"The Virtual Reef is a life-sized marine ecosystem expanding across two levels of the new Science and Engineering Centre. Multi-touch technologies enable the user to manipulate, intimately explore and interact with the reef world, specific behaviours and relationships.
Australia's leading marine science and interactive and visual design organisations, QUT and the Queensland Museum, bring knowledge and research of the underwater world to your fingertips through multi-touch screens and projectors.
Users will have the opportunity to go beyond the cinematic experience and interact with the marine world. Each interaction has associated content designed to complement the aims of the National Curriculum and provide an exploratory learning experience."
(Jeff Jones, the Cube, QUT)
Fig.1 "The Virtual Reef" project team: Professor Jeff Jones (Cube Project Leader), Associate Professor Michael Docherty (Project Leader), Warwick Mellow (Principal Animator/Art Director), Joti Carroll, Paul Gaze, Sean Gobey, Ben Alldridge, Sophia Carroll, Sherwin Huang, Bryce Christensen.
"Since its start in 1983, the European Union's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) has failed to prevent overfishing. Over 25 years, short-term economic interest and political expediency has landed European fisheries in deep crisis."
(European Marine Programme of the Pew Environment Group)
"The world population is growing by 75 million people each year. That's almost the size of Germany. Today, we're nearing 7 billion people. At this rate, we'll reach 9 billion people by 2040. And we all need to eat. But how? That's a critical issue the IonE tackles in our first Big Question video.
At the same time, agriculture is a major contributor to climate change and will suffer as an industry from the consequences."
(Institute on the Environment, 2009, University of Minnesota)
"The journal aims to provide a forum for the presentation of new ideas, projects and practices arising from the conﬂuence of art, science, technology and consciousness research. It has a special interest in matters of mind and the extension of the senses through technologies of cognition and perception. It will document accounts of transdisciplinary research, collabora- tion and innovation in the design, theory and production of new systems and structures for life in the twenty-ﬁrst century, while inviting a re-evaluation of older world-views, esoteric knowledge and arcane cultural practices. Artiﬁcial life, the promise of nanotechnology, the ecology of mixed reality environments, the reach of telematic media, and the effect generally of a post-biological culture on human values and identity, are issues central to the journal’s focus. It welcomes speculative and anticipatory approaches to research, and the unorthodox expression of ideas whenever the topic justiﬁes such innovation. It aims to communicate to an international non-specialist readership. "
Roy Ascott ed. (2008) Technoetic Arts: a Journal of Speculative Research, Volume 6, Issue 1. Intellect Ltd. [http://www.scribd.com/doc/18815754/Technoetic-Arts-a-Journal-of-Speculative-Research-Volume-6-Issue-1]
Fig.1 "Urban Digital Narratives"
"The new series, called All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace, takes complicated ideas and turns them into entertainment by the use of the vertigo-inducing intellectual leaps, choppy archive material and disorienting music with which all Curtis fans are familiar. The central idea leads Curtis on a journey, taking in the chilling über-individualist novelist Ayn Rand, former chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan, the 'new economy', hippy communes, Silicon Valley, ecology, Richard Dawkins, the wars in Congo, the lonely suicide in a London squat of the mathematical genius who invented the selfish gene theory, and the computer model of the eating habits of the pronghorn antelope.
You can see why Zoe Williams once wrote that, while watching one of Curtis's programmes, 'I kept thinking the dog was sitting on the remote. ...'
Now he has moved on to machines, but it starts with nature. 'In the 1960s, an idea penetrated deep into the public imagination that nature is a self-regulating ecosystem, there is a natural order,' Curtis says. 'The trouble is, it's not true – as many ecologists have shown, nature is never stable, it's always changing. But the idea took root and spread wider – people started to believe there is an underlying order to the entire world, to how society is structured. Everything became part of a system, like a computer; no more hierarchies, freedom for all, no class, no nation states.' What the series shows is how this idea spread into the heart of the modern world, from internet utopianism and dreams of democracy without leaders to visions of a new kind of stable global capitalism run by computers. But we have paid a price for this: without realising it we, and our leaders, have given up the old progressive dreams of changing the world and instead become like managers – seeing ourselves as components in a system, and believing our duty is to help that system balance itself. Indeed, Curtis says, 'The underlying aim of the series is to make people aware that this has happened – and to try to recapture the optimistic potential of politics to change the world.'
The counterculture of the 1960s, the Californian hippies, took up the idea of the network society because they were disillusioned with politics and believed this alternative way of ordering the world was based on some natural order. So they formed communes that were non-hierarchical and self-regulating, disdaining politics and rejecting alliances. (Many of these hippy dropouts later took these ideas mainstream: they became the Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who decided that computers could liberate everyone and save the world.)...
He draws a parallel with those 1970s communes. 'The experiments with them all failed, and quickly. What tore them apart was the very thing that was supposed to have been banished: power. Some people were more free than others - strong personalities dominated the weak, but the rules didn't allow any organised opposition to the suppression because that would be politics.' As in the commune, so in the world: 'These are the limitations of the self-organising system: it cannot deal with politics and power. And now we're all disillusioned with politics, and this machine-organising principle has risen up to be the ideology of our age.'"
(Katharine Viner, 6 May 2011, Guardian)
Episode 1: 'All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace: Love and Power', First broadcast BBC Two, 9:00PM Mon, 23 May 2011
Episode 2: 'All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace: The Use and Abuse of Vegetational Concepts', First broadcast BBC Two, 9:00PM Mon, 30 May 2011
Episode 3: 'All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace: The Monkey In The Machine and the Machine in the Monkey', First broadcast BBC Two, 9:00PM Mon, 06 June 2011