us to bring you the best events out there when it comes to content, networking and of course great parties!

hey all! Storytelling X.O is almost here! hope to see you there!

Posted via web from Siobhan O'Flynn's 1001 Tales



what a lovely program for teens - UK based

Posted via web from Siobhan O'Flynn's 1001 Tales

Runes of Gallidon | Discover a world. Forge its future.

Scott Walker's Brain Candy has created "Runes of Gallidon...a living fantasy world designed for creative collaboration in an online community.

You’re invited to set your stories, art, games, etc. in the world of Gallidon. This fantasy world of adventure is shared under a Creative Commons license so you're free to invent your own characters and places or use ones that already exist. You own what you create, but we all share the world.

Jump onto the forums, help build the wiki, contribute to the story, or simply enjoy a stroll through the galleries. However you choose to explore Gallidon, we hope you have fun!"

Posted via web from Siobhan O'Flynn's 1001 Tales

Towards a definition of transmedia…

great gnarly discussion thread on Brooke Thompson's blog - Monique de Haas & Scott Walker weighing in with key thoughts as well.

Posted via web from Siobhan O'Flynn's 1001 Tales


Check out this short produced for a budget of 5K

Summary > Chris Black possesses a power that could lead to the destruction of the current regime, and they will stop at nothing to destroy him.
The chase is on as Chris runs for his life in this sci-fi thriller set in an alternate and futuristic Los Angeles.

Director : Ricardo de Montreuil

Posted via web from Siobhan O'Flynn's 1001 Tales

I am Canadian

Thursday, April 22, 2010


this is a really interesting web experience of what it's like to be homeless - the camera was mounted on the glasses of one homeless man filming over 24 hours.It was created for Samu Social, a French aid organization, dedicated to helping the homeless.

Posted via web from Siobhan O'Flynn's 1001 Tales

Glee : Smule Is Sonic Media

how can I not play with this?

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LCD Soundsystem - Drunk Girls (HD)

Spike Jonze? LCD Soundsystem? Pandas? seriously catchy

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Yu Chun And William Shatner "Total Eclipse of the Heart" Duet- "Lopez Tonight"

OMG - the funniest duet in a very long time & I'm trying so hard to mark...

Posted via web from Siobhan O'Flynn's 1001 Tales

Find and Track Trends on Your Phone with iCoolhunt

Oh well, if I can become a Guru... well then...

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RED LIGHT PROPERTIES - Online Graphic Novel by Dan Goldman

Red Light Properties

By dan goldman


props Lance Weiler! I'm loving what I've played with so far

Posted via web from Siobhan O'Flynn's 1001 Tales / Awesome shows made with you.

Check out Disney's foray into participatory storytelling

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This monkey can type! Disney's Take180

Thanks to Scott Walker for the excellent post on Disney's participatory experiment

His overview of the project & highlighting of areas that could be improved (Legal Limitations & allowing for the reuse of submissions) is particularly interesting in light of what RSA/Ag8's Purefold project was envisioning in the feedback cycle between films, fan response & fan generated content within a Creative Commons agreement.

Posted via web from Siobhan O'Flynn's 1001 Tales

magneticNorth - a digital design company, based in the UK

I LOVE the interface design of this website - no wonder it won a webby in 2009! This is a must play! Ok, so you have to believe me - it's not just a grey square

Posted via web from Siobhan O'Flynn's 1001 Tales

Nike Grid

Nike Grid: Experiential ARG Campaign | Digital Buzz Blog

From Digital Buzz:

'I’ve been trying to track this video down for the last week to show everyone (finally succeeded), it’s called Nike Grid, an experiential campaign meets ARG about to be launched in London that is all about running. Street running, infact. The Grid is London, North, South East and West across 40 postcodes, the entirety is your gameboard.

The idea is to run from phone box to phone box, street by street across London to claim the most streets in just 24 hours. For each phone box “check in” you’ll get points, and the more you run the more you get. Nike have also taken more than a little inspiration from FourSquare by issuing “badges” for speed, endurance and stamina over the event, with the whole thing tracked and broadcast through Facebook.

