Explore how urban futures, technology and embodiment collide and interconnect in the era of the "Four Dimensional Human".
The popular alternate reality app Pokémon Go has demonstrated the power of digital technologies to fuse the virtual, social and physical in city locations. Such hybridised spaces are becoming increasingly pervasive in urban life, and have the potential to engender a sense of connection to – or disconnection from – ourselves, other people, and the locales we inhabit.
This symposium will explore the ways in which urban futures, technology and embodiment collide and interconnect in the era of the "Four Dimensional Human" (Scott 2015), and the resulting impacts on how we communicate, interact, tell stories, share, produce, repurpose and re-mediate knowledge. Technology applications and devices, including those deploying Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), are reinventing our relationships to place, time and one another, and to code cities into virtual worlds of social/play. What are the implications for our sense of belonging and connectedness? What possibilities does this offer for imagining and creating new realities? What are the dark sides of this new interconnectivity?
This symposium aims to:
- provide an opportunity to revisit current developments and future trends of digital technologies
- seed debate about these technologies' potential, constraints and challenges
- showcase projects that incorporate the latest AR and VR technologies
- explore future possibilities.
Performance artist Stelarc will be keynote at the event. Stelarc is a Distinguished Research Fellow, School of Design and Art at Curtin University. He has probed, amplified and augmented his body, performed with a Third Hand, an Extended Arm, two 6-legged walking robots and has surgically constructed an ear on his arm that will be internet enabled. He has presented, exhibited and performed in Australia, Japan, China, Europe, Canada, the USA, Mexico and South America. In 1996 he was appointed Honorary Professor of Art and Robotics at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh and in 2002 Monash University awarded him an Honorary Doctorate of Laws. In 2010, he was awarded the Arts Electronica Hybrid Arts Prize. In 2014, he initiated and was the Director of the Alternate Anatomies Lab. In 2015, he received the Australia Council's Emerging and Experimental Arts Award. In 2016, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Ionian University, Corfu. His artwork is represented by the Scott Livesey Galleries, Melbourne.
PLENARY SESSION: Debates, Intersections and Approaches in Urban Technologies
This session aims to provide a platform for an interdisciplinary and robust discussion on the evolution, diversification and future possibilities of technology – conceptually, methodologically, theoretically and practically. We have invited a mix of scholars and practitioners, from the academy, government and business, to provide a critical introduction to our Plenary and to fire up a rich meeting of debates and perspectives. Each speaker of this session has been invited to respond to the following key questions:
1) What are the benefits and pitfalls of using VR and AR in urban settings?
2) Are VR and AR revolutionary or redundant? How will they evolve and what will replace them in the future?
3) What kinds of projects would you like to see people collaborating on and how?
4) What forms of research do you think are necessary to better understand these technologies?
We invite scholars, entrepreneurs, inventors, technologists, artists, performers, practitioners, people from industry and government – and anyone else interested in the relationship of technology to urban identity, belonging and connectedness – to attend this one-day symposium on Friday 17 February 2017 or participate through the following presentation forms:
- 7-minute oral presentations
- Research papers and panel presentations
- Exhibitions or performances of networked technologies including mobile, VR and AR
- Poster sessions
Participants can submit proposals addressing any one of the themes listed here.
Full papers will also be published on the Connect/Disconnect website. Submission and peer review details will follow soon.
Abstracts are due 19 December 2016.
The submission deadline for full papers is 15 February 2017.