Intro to Networked Collaboration

Before the end comes i wanted to say…

so before the semester ends i wanted to just post a few things that i have not had time to do.

first the SL event at the Pencil Factory. I really liked this event because not only was there so much interaction with all the students but we got to participate in a discussion and also  got to play around with really cool things. i am not really a wordy person so i have photos from the events. i think aside from getting RL sick it was a successful event.

second i wanted to talk about jump-cut and the mash up. i think all and all i did enjoy working with jump cut. i there are a lot of things that need to be worked on but for the most part it was fun. the direction that stacey, arielle & plumeria i did was fun. we were able to explore the world and see lots of plants. haha. we also got to play around with different kinds of music which is cool because it opens and lets us explore new things.

http://www.jumpcut.com/view/?id=C1987C4CC42F11DD8199000423CF0184

of all the classes i have taken this was my favorite.

December 16, 2008 Posted by | events, final | , , , | Leave a comment

Networked Event Review 2: Graduate Art Exhibit

Here was a major surprise for me!  Adam and Fia offered a tour of a space that their fellow students had created to make collaborative, interactive art pieces.  There were all kinds of dazzling exhibits here.  The first space was an interactive musical piece that played cords and created greens squares when an avatar walked or flew into it.  That was really quite beautiful and magical.

The next musical space was a weight of sorts that would play notes when you pushed it. 

In the third room we encountered floating cubes that one could “push” by pointing at them.  Both of these installations definitely gave the feeling of being a physical being while in the online world.

We visited a cave that spells out the letters of the words you say from within it’s belly.  However, I’m not sure if it was really a trap cause you had to be teleported out of there!

The next stop was a larger than lifesize typewriter that was hooked up to twitter.  So whatever you twitted, the typewriter typed on the paper. (See Andrea’s pictures in the previous post)

Before the typewriter, we all (or at least me for sure) got lost in outerspace.  I tried to climb the invisible stairs back to the visible land, a pathway floating in outerspace, but kept bumping my head underneath instead of making it up and around.  I also had to teleported back to land from here.

Next, we visited a space with rooms that contained all kinds of possibilities; one was an annoying hologram-like thing that was really confusing to look at.  One was a a room that lead again to outerspace, but this time with planets!  Another just had a  desk & chair, while the last one I discovered was a room that was pure white, with a few furniture items.  It was kind of peaceful and probably good for reflecting in.

One of the last exhibits, and my favorite, was the discotec/musical performance exhibit.You could turn different parts of the music on and off, like the drums or the background.  These musical parts were represented by multi-colored squares floating around in a circle.  You could enter the circle and see a character dancing as the music got louder and colors spinned before your face.  Unfortunately we didn’t have any dance gestures, but the excitement was captured!

I think the students definitely were successful in creating art installations that are not only are as imaginative as real life installations, but that are designed to be more successful in an online arena than a live one.  I have been in a real-life installation that was a humming, pulsing, round white room that responded to the amount of people in the room by changing colors.  It was fun for a minute and cool on a novelty level to me.

These SL installations were interesting to me in that its seems like a lot of work may have went into it, and that they were collaborative art pieces.  I do not remember Adam elaborating on how the work was broken up or how they were collaborative, and maybe I should’ve asked that question.  They were also interesting in that they created uncontrolled, first-hand experiences for the online user, unlike most online experiences, where most immediate experiences are delayed by time or choice.

A few students also commented that all these experiences were much more fun when having them with other people/avatars.  Just like in real life!

December 16, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

SL: Exhibition at Pencil Factory (review)

(This posting should again be a comment to smartscrutiny’s last entry – since I want to put up pictures I do my own post instead):picture-24

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This SL meeting was about exploring space(s) and interacting with amazing, surprising, aesthetic objects – when the nicest part about it was to have a guided tour, get instructions on what to do in front of objects, and getting saved (re-teleported) once you got lost. I feel that meetings like this are a condensed learning experience. What would take me forever to figure out on my own, is happening here really quick: jumping into a cave, creating sounds together, creating messages on the huge typewriter. Or, meditating on a stone: I loved to see my movements that just happened without me doing anything, animated by the artwork (as I naively explain it).

This time communication (besides the tour guides)m mostly  happened through text, without voice, which made it possible form me to focus more on my experience on the exhibition then on the class interaction itself. Still there was this ‘doing something together’, and I think it was an important part of the class.