If you’re in London and want to get involved you can register for The Grid right here. Good luck!'

Posted via web from Siobhan O'Flynn's 1001 Tales

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Part 2 – Conventions | MimeFeed

Human beings construct narrative. It’s what we do. We impose meaning and cause and effect on events. We say, this happened and then because of or it, that happened. We do it even when it’s not true—which is how places like Vegas stay in business. If you’re flipping a coin, and it comes up heads nine times in a row, what are the odds on the tenth toss? 50-50. Statistics are not narrative.

How we construct those narratives is strongly affected by culture. The stories that are told to us teach us to expect things to happen in certain ways. Some of those conventions are probably more universal than others. I suspect that teaching fables, like Aesop, are common across cultures. Stories of spirits—he didn’t realize it was a ghost until/ he woke up and the beautiful mansion was really a ruin/ the parents told him their daughter had died a year ago/ are also probably fairly widespread. Maybe the story of virtue rewarded, which is a kind of teaching story (do the right thing) is also fairly universal. I’m speculating here. Cowboys and cops are a kind of subset of the convention of the hero. But it is neither a truth nor a universal convention that a car, flying off a cliff, explodes spontaneously and cataclysmically in midair. That convention is one of American TV and movies.

According to Nielsen, the average American watches over four hours of television a day. Insert the usual caveats about averages and Nielsen ratings here, because I’m not sure how people manage this, given that so many of us have jobs and school. But we watch a lot of TV. Even given that some of that is news and sports, there’s still a lot of storytelling in there. Kids watch more. Again, according to Nielsen (caveat, caveat) kids spend 900 hours a year in school and watch 1500 hours of tv a year. That’s almost six hours a day. Making narrative may be a human condition, but I have to wonder, has any culture ever been subjected to so much storytelling, by so many different storytellers, in history?

It makes us very savvy about narrative conventions. Think about how many times you walk into a room and a television show you know is on. You don’t really know the exact time, but you glance at the screen and, say, Dr. House is sitting in his office, tossing the ball into the air, and he gets up and limps out. You know it’s somewhere between quarter of and five minutes of the hour (if you have watched House a couple of times, and maybe even if you haven’t.) We know the conventions of shows. We know when the detective is about to get the murderer to confess. We know when the diagnosis is a blind alley. We know the moment when the sitcom star realizes that they are in a situation (which is why they are called situation comedies.) We know the rhythms of the stories. The same is true of pop songs. I lived in China many many years ago, and when I listened to classical Chinese music, one of the things that struck me was that I never knew when the song was going to end. I had no internal model for the structure of the music. Chinese pop songs, on the other hand, were much more familiar to me, even though they were being sung in a language I barely spoke. They had refrains and bridges.

Television shows and movies have very strong structural conventions. Over time, watching and learning these conventions has had an interesting affect on TV and movies. Television shows today, like CSI, present three story arcs in the same time period that a show like Starsky and Hutch would present one story arc. Some of the events on TV are now abstracted rather than dramatized or explained.

What does this have to do with transmedia storytelling?

In my case, a lot. (Cont’d in Part 3, next Wednesday)

Another excellent post from Maureen McHugh (I can hear the ghost of Mamet in the opening - but no wait - he's still with us! phew!)

Posted via web from Siobhan O'Flynn's 1001 Tales

Luis - brilliant creepy video

This video is in the 'Holy Mother of God' brilliant/creepy category (yes that exists) - gracias, Susan Cowan!

Posted via web from Siobhan O'Flynn's 1001 Tales

FITC // 'Storytelling: Absorbed, Obsessed and Immersed.'

Greek mythology was the source of some of the most enchanting storytelling ever created – the kind that absorbed people, immersed them and made them obsessed enough to kill and die for.

Greek mythology offered a complete (although inconsistent) cosmology that included explanations of how the world came to be, how it was organized, and the logic that dictated how it behaved.

