[-empyre-] Re: PRNMS/education/ on -empyre- Aug 06
From the PRNMS Education Group:
The PRNMS Education was heavily crippled by the lack of its two co-
chairs Gustaff Iskander and Fatima Lasay. I felt very uncomfortable
on the main stage between the other PRNMS chairs. Fatima and or
Gustaff should have spoken there. Not only as a Dutch citizen
( albeit more time in lovely Ghent, Belgium), with a very indecent,
violent and undignified history of colonization- but specifically
because my expertise in this region is one of possibly relevant only
in dialogue. I do feel my place as co-chair ( as part of three) is
justified because of three reasons:
1. the move towards an Ambient Intelligent world full of sensors,
datamining and unforeseen connectivities is fundamental to our being
human as such and this relates to us all,
2. organizational expertise of distributing insecurity will become
the default, this means that expertise now goes from East to West.
With Deanna Herst we are trying to organize a conference on this in
Bandung in Spring 2007,
3. from my experience in new media education and locative media that
new formats of research, knowledge and critical output are being
developed in India ( Sarai), Indonesia ( Common Room, House of
Natural Fiber), South Africa (Trinity) that will become the new
default in ways of knowing and considering these ways of knowing
( see my articles in this Leonardo issue)
Having said this the results from the group consisting of Nina
Czegledy, Daniela Reimann, Lynn Hughes, Tressa Berman and Kenneth
Key is the mix of: Global trends and local expertise= how to as format
Three foci :
1. universities: establishing practice of making, and debate on what
2 hybrid initiatives: remaining the other in the creative industries
3. media centres : from civic spaces to alternative businessmodels,
We will set up a Listserv
We will present/facilitate/call for Case studies: start: Beijing
This was the result from the Agenda (below) that we put together in
the mail with the whole group:
Working Group Education
In the recent ASEAN NEW MEDIA ART COMPETITION
www.asean-nmac.info the challenge is formulated thus: “One important
role played by the recent new media technology is to bridge the
differences by providing tools for information exchanges.
Technological developments of this kind, especially generated by the
use of computers and television, have further given rise to a new
model of interaction. However, due to its global compulsion of
uniformity, such as in the language and equipments, the new media
also threatens to obliterate the diversity in the region.” These same
technological developments are causing The Gates Effect in the USA,
where “The world's biggest private foundation wants to fix American
high schools.” (Fast Company, 102). “With a boost from Gates's money,
472 new small high schools have opened in New York, Chicago, and
elsewhere. Almost 400 more will open by 2009. The foundation has also
backed the restructuring of almost 700 existing high schools, often
by breaking them up into smaller "learning communities" focused
around such themes as science, art, or technology.”
In our Pacific Rim working group on Education we discussed these
technological changes that cause so many paradoxical situations and
scenarios focusing on concrete output: howto’s. How to set up a new
media curriculum. How to set up a media lab. How to make use of local
expertise and transnational concepts. First we will discuss what kind
of knowledge it is that we are talking about: “What should count as
knowledge now? Perhaps I'm saying that while I also prefer lots of
emphasis on the "how to", I suspect that major change will require
arguing the abstract Why cogently and compellingly.” (Lynn Hughes).
Then we will break down the questions into three themes.
Universities: curricula, establishing practice of ‘making’
1. Clear identification of the problem. What are the characteristics
of a context/program that would promote effective, relevant New
Media education? Lynn
2. Installment of a ISEA Pacific Rim Education Consultancy Committee
quality assurance committee for digital media education - linked to
other regional (EU) efforts toward a GENERAL international standard.
3.: “We are facing a huge gap between the technological developments
applied and reflected in contemporary media arts on the one side and
the art educators at school and university level on the other side.
together the people involved.
As technology develops very fast, it would be reasonable to get a
continuous transition of information on the media technologies (from
media arts/technologies to education), and its’ dissemination.
· How to integrate the issue of programming as a new field of the
creative processes? (e.g. using iconic programming tools e.g.
(robotic/actuator- and sensor-based system development),
· the media specific extension and characteristics of the digital
medium. What are the characteristics of the interactive media and
aesthetics (e.g. the aesthetic of algorithm as addressed by Nake).