At times, being in an online class for the first time, some part was missing for me, communication- and energy wise: meeting people for talk and exchange: what you get from just listening to other people’s ides. The SL meetings where definitely inspiring in that way, there was the energy of the common experience …

Doing a performance together would have been the perfect part III, sorry I missed it but will come back for it. Thanks Josephine for a very inspiring class and ideas that can be built on!

December 16, 2008 Posted by | collaboration, crowdsourcing, culture, education, events, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Networked Event Review: Guest Speaker Rafi

So I raced home to get to this event reasonably on time.  I felt it was an a very interesting experience to be in the same virtual room with all my class members at once.  Although, it was certainly confusing as far as figuring out which avatar was which classmate.

Rafi described his work in an organization he founded, entitled Global Kids Media, what his goals are with this organization, and how the kids responded to the processes.  He directed us to a YouTube video that the kids had put together documenting what they had learned during the process of an archeological dig they had followed virtually in Tanzania.

The trajectory that Rafi is on, as far as educating children about online possibilities is one which I think will gain more acceptance in the future as more classes like this one happen and the online world gains more trust and acceptance.  Rafi mentioned something about starting these programs in schools that, firstly, had the appropriate computer hardware/infrastructure to support it, and secondly, that deemed this kind of education important.

I think Rafi’s class affect the kids in several good ways.  Firstly, they get the joy and self-confidence out of making a video that looks quite professional, and it becomes a skill for work and artwork in the future.  Secondly,  they got to learn about archeology and have live cross-cultural encounters; the next best thing to being able to go to another country, which is something not all kids’ families can afford or would get to do.  Thirdly, the kids can open up to friendships with the kids in other countries.  It’s a great way to have friendships which are more nonjudgemental of one’s past, class, looks, clothes, etc.  When I was in sixth-grade, my instructor found a class of sixth-graders in another state to be pen-pals with.  So we worked on our writing a made friends with other kids.  

It was a supportive, non-judgemental relationship that lasted for several years, independent of and happily separate from what happened in my real life.  

Fourthly, it allows kids who may be more shy in real life to express themselves in other ways online.

One of the students asked whether Rafi had tried this kind of project with adults and he said “no” and left it at that.  I think this process would have tremendous potential for highschool students, specifically for the artistic possibilities, and also just to get teenagers out of their self-obsessed worlds.

I really can’t think of any drawbacks to this kind of work.

I also felt strongly after this virtual process of meeting in Second Life that it should be used in all the online classes at the New School.  It really draws the class closer together, enhances online/text interaction in the future, and encourages involvement.  If the school is going to be online, they may as well take full advantage of online technology.  

December 16, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Jumpcut debrief

I really enjoyed the jumpcut process.  I’ve made a film before in film class, but it required super expensive software.  Now I can make little film clips for free!

The sharing/edit process was interesting too.  Our group met in Second Life after Rafi’s lecture and decided to do “landmarks from around the world” theme, since we are all in different places (or correction, we could be in different places, but in reality, I’m the only person in our group not in New York).  Then we all experimented with finding photos and jumpcut and discovered that we didn’t really know how to use it or share the video.

On one day, we tried to meet again to discuss our progress in Second Life but that didn’t work cause Arielle’s computer wouldn’t support Second Life.  Next we tried a three-way Skype conference call, then a chat in AIM, but failed to be able to converse with more than two of us a a time.  However, I did get to meet both Stephanie and Arielle over Skype separately which was fun.  I had already met Stacey in our first Skype project.

So after asking Josephine how to share the jumpcut, I put together several images of natural landmarks is distinctive natural forms and send it to my group.  Stacey did a cool interjection of buildings within this clip I had sent.  I saw she had edited my transitions & effects, and at first I was surprised, but then I liked the changes, and realized that that was the point of sharing the video anyway.

Stephanie added an interesting bit from her trip to Japan, while Arielle added the New York scene & some clips from Israel.  I thought the dance club music was a humorous accompaniment to the Italian masterpieces show.  Stacey added a France bit, then we had a botanical garden from I don’t know where, a California show, and I added an Alaska bit.

I wanted to Remix the Alaska scenes in, but felt overwhelmed by the amount of images that everyone had added.  I also ran in to some glitches where if I added an effect or image in the middle of already existent ones, sometimes only half the image of all the remaining ones would show, or the music wouldn’t play.  Even just adding the wrong effect to your own video sometimes skews the remaining images so only half of each image shows.  I also noticed that some of my images sneaked into the earlier video without me consciously doing that;  I think there is a lava shot in the middle of the New York tour.