Floating as a flat disk on the encompassing river of Oceanus, the Earth housed the subterranean house of Hades below it and the sun, moon and stars above it. This universe was populated by a cast of gods, each with their own genealogy, characteristics, personality and expertise. Poseidon was the god of the sea; Aphrodite the god of love, beauty and sexuality; Hades – the god of the underworld; Hera – the goddess of women; Dionysus – the god of wine, who inspires madness and ecstasy.

Greek myths were accounts of how events would unfold within the parameters of a world inhabited by a population of humans and some wildly mythical creators.

5D: The Future of Immersive Design is a global community of multi-disciplinary creators that are fascinated by a similar pursuit of worldbuilding for the sake of generating new storytelling experiences.

The process that is being developed is one that begins with the construction of a world.  Before a specific narrative is even imagined, a parallel, fictional world is created for that story to take place in. Complete with an ecosystem, a world of characters and some general governing laws, this place of fiction becomes the platform for stories to unfold.

This panel hopes to debate and discover this emerging design process.

Alex McDowell, a world-renowned production designer, will elaborate on how worldbuilding is transforming the role of design in storytelling professions. Alex develops universes where stories take place.

Jer Thorp, an incredible master of data visualization, will discuss how by weaving together strings of data found in the world, new stories can be created. Narratives, after all, are chains of data that are put together in special sequences.

John Underkoffler, a futurist and the inventor of the Minority Report interface, will reflect on how these stories get experienced as our interfaces transform. Both the media delivery systems and the way we interact with our data can have a huge effect on how we think and design.

Ben Kreukniet, a spectacular lighting designer, will discuss how the process of worldbuilding, its contents and interfaces, can be experienced in new ways when placed in the physical world.

Alex McDowell

Minority Report

MINORITY REPORT is a film made from art and science. Directed by Steven Spielberg with production designed by Alex McDowell it imagines Washington DC in the year 2050, where an experimental police program PreCrime has been set up based around the unique talents of three precogs who by previsioning the future are able to prevent violent crime and murder.

The design parameters were expanded by the director’s impetus to create a future reality rather than science fiction, requiring the terra- forming of an interconnected world conceived as a container for linear narrative.

As well as triggering the first fully digital design process in film, and McDowell’s continuing development of an immersive and non-linear virtual design process, Minority Report was also a proof of concept of the idea of a narrative developed as much out of the interior logic of the film landscape as from the traditional script process.

Fight Club

FIGHT CLUB, the renowned film by director David Fincher and designed by Alex McDowell exemplifies the notion that the film language of space and place is based less in architecture than in narrative structure. In constructing film reality the designer creates something completely different – each unique world is made of geography, social context, reflection, history, feathers and tar, glued together by interior logic; a machine for storytelling which may at the same time resemble a house.

Death and the Powers

DEATH AND THE POWERS: A Robot Pageant is a new opera currently in development at MIT Media Lab by composer Tod Machover, with libretto by poet Robert Pinsky, directed by Diane Paulus, and designed by Alex McDowell.

It tells the story of Simon Powers, a great and wealthy man, who is conducting the last experiment of his human life. He is passing from one form of existence to another in order to project himself into the future by becoming the System, an organism beyond the bounds of humanity.

The elements of realtime media, lighting, animatronic set pieces and the robot performers are all an extension of Simon’s new being, per- formed though a vast interconnected intelligent system. The System, programmed to create sculptural images, moving pat- terns, and even human-like gestures and expressions, will show the audience the disparate, fleeting thoughts and memories from Simon’s inner world.


Just Landed

Direct link to video on Vimeo

Lately, a lot of progress has been made by epidemiology through the study of social networks. Spread of disease can be tracked by modeling the ways in which humans travel and interact. This project scrapes Twitter for phrases like “I just landed in Tokyo!” and renders the resulting trips on a 3D plane.


Direct link to video on Vimeo

A more whimsical visualization of Twitter, ‘GoodMorning’ shows the world waking up – and greeting each other on Twitter. This render shows 24 hours of AM greetings, showing us how (and when!) the world says ‘Good Morning’.

