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19 JANUARY 2016

Skins: Designing Games with First Nations Youth

"Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace (AbTeC), based out of Obx Labs at Concordia University in Montreal and directed by Lewis and Skawennati Fragnito, is a network of academics, artists, and technologists that encourages Indigenous participation in online culture and exploration of new media technology. The main objective of the AbTeC research network is to discover, define, and implement methods by which Indigenous people can use networked communication technology to strengthen our cultures. In an effort to overcome the economic, social, and cultural factors that influence the low rate of Indigenous participation in the making of new media and encourage Indigenous representation in digital games and virtual worlds specifically, AbTeC proposed to conduct Skins, a game/virtual world development workshop for Aboriginal youth that teaches them design programming, art, animation, and audio. ...

In conducting Skins, our goal is to encourage First Nations youth to be more than consumers of digital media; rather, we wish to show them how they themselves can be creators who can approach games with a critical perspective and from within their own cultural context. We are motivated by the possibilities of digital games and virtual environments for Indigenous peoples as well as correcting or adding to representations of Indigenous peoples in commercial games. Indigenous peoples' survival, recovery, development, and self-determination hinges on the preservation and revitalization of languages, social and spiritual practices, social relations, and arts [1]. Digital games and virtual environments, with their unique combination of story, design, code, architecture, art, animation, and sound [2], provide a rich medium though which to explore different strategies for pursuing such preservation and revitalization. For example, Thornton Media's RezWorld is a virtual environment for learning the Cherokee language. It has even been argued that the fluid, open, and networked characteristics of modern digital media make it particularly useful as a tool for Aboriginal storytelling, with Loretta Todd, Cree/Métis filmmaker and Director of the Aboriginal Media Arts Lab, suggesting 'the experience of cyberspace offers the reversal of narrative as derived from storytelling, a return to oral tradition' [3]. Furthermore, due to the radical decrease in the costs of the means of production and distribution, digital games and virtual worlds present Indigenous people with a powerful opportunity to widely (or narrowly) communicate stories in which we shape our own representation."

(Beth Aileen Lameman and Jason Edward Lewis, 2011)

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2011Aboriginal culture • Aboriginal Media Arts Lab • Aboriginal storytelling • Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace (AbTeC) • Aboriginal youth • Bart Simon • Beth Aileen Lameman • CanadaCelia Pearce • Cherokee language • Christian Beauclair • community participatory project • Concordia University • Cree • cultural representations • development workshop • digital games • digital media and learning • Dogrib • First NationsFirst Nations youth • Haudenosaunee • Indigenous cultural production • Indigenous participation • Indigenous peopleindigenous peoples • Indigenous representation in digital games • Indigenous representation in virtual worlds • Iroquois • Jason Edward Lewis • Journal of Game Design and Development Education • Katherine Isbister • Ken Finney • language preservation • Loretta Todd • Louise Profeit • making new media • Metis • Mohawk • Montreal • more than consumers • Myron Lameman • Nacho Nyak Dun • Nehiraw • new media artist • new media technologiesNorth American • Obx Labs at Concordia University • oral traditionresearch network • revitalisation of languages • RezWorld • Richard Van Camp • self-determination • Skawennati Fragnito • spiritual practices • Steve Loft • Steve Sanderson • Thornton Media • traditional culturevideo game designvideo games and Indigenous peoplevirtual environmentsvirtual worlds

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
22 OCTOBER 2012

Connecting Cities: Artist's Call for Proposals

"The European Urban Media Network for Connecting Cities is a project initiated by Public Art Lab in co–operation with Ars Electronica GmbH Linz, BIS Body Process Arts Association Istanbul, FACT Liverpool, iMAL Brussels, m–cult Helsinki, Medialab Prado Madrid, Media Architecture Institute Wien, Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb, Riga 2014, Videospread Marseille, in association with University of Aarhus, Marseille–Provence 2013 and MUTEK Montréal and funded by the European Union.

Our aim is to create a networked infrastructure of urban media facades to circulate artistic and socio–cultural content throughout the whole of Europe. Media facades and digital big screens provide new opportunities for communication in the public space. Through modern Information and communication technologies (ICT), they are membranes between the digital and the urban spaces. All over the world we can evidence an increase of urban screens, media facades and media technologies like mobile phones: 5,9 of 7 billion people have meanwhile access to the internet. What is the potential of urban media besides the commercial usage for advertisement? How can they catalyse communication and awareness of our environments and contribute to a lively society? How can we create an exchange between local scenes and neighbourhoods thus giving a voice to the public audience? Which impact will they have for our global communities?"