· The reflection of a methodology of identifying and evaluating
the skills and competences which are both on the level of programming
as well as on the aesthetic and artistic level (What are the skills
we want to mediate?)
· Non-hierarchical order of skills linked to different
disciplines: Programming is about developing digital models of the
world, and therefore part of the creative process, not just a
technical skill, as it is often perceived by art educators. (Iconic
programming tools help mediating such skills and apply them from
elementary school level on to upper academic secondary schools with
interactive installations (e.g. based on microcomputers communication
with each other)
· Changing the established learning culture to be found at the
average school (teacher-oriented, single computer work place-based
etc., classroom/computer room centred) Daniela
4. “the emerging hybrid educational trends under the "Essential
Strategies for Effective Arts Education". This model in
all of its variations seems to be adopted in widely diverging
geographical regions today and actually I hope that discussion of
these models will be included in the topics of our working group.” Nina
5. Are there any EU or Unesco calls we could put a proposal to? Daniela
Hybrids: key hierarchies of output and knowledge construction
1. Installment of ISEA Pacific Rim Creative Industry Consultancy
emphasizing the discourse of 'creative industries' (Trojan horse) .
2. “And to the question of what counts as knowledge. What should
knowledge now? Perhaps I'm saying that while I also prefer lots of
emphasis on the "how to", I suspect that major change will require
the abstract Why cogently and compellingly.” Lynn
3. One way forward may be to maintain a clear commitment in the
(and in its documentation and representation) to the specificities of
actual cases, seen as integral parts of local situations. To draw
perspectives of the practitioners in those cases, and then to relate
to other perspectives and situations – articulating specific global/
opportunities in the process. We might think of this less as a road map
(in the sense of having a clear idea, already, of where we want to get
to), and more as a visualisation of needs and possibilities that can act
at once as a set of good-practice exemplars, an argument maker for value
and investment and a starting point for specific actions. All this
leads me to wonder how as a group we might work, as Lynn does, both
within and outside the universities, so that we can open up the
infrastructure that exists in that context and have a chance of
influencing the academic culture of knowledge recognition at the same
4. “The challenge and the next step we should take is to involve more
policy makers in this process, to express the need to re-consider (or
even simply consider) the field of new media art, the different
domains and fields it encompasses, the need to support this field
beyond ministries' boundaries (education/culture/reseach etc).” Marie
5. “In the coming years, KMDI expects to strengthen our position as
an authoritative voice for constructive, critical commentary and
reflection on technology and society, and to take an active role in
the shaping of public debate and the development of public policy
around these changes.” Nina
6. “I am currently working with a computer science professor who
prefers to use opensource That is great but we both have salaries
and I also work with free lance individuals who don't ( have
salaries). I pay them -but rarely enough, and so I think that the IP
question is a complex and urgent one. Institutes like Hexagram that
"talk transfer" and problems like IP , raise more general questions.
Hexagram teams now regularly include a motley selection of non-
university participants and advisors. As you can imagine, some of
these don't have formal training "in the field". Figuring out how to
give these people status ( and money) is related to the big question
of the permeability of the university and the flexiblity of formal
educational structures. “ Lynn
7. Some of the questions that we will be dealing with in formulating
this "digital art festival" are:
1. What intellectual substance can the Philippines contribute to that
body of creative practices called "digital art" or "new media"?
2. How does the Philippine experience (specific problems of the
economic, political and cultural life across the country) relate to
the ideas and methods of aestheticizing media and technology?
3. If the "festival" was to be conceived as a "process" rather than
as an "event", then what are the implications of such in terms of its
topical and geographical scope, timetable, organization, funding,
promotion, and evaluation?
4. What strategies responsive to and in congruence with local
diversities and systems of knowledge must be developed in finding
answers to these questions?
5. How do we know that these strategies are indeed "responsive" and
6. How do we know that the best of our intentions will not be
corrupted in support of the very forces that have transformed
cultures into global markets through "new media"? Fatima
Media Labs: -key alternative businessmodels
1. Radical alternatives to the current institutions –including
suggestions about how they would survive, be funded, mesh with other
2. After a political shift in 1998, social transformation started to
happen & stimulates a friction in our society. Classic stories: the
new emerging values/situation versus the old & established values.