NYTimes 360/365

The NYTimes publishes thousands of articles every year, both online and in print. Can an entire year of news stories be compacted into a single image?

John Underkoffler

Direct link to video on Vimeo

Oblong Industries is the developer of the g-speak spatial operating environment.

The SOE’s combination of gestural i/o, recombinant networking, and real-world pixels brings the first major step in computer interface since 1984; starting today, g-speak will fundamentally change the way people use machines at work, in the living room, in conference rooms, in vehicles. The g-speak platform is a complete application development and execution environment that redresses the dire constriction of human intent imposed by traditional GUIs. Its idiom of spatial immediacy and information responsive to real-world geometry enables a necessary new kind of work: data-intensive, embodied, real-time, predicated on universal human expertise.

Ben Kreukniet


Volume is a large scale semi-permanent installation that was installed in the Victoria and Albert Museum’s John Madejski garden from November 2006 to January 2007. A collaboration between UVA and onepointsix (Massive Attack’s special projects arm), Volume consists of 47 columns of light, each with their own audio output. As visitors moved through the space, they triggered a spectacular display of light and sound – made up of six audio-visually distinct movements.

Volume won the 2007 D&AD Yellow Pencil in the category of Digital Installations and has been nominated for the Designs of the Year at the Design Museum.

Massive Attack tour 2008

For our fourth tour with Massive Attack, UVA created a new stage set, with a wide, sculptural LED screen as the centrepiece. The visual treatments, created in collaboration with Massive Attack, are the group’s most explicitly political yet. Flickering references to rendition flights, detention without charge and surveillance societies light up the stage, and computer-controlled lights, also designed by UVA, allow perfect synchronisation between the music and the visuals.


Chorus’, UVA’s kinetic installation with sound by Mira Calix, was recently featured in Artichoke’s ‘Lumiere’ in the world heritage site of Durham Cathedral. An array of motor-assisted pendulums weaves through space emitting light and sound. The rhythm of the work evolves through chaos and returns to unison, producing a hypnotic and seductive performance that heightens the viewer’s awareness of the space and their relationship with it. More than 75,000 people visited the festival, over the 4-day period.

Terrific preview post by Tali Krakowsky on the upcoming FITC panel on 'Storytelling: Absorbed, Obsessed and Immersed.' See you there!

Posted via web from Siobhan O'Flynn's 1001 Tales

Transmedia, Hollywood Asks 'Are ARGs Always a Promotion?'

Transmedia Hollywood1

While a large chunk of the digital and social media world were networking it up at SXSW (and believe me, those left behind or who decided to leave early were quite jealous), a smaller but just as voracious group of unique storytellers and academics gathered at USC for the USC School of Cinematic Arts and the UCLA Producers Program, School of Theater, Film and Television co-sporsored one-day conference Trandsmedia, Holywood.

Lead by Denise Mann, Associate Professor, Producers Program, UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and Henry Jenkins, Provost’s Professor of Communication, Journalism and Cinematic Arts, Annenberg School of Communications, USC, the conference was a one-day affair packed to the gills with panels discussing everything from how transmedia is reconfiguring entertainment to tips and tools on designing your own transmedia stories, to where the future of marketing utilizing transmedia may be heading.

Although an entire article onto itself could be written about “What is Transmedia?”, and the term itself is heavily debated (one of my collegues instead refers to himself as “Platform Agnostic” while others think the term “Cross-Media” is simpler and more accurate), but the general consensus is that it is telling a story across numerous platforms. A simple example would be the Star Trek franchise, which began as a TV show and extended to movies, novels, video games, etc.

An especially niche example of this type of storytelling exists in the form of ARGs or Alternate Reality Games. These are generally described as a type of storytelling in which the audience members themselves are participants in creating the story and the world in which the story is taking place. One panelist at the conference described the process of participating in an ARG as “digging through sand to find shards of pottery. If you find enough shards, you can reconstruct the entire pot.” Through a process of tools such as puzzle-solving, clue-breaking, and live events, an audience is encouraged to piece together a world and ultimately, if the “game” is properly supervised, each player should feel as if they contributed in the overall story that will eventually unfold.

