Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Digital Textuality with/in Performance
Arnolfini Bristol
 2012 May 3-4, hosted by the University College Falmouth

There was a good DMU presence at this seminar programme under the HERA networks initiative:

Participants attending this ELMCIP  investigated the relationship between e-literature/digital text and performance. Members of the ELMCIP project, international speakers and practitioners  discussed the function and understanding of performativity and its relationship to digital literature through a series of papers, presentations and practical engagements.

"Although the field of e-literature is rife with references to performance, they have tended to remain relatively untheorised. In the main, analysis or investigation of performance is restricted to either the relationship between the textual output (on the interface or projected into a performance space) and the live body responding performatively to that text or else generating text through performance. There has been little attempt to fold digital text performance into the wider context of the 'turn to performance' among the humanities in recent decades. 

It is against this background -- of performance studies, ordinary language philosophy and speech act theory, the ethnography of ritual, performance of self and gender, performance writing, etc. -- that the conference will take place.While continuing the investigation of live performance, we will be seeking to broaden the scope to include: interactivity; the performative gesture of the hand and fingers (digital text) on the interface; the performativity of language itself on the screen; social performance, or how digital texts ‘perform’ us; the performance of codes and scripting; and the performance of the machine itself, i.e., what does an engineer mean when s/he talks about performance? In other words, we will be looking at the different modes of performance as they are manifest across the whole digital environment (dispositif) and, in order to give a fuller account of this complex of performative modes, we will also be investigating how they interact with each other."

  •  Conference proceedings, along with artist’s pages, will be published in a dedicated issue of the journal Performance Research (2013)

    UCF ELMCIP seminar - Arnolfini Bristol

    Machinic Performance and architecture

    Jerome Fletcher (UCF) Performance and the Digital Text.
    John Lumley (Univ. of Nottingham) Machinic performance.

    The place/role of the body in digital performance;Body and machine

    Alexandra Saemmer (Univ. of Paris 8): Reading (de)coherent
    hypertexts: a creative performance based on a close reading of the
    German hyperfiction Zeit für die Bombe

    Maria Engberg (BTH): Touch and Gesture as Aesthetic Experience:

    Clive Fencott: Performance as a Categoriser
    Joerg Piringer: Software - performance of code.

    Cristophe Collard (Free Univ. of Brussels): Jesurun’s digitalist Firefall:
    Staging the analogical relation as cognitive performance.

    Giovanna di Rosario (Univ. of Jyvaskyla): ‘Reading’ Performance:
    Eugenio Tisselli’s Wen

    David Prater: "Davey Dreamnation and the Performance of Self"
     How digital language performs. Reading digital performance. Presentation of work

    Christine Wilks: Out of Touch - a digital text performance

    Martin Rieser (Univ. of Kingston): Performed poetics in multi-linear narrative situations

    Paula Crutchlow: Make Shift

    Annie Abrahams
    cris cheek

    Joerg Piringer
    Donna Leishman
    J.R. Carpenter

Civil War Guide on iPad

HISTORY™ has created an app for the iPad: The Civil War Today . It explores every phase and aspect of America’s north-south conflict with daily updates that unveil the events in real time over the course of four years.

The Civil War Today leverages the iPad multi-touch interface, enabling subscribers to delve into thousands of original documents, photos, maps, diary entries, quotes and newspaper broadsheets like never before.

App Features

  • This Day in Civil War History

    Daily Civil War updates from April 12, 2011 through April 26, 2015.
  • Quote of the Day

    Compelling quotations from the men and women who lived through the war.

  • In the Headlines

    Explore every page of historic newspapers from each day of the conflict.
  • Day in the Life

    Through their letters and personal diaries, follow the lives of 15 people who experienced the Civil War firsthand.
  • Photo Gallery

    A collection of original images from the period in high-resolution.
  • By the Numbers

    The war through surprising facts and figures.

  • Battle Maps

    Follow in the soldiers’ footsteps with historic battlefield maps.
  • Casualty Counter

    Measure the true cost of the war through the lives that were lost.
  • North South Quiz

    Civil War knowledge with the daily North vs. South quiz.
  • Game Center Integration

    You can earn Civil War era appropriate achievements for your engagement with the application.

International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations

Special issue of IJGCMS dedicated to the topic of Ludic Simulations

The International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations ( announces a call for papers for a for a special issue dedicated to the topic of Ludic Simulations, co-guest edited by Patrick Coppock (University of Modena & Reggio Emilia, Italy) and IJGCMS Editor-in-Chief Rick Ferdig (Kent State University, USA).
Call - Ludic here refers to Latin definitions of ludus, referring to fun, play or playfulness.  It might also widened to include the notion of entertaining facilitation, ease or pleasure of use.  Simulations are computer-mediated environments that provide opportunities for users to explore a world, an occupation, a task, etc..  We are making a broad assumption that all electronic games are simulations, but not all simulations are games.

We expect electronic games to be fun.  Games that are not fun are not played, understanding that "fun" is unique to each player.  However, we do not often expect simulations to be fun.  If a pilot or anesthesiologist is learning their vocation through virtual experiences, we seem to care more about their learning than whether they are having fun.  We want better doctors and better pilots first and foremost.

What does it mean, therefore, to have a simulation that could be called ludic?  Does making a more playful, fun, and pleasing to use simulation impact learning, retention, or practice?  Does a ludic simulation receive more critical reviews for not being serious enough?  What does it mean to make a simulation ludic, without turning it into a game?

