Conferences and event reports

Upcoming digital talks & events for October/November

We’re going back into a cycle of talks with a lot of new things to talk about and announce. There’s a whole swag of previously unspoken about goodies going live in the next 8 weeks, and everyone has been head down working hard. However, it being conference season again means we’re going to be getting the word out on these projects . . .

In the next fortnight I’m in Amsterdam as part of Picnic 2010 (September 22-24). I am involved in a trio of (free) seminar sessions for Culturemondo and as a guest of Virtueel Platform – the Dutch peak body for media art. Picnic is an annual event that operates in the interzone between science, art, media and commerce. Purposely diverse it is a great mix of speculative talks, hands on demonstrations (there’s a competition to build augmented reality games to run live during Picnic this year, for example), media industries, artists and investment types. I spoke there in 2008 and it was one of the most interesting events I’ve been to. (Here’s my reports from 2008).

The three talks I’m involved with fit into a sequence teasing out issues around how digital cultural heritage can operate in the rapidly changing economic and media environment. On Wednesday (Sept 22) in a session called Cultural Criticism In The Age Of New Journalism, we look at the impact of models of new new journalism on cultural criticism and how this, in turn, impacts upon the arts. Whilst at one end of the spectrum, the broad reach of amateur criticism in blogs and across the web is very welcome, at the other the dispersal of such critique across the web makes it difficult for those who rely on such criticism as a part of their professional practice. This is impacting art, the performing arts, and film industries as well as critical practices in these in widely different ways.

On Thursday the series turns to mobile and in a session titled Beyond Tourism: Future Directions For Mobile Cultural Content, speakers question how the development and use of mobile apps in the cultural sector can move beyond (just) tourism and marketing applications. Then that night Non-Fiction takes a group of us on an underground tour of Amsterdam’s mobile incursions and experiments being deployed across the city by media artists. And on the Friday in New Business Models for Culture & Heritage, we look at a range of ‘business model experiments’ that are taking place with digital cultural heritage and collectively consider how best public value might be served.

In between all that I’m hoping to be blogging the rest of Picnic and catching some of the exciting sessions on gaming, transmedia, urban design, sensors and the internet of things, and possibly even some of the bio-engineering stuff.

If you are in or near the Netherlands then come along. Registration for the three Culturmondo seminar sessions is free and if you are coming for them there is also a discount available for the broader Picnic tickets (read to the end of this).

In mid October senior online producer Renae Mason is heading to the New Zealand National Digital Forum in Wellington this year (Oct 18-19) for the Powerhouse. She’s talking about the impact and evaluation of some of our recent social media forays and doing a no holds barred teardown of our investment in prolonged social media and content development for The 80s Are Back exhibition. No doubt she’ll also talk about our Ask A Curator experience. Don’t miss Dan Hill, Mike Edson and Nick Poole’s keynotes at NDF – they should all be fascinating and I’m quite disappointed to be missing it this year.

That same week on this side of the ditch it is Australian Web Week 2010 and Visual & Digitisation manager Paula Bray is doing a ‘big picture’ talk to the assembled throng of web geeks at Web Directions South. Web Directions South is an event we always try to send team members along to to expand their technical and conceptual knowledge of where the web is heading. Paula’s going to be covering a broad range of Powerhouse activities and initiatives and encouraging developers to consider cultural datasets when they are experimenting with new projects. Paula’s in great company with some our teams’ favourite web people are speaking there this year.

On the Saturday (October 16), the Powerhouse is the venue for Web Directions’ Amped – a free ‘hack day’ with special guests from Web Directions and lots of challenges and prizes. If you work with data, are a web designer and work on the web, or are a developer then register and come along as there’ll be lots of great things going on and some great micro-talks as well.

Then in early November, Paula is speaking at the CEBIT Government 2.0 Conference in Canberra and I’m speaking at the NAA/CAARA Residential School with what seems like most of the Gov 2.0 Taskforce!

Busy times.

Oh . . . and we’ll be announcing a bunch of new things at each of these . . . stay tuned. They deserve their own separate blog posts.