The third panel of the day at Transmedia, Hollywood focused exclusively on Alternate Reality Games and strove to answer the tough questions of whether they should be considered artforms unto themselves or could they be viably marketable as a type of advertising campaign. A wide array of experts in the field were gathered to discuss this issue, ranging from pure academics to those working for-profit in the field of ARG design. Moderated by Mann, the panel consisted of:

–Ivan Askwith, Director of Strategy, Big Spaceship (clients include NBC, A&E, HBO, EPIX, Second Life, and Wrigley)
–Susan Bond and Alex Lieu, 42 Entertainment (I Love Bees, Why So Serious?, NiN’s Year Zero)
–Will Brooker, Associate Professor, Kingston University, UK (Alice’s Adventures: Lewis Carroll in Popular Culture; The Bladerunner Experience; Using the Force; Batman Unmasked)
–Steve Peters and Maureen McHugh, Founding Partners, No Mimes Media (The Threshold)
Jordan Weisman, Founder, Smith & Tinker (The Beast, I Love Bees)

Transmedia Hollywood2The discussion was a lively one, with widely varying views between those who felt ARGs should be looked at as pure artforms without the need to try to put marketing value on them, those that felt they should be valued on their academic merits alone, and those who were striving to prove they had marketability, and thus should be able to have a price tag put on them. Though all seemed to agree that at their core, ARGs are indeed a storytelling device and the artistry of that should not be understated. But as Jordan Weisman put it, “If we don’t figure out how to charge for them, we don’t have an art form.”

An audience member, who was clear to identify himself as Head of New Media at Vivendi as well as intellectually fascinated by ARGs, succinctly cut-to-the-chase of the argument by asking, “At what point does this move from intellectual masturbation into something that is actually successful and digestible and something that will perpetuate?”

“A lot of people are trying to get equity for their brand, to rise above the noise in their category. And an ARG can do that for you,” explained Susan Bond. “If we’re really talking dollars and cents on marketing terms here,” added Alex Lieu, “what is 18 months of engaging or 11 million people (the number of active participants of the Why So Serious? campaign) who are going to tell their friends, where the average length of engagement is 45 minutes or longer…what is that comparatively to a 30-second spot that you hope people will see and recognize and remember? That’s a very different argument in terms of Return on Investment and how much you are spending. So you can say that’s expensive but the expense should equal out what you’re trying to get.”

After this discussion, another audience member was quick to point out that if we’re talking ROI, then this is not an artform.

Obviously, there is still a lot to be discussed and discovered when it comes to ARG storytelling. Like “Transmedia”, even the term “Alternate Realty Game” was a debated topic, regarding how much of game theory should actually be included in their development and whether players or academics should be responsible for forming those theories. “Having played and now produced, it’s all about the story and the storytelling”, weighed in Steve Peters. “Of course you can use games to help catch people and obviously you need to do that and there are a lot of ARGs that you look at and say, they could have used this gaming technique…but at the end of the day it’s all about the entertainment just like with a great film or a great novel or a great book.”

The following quote from Maureen McHugh, I feel, does a good job of summing up this lively discussion: “We are in on the ground floor of what in 200 years will be a dominant entertainment form. I am probably wrong about that, in 50 years someone will have invented the Holodeck and they’ll forget all about us.”

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Jeff Gomez Interview: Transmedia's Brand New Story Worlds Are Coming

Jeff Gomez Several weeks ago the Producers Guild of America officially sanctioned the credit “Transmedia Producer”, the first time they had ever added a new credit in the Guild’s history. The move was widely celebrated by the transmedia community but still brought up a great deal of debate, one of the issues being whether this would have more benefit for huge Hollywood-backed brands vs. independent transmedia producers creating original IP.