All in all, this was a fun project and I will enjoy exploring Jumpcut and making more use of it for future educational or inspirational endeavors.

Our project can be viewed here.

December 16, 2008 Posted by | final, mashup | 1 Comment

Second Event Review

I attended the Networked Collaboration graduate student event in Second Life last week. We met at The Port and two grad students led us on a tour of Angrybeth Shortbread’s exhibit.

I continue to be amazed at the things I find in Second Life, and this exhibit was no exception! (I didn’t take any snapshots during the event and I ended up wishing that I had. I went back to revisit some of the pieces so I could take some pictures—I’ve included some here.)

We began with a piece that looked like a block of green haze. When your avatar walks through the haze, different musical notes play and a block of color is generated in your wake for each note. The effect of several avatars walking through the piece at once is something like a small, random symphony. One of the students commented that we were creating an audio/visual pattern that would be impossible to replicate.

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The “Push-a-tron” is a piece that allows your avatar to have a physical effect on the purple bar attached to the center of the circular room (see photo below). An avatar can actually push this bar, and anything the bar runs into. In other areas of Second Life, avatars don’t really have a feeling of weight. It was really interesting to feel the change in weight in this room. (It was also amusing to watch my classmates push each other around with the bar!)

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The typewriter piece was beautiful. I flew a little way away from it and watched as some of my classmates typed… the letters appeared on the enormous piece of paper feeding out of the typewriter, and also from a smokestack nearby. This piece was an interesting link between the real world and Second Life, as everything typed on the typewriter appears on Twitter.

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My favorite piece in this exhibit was outside, in space. It consisted of two “cages” with bars spaced far enough apart for an avatar to enter. Upon entering one of the cages, you discover that any bar you look at produces a tone. Standing in the center of the cage allows you to spin around in place and create musical scales as you look at each bar in succession. There was something very magical about it. I spent a good amount of time in one of these cages while my classmates were falling off a nearby ledge and trying to get back up! I was somehow lucky enough to not fall off the edge of this particular walkway!

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My voicechat wasn’t working properly and I ended up just using the local chat, which made it tough to comment spontaneously on the work that was being presented. I wished that I could have been more interactive, but at the same time, I was able to focus on the exhibit without feeling too much pressure to interact. This was an amazing experience, and I’m grateful that the grad students chose to share it with us! Thanks, guys!

December 16, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

SL Lecture with Rafi Santos @ Funksoup Conference Room

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Being excited and a bit intimidated about a first scheduled class meeting in SL, I here want to focus on social experiences in this SL event, also since this was part of our discussion wih Rafi (thanks to him again for a great and very inspiring presentation of Global Kids’ Media Initiatives, described more detailed by smartscrutiny in a post below!) before his lecture.

Looking at the screenshots, I’m still surprised how easy I managed to sit in a right and rather elegant looking way (I have to admit that in the pre-meeting with Enay, I couldn’t figure out how to sit facing forward in a movie theatre, and I had been practising for a week on Help Island!). SL, I think, is assisting its avatars nicely being well mannered and sociable: It’s somehow difficult to create the clothes you really want (I never managed), but then you also never look really bad.

Being scheduled for a first meeting with the class, people I ‘somehow’ know (their RL names!, some comments, tweets and pictures) was different from the anonymity of Help Island, and I don’t agree for myself to what was said about people being braver through their avatars: There was my name, my voice (and background noice) – and in general, I couldn’t dis-identify from the little figure I had created (an experience I even had in the anonymous space before). I realize I am more shy communicating through my avatar than I’m in RL (and I am shy already): technical insecurities and accidents (getting lost in space, bumping into people) don’t happen like this in RL. I can imagine that identification and ‘anonymisation’ is a process getting more used to socializing in Second Life though.

The most frightening part was definitely ‘Voice’: A text chat can hide a lot, Voice stays the same in S and RL (maybe SL will offer voice distortion in the future?) And, being technically unable to master Voice (settings) the right way, my most private environment (my crying baby right behind me) was brought into the meeting! How can anybody speak of ‘anonymity’?!

What I liked though was listening to someone else talking in that setting, the possibility of combining this talk with links, links to films (that could be watched immediately) and the crowd giving comments and asking questions through Instant Messages.

I also liked the little pre-meeting with Enay in that theatre, being introduced to a space one on one – and get to meet somebody from the class (Somehow the one on one meeting felt almost real).
Second Life is a pretty cool thing!