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Aarhus • Ars Electronica • Ars Electronica GmbH Linz • augmented spaceBerlin • big screens • BIS Body Process Arts Association Istanbul • Brussels • connecting cities • Connecting Cities (project) • digital cultureEuropean Union • European Urban Media Network Connecting Cities • FACT Liverpool • global communitiesHelsinki • iMAL Brussels • information in contextIstanbulLinz • lively society • Liverpool • m-cult Helsinki • Madrid • Marseille • Marseille-Provence 2013 • Media Architecture Institute Wien • media facades • media technologies • Medialab Prado Madrid • membrane • mobile phones • Montreal • Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb • MUTEK Montrea • neighbourhood • networked infrastructure • physical and digital interaction • Public Art Lab • public audience • public space • Riga • Riga 2014 • socio-cultural • socio-cultural content • University of Aarhus • urban media • urban media facades • urban screens • urban spaceurban spacesurban speculation • Videospread Marseille • Viennavisual communicationvisual designvisual spectaclevisualisationZagreb

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
13 OCTOBER 2011

Arts Alliance Signs Deal with Pillar Group, DigiScreen and Royal Opera House

"Arts Alliance Media has announced an exclusive digital distribution agreement with Montreal–based DigiScreen Corporation, the Pillar Group and the Royal Opera House. Under the terms of the agreement Opus Arte, the opera's TV and DVD production company, will to bring ballets, operas and dance from the Royal Opera House and other international performing arts companies to cinema screens across Europe. The deal encompasses theatres in the UK and Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Benelux and the Nordic territories. Filmed in high definition, the screenings will be both pre–recorded and live, projected in digital cinema, with 5.1 surround sound. The inaugural screenings will include the first cinematic performances of ballet, with The Royal Ballet's award–winning production of Frederick Ashton's Sylvia with Darcey Bussell in the title role, and The Royal Opera's production of Le Nozze Di Figaro directed by David McVicar. Other upcoming titles to be screened from the new series will include Sleeping Beauty, Carmen, Romeo and Juliet as well as Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci from Teatro Real in Madrid. Further ballet and opera performances from the extensive Opus Arte relationships will be announced in due course. AAM will be responsible for cinema exhibitor booking negotiation, digital print services, security and tracking, and live event project management, as well as comprehensive marketing and public relations support, in collaboration with Opus Arte, ROH and DigiScreen. Opera in cinemas has recently proved to be a success in Europe for both The Metropolitan Opera and the Arts Alliance Media–distributed La Scala series, with many saying that the experience is like having the best seat in the house and at a fraction of the cost. Cinema audiences are able to see the performers, the costumes and the sets up close and personal, at their convenience, in their local cinema. The Royal Opera House is embracing this new opportunity as part of its audience engagement strategy, committed to reaching wider and more diverse audiences around the world, as well as opening the minds of people to new creative experiences. The agreement signifies how digital cinema is dramatically changing the cinema–going experience, enabling audiences to enjoy alternative entertainment previously only accessible in live venues. Prior to digital cinema projection technology, the high cost of 35mm prints did not allow this type of content to be seen in cinemas. Now, with affordable digital prints and satellite distribution technology, content can be programmed widely into cinemas. In the UK, Odeon and Cityscreen Picturehouse cinemas have initially signed up to exhibit. The first screening will be Le Nozze Di Figaro later this month in thirteen Odeon cinemas, with Picturehouse showing in up to twenty cinemas in June. Other cinema exhibitors across the UK and Europe will be announced in early summer. Paul Chesney, director of business development for AAM says, 'Digital cinema is enabling cinemas to become vibrant cultural entertainment centres, as well as movie houses. We are delighted to be working with the Royal Opera House, Opus Arte and DigiScreen and thrilled to be bringing these stunning performances to cinema exhibitors across the UK and Europe.' In a joint statement Mark Hooper, CEO of DigiScreen and Michael J. St. Clair, Chairman of The Pillar Group, said, 'We are pleased to be working with Arts Alliance Media, one of Europe's leading specialists in implementing the digital cinema deployment, to bring this great content to the Home Market. AAM's local knowledge will be of significant value to us as we work to fulfill the wishes of the ROH and Opus Arte to bring this content to the farthest corners of the UK. With AAM as our partner, we will bring artistic content and independent film from around the world to the European cinemas. The audience is sure to benefit from this relationship.' Tony Hall, chief executive of the Royal Opera House and executive chairman of Opus Arte, says, 'I am excited by this pioneering new direction for the Royal Opera House at the start of the 21st Century. Being at the forefront of the burgeoning digital platform allows us to bring brilliant ballets and operas from the world renowned Royal Ballet and Royal Opera to cinema screens all over the globe. As Opus Arte film more at the ROH, and at other great opera and dance companies, we will have an unbeatable line–up of cinema entertainment for exhibitors around the world. Having experienced the performances first hand, I cannot emphasize enough what an exhilarating experience these screenings live or recorded are, the high def digital technology coupled with Surround Sound is remarkable.' Hans Petri, managing director of Opus Arte says, 'In order to recreate the excellence of the stage performances in a cinematic environment, we have been highly selective about our choice of partners. DigiScreen, The Pillar Group and Arts Alliance Media are market leaders in providing top quality alternative content to cinema chains. We are confident we can provide audiences with the very best digital experience. There is so much more to look forward to.'"