With the announcement of a partnership between Starlight Runner Entertainment, a leading creator, producer, and consultant on a number of highly successful transmedia franchises, and Curious Pictures, an award-winning diversified production and entertainment company that produces animation, live-action, video games, commercials and digital media content, it seems a step in the right direction for creators hoping to create original worlds. Starlight Runner and Curious Pictures initially will package and produce four transmedia projects with an option to extend the partnership after that. The first two projects starting immediately include the original properties Dinodozers (the story of dinosaurs who are fitted with mechanical construction parts in order to do good deeds) and Shadow Angels (about a teen with mysterious powers and a dark past who is chosen to become the guardian of a civilization of strange beings hidden below the streets of New York City), one from each company’s IP library.

Starlight Runner EntertainmentTubefilter had a chance to talk via e-mail with CEO of Starlight Runner Entertainment, Jeff Gomez. Gomez was instrumental in getting the Transmedia Producer credit sanctioned and is an extremely vocal supporter and advocate for the transmedia community.

Tubefilter: How did this partnership between Starlight Runner Entertainment and Curious Pictures come about?

Jeff Gomez: Starlight Runner and Curious Pictures have had a long, friendly relationship. A number of years ago, we loaned out our Creative Director Chrysoula Artemis to Curious for a several year assignment as “Color Key Commando” on Codename: Kids Next Door, which had a great run on Cartoon Network.

We often tried to find bigger ways to work together, but it wasn’t until Jan Korbelin took the reigns at Curious that we were able to do that. Jan seemed to have brought out the best in his team, allowing people like Lewis Kofsky and Dominie Mahl to do some radical thinking about the future of entertainment and animation. When Lewis started talking about multi-platform approaches to intellectual property development, I knew we could start having a great conversation.

The bottom line is, our teams met and we realized there was an enormous number of ways that we could compliment one another, and Jan and I clicked.

Tubefilter: How is the progress on both Dinodozers and Shadow Angels? When can we expect to start seeing various media out of both?

Curious PicturesJG: Both properties had a bit of development to them coming into the discussion. We’ve chosen to focus on Dinodozers, because I’ve been personally busy with Hollywood studio work and my team, led by Fabian Nicieza, can act in a supportive position with world development and transmedia development around the Curious property. That isn’t to say I’m not going to be involved. When I was a kid I was convinced I was a dinosaur in human disguise, after all. Maybe I still am…

Tubefilter: These projects seem aimed at a younger audience, in your experience, how do younger audiences respond to transmedia experiences as opposed to older audiences?

JG: Dinodozers is preschool, but Shadow Angels is darker, more Goth, aimed at the young adult crowd. The story’s very special to me. I love it that Curious is going with such a range of properties. In any event, one of the most powerful brands in all of pop culture in the past decade has been Pokemon. That’s about as immersive and transmedia as you can get.

Young people right now are receiving information, particularly narrative in ways no human has ever gotten it before. They’re being challenged, and the wonderful thing is that they’re rising to it. The mistake adults are making is in underestimating their capacity or coddling them instead of adjusting the way that kids are told stories and are educated to maximize this new potential. The Starlight Runner/Curious Pictures is symbolic of how these approaches are going to change and catch up with the way kids want and need to experience story.

Tubefitler: Has anyone at either Starlight Runner or Curious Pictures applied and/or received the Transmedia Producer credit from the PGA yet?

JB: The Producers Guild of America doesn’t hand out producers credits. They recommend how producers might be credited in movies and new media, and it’s up to studios, agents and lawyers and such to decide to whom such credits will apply and what the compensation for it will be. However, there are already many very forward-thinking studios and companies that see the credit as an asset.

My partner Mark Pensavalle and I will be listed as Transmedia Producers on an upcoming project with a very well known game developer and publisher, which we will announce soon. That’s tremendously exciting, because I think it will be a first from a contractual standpoint for the credit. It’s only a matter of time before a major Hollywood studio puts one on a film.

Tubefilter: Anything else you’d like to share you think would interest our readers or fans of transmedia in general? What will excite us most about these projects?

