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13 JANUARY 2012

Equator: interdisciplinary research centring on the integration of physical and digital interaction

"The IRC brought together researchers from eight different institutions and a variety of disciplines which address the technical, social and design issues in the development of new inter–relationships between the physical and digital.

A series of experience projects engaged with different user communities to develop new combinations of physical and digital worlds and explore how these may be exploited and how these may enhance the quality of everyday life.

A series of research challenges explored (a) new classes of device which link the physical and the digital, (b) adaptive software architectures and (c) new design and evaluation methods, which draw together approaches from social science, cognitive science and art and design. Equator involved over 60 researchers, with a range of expertise encompassing computer science, psychology, sociology, design and the arts.

Equator aimed to forge a clearer understanding of what it means to live in an age when digital and physical activities not only coexist but cooperate. This is the age we are now entering, and it promises radical change in how we communicate, interact, work and play–that is, how we live. But to fulfil that promise requires more than new technology. We need equally new ways of thinking about technology, and thus also about ourselves.

Everyone recognises that the computer is moving beyond the workplace. As digital systems (like the Web) converge with computer networks and cellular phone communications, new devices and services proliferate–many of them mobile, or embedded in the environment. Yet few people fully grasp the potential impact of such technological fluidity and ubiquity. Most current research is still rooted in the workaday world of the desk–bound PC. But look at the possibilities–for our home life, our schooling, community care, even our city streets.

These are just some of the areas which Equator explored, through the development of coherent new systems and devices. Ultimately, however, we were less concerned with solutions to specific design problems than with the bigger picture these solutions entail. This is what united so diverse a community of researchers. For it is only by sketching the bigger picture that we can begin to fulfil the promise offered by our new age, and so improve the quality of everyday life in years to come."

(Equator)

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TAGS

adaptive software architectures • art and design • city streets • coexist but cooperate • cognitive sciencecommunicatecomputer networkscomputer science • design and evaluation methods • design issues • devices • digital and physical activities • digital systems • EPSRC • Equator (research) • everyday life • experience projects • HCI • inter-relationships • interact • interactioninterdisciplinary • interdisciplinary research collaboration • IRC • new devices • new servicesphysical and digitalphysical and digital interaction • physical and digital worlds • psychology • quality of everyday life • radical change • research challenges • researcherssocial issuessocial sciencesociology • technical issues • technology proliferationubiquity • user communities • work and play

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
05 JANUARY 2004

Telecommunication: Decentralized International Exchange

Jeffrey Shaw (ZKM 1995)
TelecommunicationBroadcasting and telecommunications are an integral aspect of the new media technologies, and permit media manifestations to address an international and mass audience. While telecommunication methods have till now only tentatively been used by media artists, the Institute for Image Media feels that this is an important area of future development; one that will lead to a decentralized international exchange of cultural action and information.Therefore the Institute for Image Media will focus its activity in this area on the following potentials:

1). two–way interactive transmission of audiovisual data, for instance, via the new ISDN telephone system, 2). an international communications network of persons and institutions involved with media technology issues, 3). the new notions of "telepresence" and "cyberspace" which will enable people to enter a virtual dataspace and meet and communicate with each other there. This evokes the possibility for artists to create immaterial artworks that manifest themselves solely within the international telecommunications waves.
When one considers the visions which accompanied the development of contemporary art over the last 30 years – the kinetic art of the 1950s, the "open artwork" of the 1960s (happenings, environment, performances, land art, etc.), the conceptual and social art forms of the 1970s – one finds that these visions have interesting and astonishing parallels in the technological developments of the 1990's. Interactivity creates a intimate relation between the artwork and the viewer, tele–communications permits extended social interactions, simulation gives direct form to conceptual proposi–tions. It seems to be only a short step from "inter–media art" to "multimedia technology". Of course we cannot predict whether if technology will bring about a fulfillment or finale of these utopian artistic movements. The Institute for Image Media intends to be a place, where artists can think and work in relation to this question.

TAGS

artistaudiovisualbroadcastcommunicateculture • decentralise • exchangehappeningsinformation • inter-media • internationalISDNJeffrey Shawkinetic art • Klotz • land artmediamultimedia • open artwork • social art • telecommunicationtelepresencetransmediaZKM
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