(Digital Cinema Report, 2008)

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2008 • AAM • alternative content • alternative entertainment • Arts Alliance Media • audienceaudience engagementballet • best seat in the house • Carmen • Cavalleria Rusticana • cinema • cinema audiences • cinema exhibitor • cinema screens • cinema-going experience • cinemagoers • Cityscreen Picturehouse • dance • DigiScreen Corporation • digital cinemadigital cinema projectiondigital distributiondigital platformdiverse audiencesexhibitionexperiencehigh-definition • La Scala • Le Nozze di Figaro • livelive eventlive performance on cinema screens • live productions • live screening • local cinema • London • Metropolitan Opera • Montreal • new creative experiences • Odeon • Odeon cinemas • opera • Opus Arte • Pagliacci • performing arts • Pillar Group • pioneering • projected in digital • ROH • Romeo and Juliet • Royal Opera House • Sleeping Beauty • surround sound • Sylvia • Teatro Real • theatreUK • up close and personal • venue • wider audiences

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
19 OCTOBER 2009

Tenth International Conference on Knowledge, Culture and Change in Organisations

"Tenth International Conference on Knowledge, Culture and Change in Organisations... This Conference will address 'knowledge', 'culture' and 'change' in Organisations from a variety of disciplinary perspectives...

The primary interest of the Management Conference is knowledge–based social and economic change. Driven by globalisation and advances in information and communications technologies, this change has been characterised in terms of emerging information/knowledge societies and a global knowledge–based economy.

The Conference will offer a comprehensive overview of current thinking in the area broadly described as knowledge management. Its perspectives will range from big picture analyses in keynote addresses by internationally recognised experts in the field of management, to detailed case studies of management practice. It will traverse a broad terrain, from theory and analysis to practical strategies for action."

(International Conference on Knowledge, Culture and Change in Organisations)

TAGS

2010Canadachangeconferenceculture • culture and change in organisations • culture and change management • disciplinary perspectives • economic changeICT • information and communications technologies • International Journal of Knowledge • knowledgeknowledge managementknowledge-based economymanagementMontrealorganisationssocial change

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
21 NOVEMBER 2008

Cultural uses of media technology by Inuit artists

"Isuma's films and videos are always based on oral history of the community elders. In the case of The Journals of Knud Rasmussen, the film's storyline is based on the events recounted in Rasmussen's writings, but as the film's co–director Norman Cohn asserts, 'Those events are interpreted through an Inuit point of view ... Like looking at your reflection in the window and seeing through to the other side of the window pane'(Norman Cohn, Secretary–Treasurer, Igloolik Isuma Productions, Montreal, personal communication, October 31, 2004).

Stephen Muecke, Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Technology in Sydney, has written a great deal about how the form of discourse shapes our understanding of Aboriginal history: 'The main problem for Aboriginal History, as I see it, is to authenticate the appropriate discourse for its transmission. At the moment the 'authentic' accounts of Aboriginal history are firmly locked in academic standard English' (1983). Isuma's unique style of docu–drama counters this privileging of the written word penned by Europeans as the 'authentic,' 'true' historical record.

The films do this by appropriating communication tools to transmit an audiovisual form of Inuit oral history and storytelling to a hybrid audience: Isuma's primary goal is to delight other Inuit, and its secondary goal is to connect with a global media audience. Indeed, Cohn argues that '[Inuit] storytelling as an oral form is most compatible in contemporary form with film–making or theatre' (quoted in Wachowich, 1997a)."

(Katarina Soukup)

‘Travelling in Layers: Inuit Artists Appropriate New Technologies’ in the Canadian Journal of Communications, Vol. 31, No. 1 (2006). pp 239–246.)

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Aboriginal • Aboriginal history • authenticitycultural codesdocu-dramadramafilmfilm-makinghistorical record • Igloolik Isuma Productions • Indigenous • Indigenous perspectives • Inuit • Inuit oral history • Katarina Soukup • mediaMontreal • Nancy Wachowich • narrative • Norman Cohn • oral historysocial constructionism • Stephen Muecke • storytelling • The Journals of Knud Rasmussen (2006) • theatretraditiontruth

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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