Panel Fever

I participated in three panels this past week, three panels that I really enjoyed.

Designing, Experiencing and Analysing Games in the Age of Integration, Australasian Interactive Entertainment Conference
The first panel was actually my own panel at the 2007 Interactive Entertainment Conference. Here is the blurb:

The contextual framing of this panel is that this age is not about digital media, but the relationships between all media, digital and not. This panel addresses, therefore, the design, experience and analysis of games in an integrating media context. The specially selected panel addresses these media proliferation concerns.

I did something different with this panel. Instead of the usual presentation with Q&A at the end, I did a mix of the unconference style (I learnt from organising BarCampSydney) and chairing in general. I repositioned all the chairs into a circle and told everyone that not only can they ask a question at any time, they can answer one at anytime too! The idea is that everyone has something to add, and that the panelists were provocateurs rather than the only experts in the room. I facilitated discussion by asking the panelists about the ideas they presented in their papers and encouraging conversational exploration of issues. I’m thrilled to say the experiment worked well, I received alot of great positive feedback from the panelists and participants. Well done to the panelists for jumping wholeheartedly into the experiment and doing so well on the day. They were fabulous! Here is the info about their papers:

In his paper, ‘Citizenship and Consumption: Convergence Culture, Transmedia Narratives and the Digital Divide’, media studies Research Fellow and PhD candidate Tom Apperley problematises the experience of ‘transmedia storytelling’ in the context of gaming in Venezuela. In his paper, ‘Place as Media in Pervasive Games’, game designer and lecturer Hugh Davies explores the role of space in pervasive games. Games and interactivity lecturer Christian McCrea charts a synchronic and diachronic course through the co-presence of media within digital games in his paper: ‘Then, Suddenly, I Was Moved: Nostalgia and the Media History of Games’. In ‘Capturing Polymorphic Creations: Towards Ontological Heterogeneity and Transmodiology’, Christy Dena discusses methodologies to analyse polymorphism (from transmedia storytelling to pervasive games to telematic arts).

All the papers are online

Also, I would like to note it was great to spend time getting to know some interesting minds: Robin Hunicke, Troy Innocent, Adam Nash and Kevin McGee.

What Happened to New Media Art?, Australasian Interactive Entertainment Conference

So was it the mobile phone or changes at the OzCo? Why has new media art apparently disappeared from the cultural landscape? Key cultural institutions such as ACMI have made the transition from pixels to Pixar. Games criticism is thriving at a time when discussions of media art histories recede into the background. Or do we need to revise our definitions of what is new media art? Does anyone really care about interactivity any more? In the age of machinima and Second Life, is there still a place for “new” media art?

In this panel discussion key media artists, curators and writers will debate these issues.

Interactivity may, or may not, be present during the discussion.

This panel was organised by new media arts critic and educator Darren Tofts. It included educator, critic and curator Shiralee Saul; director, critic, writer and curator Philip Brophy; new media artist Marcia Jane and myself. I found the discussion very interesting because, to me, it made it very clear that there are generational issues with the question that are related to how much someone identifies themselves through ‘new media arts’. I’ve been commissioned to write an opinion peice on it for RealTime, so more in a couple of months.

Cyber-Born Film, Destination Film Festival

The revolution will be downloaded… It’s an exciting time in filmmaking right now. Using Four-Eyed Monsters as a starting point – the superb ’YouTube feature’ – our panel will explore how online and digital culture has r/evolutionised and challenged traditional means of production, distribution and exhibition. Has the internet made these conventional methods all but redundant? How? And where are things moving to? A range of viewpoints will be heard across the spectrum – from filmmakers and producers to artists and web designers.

This panel was organised by film critic, journalist and director Megan Spencer. The panelists included Arin Crumley of Four Eyed Monsters fame (via video Skype); remix artists Dan & Dominique Angeloro of Soda_Jerk ; highly regarded film producer Rosemary Blight; Rachael Lucas, the director of cult hit Bondi Tsunami; DOP, Producer/Cinematographer Streetsweeper Toby Ralph; director and composer Jason Sweeney and me.

It was a great panel, discussing contemporary strategies for film distribution, marketing, filmmaking and emerging transmedia film forms. I’ve been commissioned to write an opinion piece on this too, so more coming soon.

I thoroughly enjoyed participating in these panels, catching up with people I haven’t seen for a while and meeting new people. Lots of great minds bursting to get out there…and I’m happy to be riding the wave – no – creating it with them.

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