"Social networks such as Facebook and on-line gaming are changing people's view of who they are and their place in the world, according to a report for the government's chief scientist. The report, published by Prof Sir John Beddington, says that traditional ideas of identity will be less meaningful. ... It states that the changing nature of identities will have substantial implications for what is meant by communities and by social integration.
The study shows that traditional elements that shape a person's identity, such as their religion, ethnicity, job and age are less important than they once were. Instead, particularly among younger people, their view of themselves is shaped increasingly by on-line interactions of social networks and on online role playing games.
The study found that far from creating superficial or fantasy identities that some critics suggest, in many cases it allowed people to escape the preconceptions of those immediately around them and find their 'true' identity. This is especially true of disabled people who told researchers that online gaming enabled them to socialise on an equal footing with others."
(Pallab Ghosh, 21 January 2013, BBC News)
"THE BIG PICTURE is the theme of the [August 30 to September 3] 2012 Ars Electronica Festival ... Occupying the focal point is the effort to identify all-encompassing images that capture the world that's coming to be, Big Pictures that do justice to the progressive globalization and interrelatedness of our world, ones that capture its contradictions and flaws as well as ways in which people are coming together. By showcasing inspiring best-practice examples from art and science, this year's festival is a call for a new, open-minded way of considering the development of a viable vision of our future - how such a Big Picture ought to be composed and how it might become reality."
(Ars Electronica Festival, 2012)
Fig.1 work of Seiko Mikami "Desire of Codes"
"This website is designed as a social mirror to show the prevalence of casual homophobia in our society. Words and phrases like 'faggot,' 'dyke,' 'no homo,' and 'so gay' are used casually in everyday language, despite promoting the continued alienation, isolation and - in some tragic cases - suicide of sexual and gender minority (LGBTQ) youth.
We no longer tolerate racist language, we're getting better at dealing with sexist language, but sadly we're still not actively addressing homophobic and transphobic language in our society.
Let's put an end to casual homophobia. Speak out when you see or hear homophobic or transphobic language from friends, at school,
in the locker room, at work or online. Use #NoHomophobes to show your support. And visit one of our resource websites to get more involved."
"Call For Papers: 2nd International Mobile Creativity and Mobile Innovation Symposium, #MINA2012, Mobile Innovation Network Aotearoa, 23rd -25th November 2012, Massey University, Wellington, NZ ...
MINA [www.mina.pro] is an international network that promotes cultural and research activities to expand the emerging possibilities of mobile media. MINA aims to explore the opportunities for interaction between people, content and the creative industry within the context of Aotearoa/New Zealand and internationally.
The symposium will provide a platform for filmmakers, artists, designers, researchers, 'pro-d-users' and industry professionals to debate the prospect of wireless, mobile and ubiquitous technologies in art and design environments and the creative industries. MINA invites paper proposals relating (but not limited) to; mobile lens media, iPhoneography, mobile video production, mobile-mentaries (mobile documentaries), mobile network and transmedia, mobile communities, mobile media and social change, mobile visual arts, mobile locative media, citizen journalism, mobile visual literacy, mobile media in education and mobile technologies and civic media. ...
Paper proposals should be submitted by the 15th August 2012"
(Mobile Innovation Network Aotearoa)
"Design studies (like design) is a multifarious enterprise. A branch of the humanities, it comprises a wide range of critical perspectives on the meanings and values embodied in objects and places. It examines the forces that design exerts in, and on, the world - forces design sets in motion but does not control. Parsons' Masters in Design Studies program places particular emphasis on four points: the role of the designer and the design studio in redefining the scope of practice in the 21st century; design as an iteration of aesthetic and intellectual histories that continue to inform the present; the social, political and environmental behaviors and consequences of designing objects, places, situations, and systems today; design as the projection of different futures.
Above all, the MA Design Studies program focuses on the development of articulate, critical voices that can speak to these issues. Students will be prepared to write for the academic context, the design community, and the larger public realm. Working in close proximity to MFA studio programs at Parsons, they also have the opportunity to integrate film, video, and other media into their work."