This made us think that the position of civic organization like
Common Room are becoming more crucial because we need a new platform
that can work to accomodate a different/new necessities/aspiration.
Once you ask us about the "alternative business model" that can bring
us out of this trouble. Yes, this is our biggest homework: to find an
alternative business model that can accomodate our needs. So an
organization like Common Room can work not only as a cultural
institution that create new ideas, but also can work as a business
unit that can solve our economic needs. But the big question is
3. “Shouldn't Medias Labs direct the future?!
Encouraging and fomenting production and research.
How to make money?
How to accomplish auto-sustainability ?
- Publishing and selling books?
- Formatting international conferences ? (as usual?!)
- Producing restricted projects to large corporations ?
"Just what are we trying to create?"
Thinking of media lab in SP, here are some ideas:
"A media center/lab should indeed not only permit a open communication
channel between the independent and tactical initiatives and more
academic, theoretical approaches and/or projects as much as new
developments in theory, art, practice and action. The center should
be much more a medium than an end in itself, enabling producers,
researchers, activists, artists and theoreticians to meet, exchange
ideas and join the production of projects together. The results of
such an undertaking would be disposable to the public in general,
through online and printed publications, conferences, exhibitions and
festivals." (what else?) Rough of ideas for a project to conceive a
media lab in Brazil. Robert
The proposal underlying the questions I outlined (for my own local
use) is - in the context of PRNMS and education - a clear formulation
by each member of the WG of the nature of knowledge / cognitive
systems through which education/learning/behaviour/etc. is motivated.
I want to see how clearly each member of the team understands how
their own local cognitive systems are structured (what are its
principles and parameters, its values?).
Only from there is it possible (and ethical) to ask questions that
attempt to explore across the diversity things like: models of
cooperation, develop strategies, engage diaspora communities,
establish networks, investigate responses, etc.
I think that from a clearly formulated set of diverse knowledge
systems, it will become more possible to discuss "education", "media"
and its problems as a group in the summit. Fatima
Although Fatima Lasay did not attend, she is participating and
planning to take the discussion beyond this ISEA, using the Working
Group as a hopefully sustainable vehicle for further discussing,
advising (policy, education) dissemination of academic and artistic
knowledge, and user generated content and context in the Pacific Rim.
As you can see from the Agenda above, especially the focus on Media
Labs and the relationship of grassroots and formal initiatives is
important at this stage. Because of the absence of Gustaff and
Roberta Alvarenga this could not be adressed at this meeting.
We hope to be able to hop along and hide in other conferences where
some of us meet.
I will set up the listserv asap and post about our Beijing casestudy.
Anyone willing to join our group is very welcome.
Last I want to thank Joel for all his hard work gone into this and
never wavering enthusiasm,
On Aug 14, 2006, at 3:30 AM, Christina McPhee wrote:
I am writing to follow up on Joel's suggestion here (cc'd below)
regarding publishing written content from the PRNMS. I ' d be
delighted to publish whatever texts you may have an interest in
I missed meeting with you in the chaos of ISEA, but still wish to
extend the invitation, in the remaining 2 weeks of August, to
contribute whatever thoughts and texts you might wish to share, to
the -empyre- discussion post the Pacific Rim New Media Summit,
especially in your area of "Education."
Founded by Dr Melinda Rackham of ANAT in 2002, the Sydney based -
empyre- is archived at Cornell University (Rose Goldsen Archive)
and the Pandora Archive, National Library of Australia. It is
currently a partner in the Documenta 12 Magazine Project; and is
hosted by the College of Art and Design, University of New South
Wales. I am one of the international group of moderators based in
Australia, Brazil, Canada, and the US.
Even if you don't make conversational contributions to the list,
we'd be most grateful if you can either post or send directly to
this email address any written content you'd like me to publish
therein. It's a convenient way for the content of PRNMS to become
a scholarly resource in future.
You may post directly by subscribing to http://www.subtle.net/empyre
Thanks for considering our invitation.
cc: Fatima Lasay, Gustaff Iskandar
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