December 15, 2008 Posted by | events | Leave a comment

First networked event review

The Second Life event with Rafi Santos of Global Kids’ Digital Media Initiative was the first group meeting I had been a part of in SL. I learned a few Second Life related things by being there, i.e. how to voicechat. It was great to see my classmates’ avatar choices! Your virtual lecture space is fantastic, Josephine! I’m still staggered by the fact that it’s possible to be so detailed in “real estate” design in SL!

Rafi began with a description of his organization and the ways in which it impacts the lives of young people. He described the different ways that youths can be involved with the organization (Global Kids’ Digital Media Initiative holds both online and on location activities.) He went into detail about a recent project where students followed an archaeological dig and held their own dig in SL. He directed us to a YouTube link, where we watched a video created about this project. The ability to have everyone look at a specific website during a meeting or lecture is a very valuable thing, and this is much more easily accomplished in SL than in a real life lecture. Rafi was very passionate about the organization and its mission to build leadership in young people. Several times I was listening closely to Rafi and watching his avatar, and I was dismayed to find that my avatar had fallen asleep! This brought to mind one disadvantage of holding a lecture in SL. When a presenter is speaking in front of a group in real life, he or she can judge the reactions of the audience by their body language, laughter, facial expressions, spontaneous verbal responses, etc. This is harder in SL since the appearance of an avatar may or may not be indicative of what its real life counterpart is thinking or doing.

This was a fascinating lecture and a great introduction to group meetings in Second Life!

December 13, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Wikipedia

I edited the Trondheim page on Wikipedia and added a section on nightlife. I have already seen changes; another bar was added and a link to a bar’s website was added. I will continue to add to my section because it feels good to known that I’m letting people in other places know what I love about my new home. I think it is also nice to know that if someone were to come to Trondheim, I might have helped them have a more enjoyable time. It is also a good marketing tool as I work for one of the best night spots in town.. and I can list bars that support local talent. I do, though, think it is important to be objective in listing on Wikipedia as it is being used as a reference source. It is sort of an honor system and I appreciate that. Well, I think I’ll check it again…

December 13, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

SL Event(s)

The Pencil Factory Gallery Event: dec 9th

Had a RL event where I took 10 friends to the Gallery today: dec 12th

One of the guides in this Dec 9th SL Event at The Pencil Factory Gallery described some of the goals of the gallery as well as gave us information on the artist’s blog and website:
[18:17]  Fia Zapatero: …interested in exploring issues of creating value in virtual worlds…
[18:17]  Fia Zapatero: the relationship between online and offline worlds…
[18:18]  Fia Zapatero: and the potential for virtual worlds to serve as public spaces.
[18:18]  Fia Zapatero: The Pencil Factory is a gallery created by one artist- Angrybeth Shortbread
[18:19]  Fia Zapatero: her blog: http://www.angrybethshortbread.blogspot.com/
her website: http://www.annamorphic.co.uk

But I also recall our other guide discussing ‘telepresence’: how present your avatar feels in SL as being an important goal of the gallery viewing. I think they nailed it terms of creating value in a virtual world as well as using the virtual world as a public space. The gallery was very interactive and in many cases, such as the green space where the group created music or the room where we could push each other and objects around, we were directly interacting with each other. It was actually kind of frustrating to be in a group at the large typewriter because we ended up writing jibberish with everyone typing at the same time. As you can see, I felt really present.

I loved the floating cubes of dance music and the room designed to be a zen relaxation environment. And I actually created my own event… I took friends back to the gallery this evening after I got off work. I was in the bar which has internet connection and I was telling some friends about the experience. We decided to check it out… and a large group formed. (One of them created an Avatar on SL but was too new to get into the gallery.) We danced and meditated. Different folks played on the computer with my Avatar. The group got a big kick out of it and many said they wanted to go back as characters and go thru the gallery together within Second Life. I thought it was an excellent event the first time with the guides and the high level of telepresence but to have a second get together in RL where we were all participating in the gallery with just the one character was very interesting too and ended up being a great way for us to connect as a group and experience visual and virtual art in RL. I now want to create a music concert in SL and have it displayed locally on a large video screen at the bar I work at. I think that would be very interesting to have a concert without the musicians physically playing in RL but playing for people all over the world (as well as where they live) in SL. I also look forward to returning to The Pencil Factory!

December 12, 2008 Posted by | events | Leave a comment