The purpose of this special issue is to address the ludic nature of simulations.  Authors are invited to submit manuscripts that:
*       Present empirical findings on the use of ludic simulations
*       Push the theoretical knowledge of ludic simulations
*       Conduct meta-analyses of existing research on ludic simulations
*       Present innovative interfaces for ludic simulations, including testing/evaluation data

Potential authors are encouraged to contact Dr. Coppock ( or Dr. Ferdig ( to ask about the appropriateness of their topic.
Deadline for Submission:  July 15, 2012.
Manuscripts should be submitted in APA format.  They will typically be 5000-8000 words in length.  Full submission guidelines can be found at:

Mission - IJGCMS is a peer-reviewed, international journal devoted to the theoretical and empirical understanding of electronic games and computer-mediated simulations. IJGCMS publishes research articles, theoretical critiques, and book reviews related to the development and evaluation of games and computer-mediated simulations. One main goal of this peer-reviewed, international journal is to promote a deep conceptual and empirical understanding of the roles of electronic games and computer-mediated simulations across multiple disciplines. A second goal is to help build a significant bridge between research and practice on electronic gaming and simulations, supporting the work of researchers, practitioners, and policymakers.


Ultra Haptics

Saw a great presentation last week by Sriram at the Pervasive Media studios in Bristol of some research at Bristol University into Ultra-Haptics. Ultra-Haptics is a system for creating haptic feedback in mid-air. It uses a property of ultrasound called “acoustic radiation pressure”. Waves of ultrasound displace the air, creating a pressure difference. By causing many waves to arrive at the same place simultaneously, a noticeable pressure difference is created at that point. With this method, we are able to create multiple, concurrent points of haptic feedback in mid-air.

 Here a small polystyrene ball is used to play Pong with virtual paddles-"ultra tangibles"

We would like to invite you to join us for this exploratory, practical workshop, investigating how the emerging field of UltraHaptics might be used in creative context.
UltraHaptics is a multi-point haptic feedback system that allows users to experience haptic feedback simultaneously in multiple locations. This feedback is created in mid-air – so users don’t have to touch or hold any device to experience it.

The use of ultrasonic vibrations is a new technique for delivering tactile sensations to the user. In essence, a series of ultrasonic transducers emit very high frequency sound waves. When all of the sound waves meet at the same location at the same time, they create sensations on a human’s skin.
More information on UltraHaptics can be found at
The University of Bristol and Pervasive Media Studio are joining forces to produce a workshop designed to better understand how creative practitioners and developers can work together in creating new and novel user experiences using a unique haptic system.

  1. Explore the design space and identify various application scenarios along with limitations and benefits of our system.
  2. Develop and share some ideas around haptic experiences, test and rapid prototype ideas in a supported environment.
  3. Investigate how designers and developers talk/ think together about designing multi-sensory experiences.

10 to 15 designers and developers working together in groups over two days. If you are interested in participating then please contact or Sriram Subramanian. We will aim to provide you with all the resources needed but if you have your own laptop it would be helpful to bring it along.


Each group will have access to the haptic kit along with a couple of projectors, and cameras. Through a series of guided and open sessions the groups will design and create a haptic experience. There will be several breakout sessions where teams can work on their design. We are keen to learn more about the design process so we will be talking and videoing (without disturbing) how the groups interact with each other during the breakout sessions. The workshop will finish in a summative group session.

Designing for community-powered digital transformations workshop, 15 May 2012

Tate Britain, London

The Space- convergent media showcase?

Digital transformations mean that cultural and media organisations now find themselves in a new environment in which communities of participants interact to create, curate, organise and support cultural experiences.

This was the third in a series of AHRC-funded events where practitioners and researchers came together to consider innovative practices, and develop new ideas together.

The event concerns digital platforms, which enable communities to aggregate and curate content created by a wide range of professional, semi-professional and amateur participants. Design makes a real difference: why is it, for instance, that members of the knitting network Ravelry tend to have a much higher quality of supportive conversation than the remarks on YouTube? How can we build sustainable cultural production and support creative curation?

Speakers included:
  • John Stack, Head of Tate Online showed a wide variety of participatory examples from the Tate's online history. The most striking of which was the opportunity to talk directly with Ai Wei Wei in China using the internet and record the conversation during the showing of sunflower seeds in the Tate Modern Turbine Hall- 25000 video recordings and a website where you can view these.

  • Jake Berger, Programme Manager – The Space, BBC showed the prototype of this convergent online magazine and showcase in collaboration with the Arts Council. The software itself is all open source and will be made available to artists and organisations to self-publish. The big question on the current site was one of gate-keeping and who decides on content. It seemed to boil down to a combination of low funding and institutional nerves that a two-way conduit with participants had not been established.

  • Martin Rieser, Professor of Digital Creativity, De Montfort University- I showed a range of projects chiefly dependent on the empedia platform, where public participation and contributions are part of the formula. see:
  • Claire Ross, UCL  was speaking about “Putting the Visitors first” in order to design better, more user friendly, digital experiences in Museums.  I used examples from the Social Interpretation project at IWM and the QRator project at the Grant Museum.   
  • Sunil Manghani, York St John University gave an intriguing talk where John Berger was pictured drawing out fascinated commentaries from school children on the sexual ambiguity at the heart of a Carravaggio painting. He posed two models: Dialectical and Dialogic for creative discourse using social media forms, favoring the Dialogic as more inclusive, subtler and effective.
The day involved presentations, discussions, and smaller-group conversations.The discussions were wide-ranging and covered all the problems of participatory forms-quality was perhaps under-discussed. I concluded we want two way participation- but we need to expect more of audiences- participation is not just admiring the wall paper. The focus and context are vital and this framing can avoid the accumulation of the banal, rude or irrelevant contribution.