JG: The most exciting thing about Dinodozers and Shadow Angels as transmedia projects is that they exist! One of the initial criticisms of the Transmedia Producer credit is that it was devised in support of highly commercial franchises from the Hollywood studio system; that it was about extending something that already existed so that it makes another boatload of money.

That’s great and all to me, that pays my rent, but guess what?

Independent Transmedia Producers like Starlight Runner and Curious Pictures are going to create brand new story worlds and vast narratives that are designed from scratch to use each medium like well-played instruments in a tight rock and roll band…and the sound is gonna be awesome.

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  1. Producers Guild Officially Sanctions ‘Transmedia Producer’ Credit

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I'm a Cyborg,But That's OK

Possibly the best flash pop-up book ever - created as a promo for the film 'I'm a Cyborg, but that's OK'


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Galactic Mail

Peripetics Ex Machina

I think I like the 'making of outtakes' video even better than the original

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discovered Zeitguised on vimeo - beautiful mesmerizing work

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Greatest ad campaign ever!

Tribeca fest looks to shake up indie distrib'n

Tribeca fest looks to shake up indie distrib'n

Event testing waters on online streaming video, VOD

By Gregg Goldstein

April 20, 2010, 09:16 PM ET

NEW YORK -- With Wednesday night's world premiere of DreamWorks Animation's "Shrek Forever After," the Tribeca Film Festival is not only raising the curtain on its ninth edition, it's setting out to try and redefine how indie films are distributed.

Under the leadership of Tribeca Enterprises' new chief creative officer, Geoff Gilmore, the Sundance veteran, and TFF executive director Nancy Schafer, the festival will open its doors to a wider online audience with a new initiative, Tribeca Film Festival Virtual. The program will offer as many as 5,000 passholders (at $45 per pass) the chance to view eight of the festival's features plus shorts, panels and other streaming video online for a week.

Although Sundance and SXSW have ventured into these waters, TFFV's effort will be the most extensive test to date on whether online video streaming can help or hurt a film's quest to find commercial distribution.

Simultaneously, the organization's new distribution arm, Tribeca Film, will offer a dozen first-run features, at $6-$8 per rental, via cable and satellite VOD.

Both throw significant curveballs into the conventional acquisition scene. Tribeca Film (with hefty marketing backing from TFF sponsor American Express) has selected seven films from the current fest, effectively taking them off the market before the fest begins. The Virtual program will be streaming eight features from TFF's 50-plus available titles to computers worldwide before distributors have a chance to snap them up.

Festival programmers insist they went about their job without worrying whether individual titles would be available for either TFFV or Tribeca Film. "We were all adamant about keeping the selection processes very church and state," Schafer said. "We never knew how many titles were going to coincide until we locked all 12 films on the VOD platform."

Competitors who also deal in VOD distribution, including IFC chief Jonathan Sehring, don't appear concerned about Tribeca entering the arena. Because most of the fest's initial batch of titles have been on the market for months and available to others, no one is arguing that Tribeca enjoys an unfair advantage.

But the Virtual program is a trickier experiment. Several hundred passes were purchased on the first day they went on sale, and if Tribeca hits its goal of 5,000, the eight features might not be viewed as "virgin titles" by other distributors, Roadside Attractions co-president Howard Cohen noted.

As for the larger sales prospects at Tribeca, "There are a few movies worth serious consideration, and while there may not be many on the surface that everyone's really excited about, there could be some surprises," Cohen said. "But I don't think anyone's dying to buy movies right now."

The sales market is beginning with some wind in its sails: In the past few days, HBO purchased domestic TV rights to "My Trip to Al-Qaeda," IFC bought U.S. rights to "Heartbreaker," Magnolia took North American rights to "Freakonomics," Verve Pictures nabbed U.K. rights to "The Arbor" and Gravitas Ventures acquired North American VOD rights to Variance Films' "The Lottery."

The common denominator is that distributors, rather than eyeing a traditional theatrical release, see value in the revenue streams from VOD, TV or home video. "We've been noticing a trend of newer distributors with slightly different releasing patterns, like Tribeca Film for that matter," Schafer said. "Last year, there was this black cloud -- people were saying, 'Who's going to buy films?' -- but this year, things seem to be picking up."

Some of the fest's more commercial prospects include the ensemble teen comedy "Beware the Gonzo," the Midnight hermaphrodite entry "Spork" (also viewable in the Virtual program), the Kim Cattrall vehicle "Meet Monica Velour" and the romantic drama "Monogamy," starring Chris Messina and Rashida Jones.

As TFF co-founder Robert De Niro noted Tuesday, the fest also is continuing its traditionally strong lineup of docs. De Niro's favorites touch on such subjects as Down syndrome ("Monica & David"), Rwandan genocide ("Earth Made of Glass"), polygamy ("Sons of Perdition") and the war on terror ("My Trip to Al-Qaeda").

Then there's what's arguably the most anticipated project on tap: Alex Gibney's work-in-progress untitled Eliot Spitzer film, one of six Cinetic Media titles up for sale here. A portrait of the disgraced New York governor, it's guaranteed a media spotlight.

Tribeca Film Festival Virtual will be live streaming 8 features, shorts, panels for a week....

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Zoomorama - Tech Crunch Web Trends" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" height="400" width="500">

Tech Crunch posted Information Architects' 4th Web Trend Map recently and it is awesome. I'm posting the image on zoomorama because the detail is worth deciphering.

"This is likely going to spread like wildfire, and it isn’t even finished yet: Information Architects has released the final beta for the fourth iteration of its awesome Web Trends Map series. This is a great visualization of current Internet trends, and how companies and individuals fit into it.

The picture that’s embedded above doesn’t do it justice in any way, so be sure to check out the full-sized image hosted on Flickr. Update: better yet, head over to Zoomorama.

The Web Trend Map is a yearly publication by iA Inc. It maps the 333 most influential Web domains and the 111 most influential internet people onto the Tokyo Metro map. Domains are carefully selected by the iA research team through dialogue with map enthusiasts. Each domain is evaluated based on traffic, revenue, age and the company that owns it. The iA design team assigns these selected domains to individual stations on the Tokyo Metro map in ways that complement the characters of each.

Oh, and in case you like it and you want to buy a printed version, they’re only making and selling 1,000 of them, so be quick."

Read more:

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Amazing and weird taxidermy auction - Boing Boing

wish I could have been there...

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Iron Sky :: Official Movie Site - CROWDFUNDING! An idea worth thinking about

I posted the trailer for Iron Sky a while back but am giving it some more bump following a great post by Johnny & Angus yesterday with some great deets on how the film got started & how it is being financed through 'crowdfunding' - a strategy worth watching:

"When we spoke to Finnish director Timo Vuorensola about where the idea came from – that 1% of inspiration – we were a little surprised (we really shouldn’t have been):

“The idea was born in a sauna, as most great ideas from Finland are. We were there, talking about our movie that was currently in production [Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning], and came to the question of what to do after that. Jarmo Puskala, one of the scriptwriters, suggested an idea that had been brewing in his head for quite some time already – it was a wicked story about Nazis from the Moon. The idea sounded crazy enough for us to be interested on it, but also quite massive. So we didn't think about that too much until later after [Star Wreck] was finished, and the question of "what's next" popped up again. ”

As Producer Janos Honkonen pointed out to us: “Whereas the previous movie was made with a shoelace budget, Iron Sky actually does have some money behind it – to be exact, the budget is a bit over 5.5million Euros, which comes from foundations, investors and also from the fans: crowdfunding is something we are very interested in.”

Crowdfunding. What a lovely word, and an interesting concept. Off the back of Star Wreck, the team set up an independent film community called Wreckamovie – a “web platform designed to harness the power of passionate Internet communities for creating short films, documentaries, music videos, Internet flicks, full length features, mobile films and more”.

source: Johnny & Angus -

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