An RMIT researcher has taken images of Barcelona in the 1960s and 1970s and transformed them into interactive viewing experiences at a recent global conference on technology and creativity.
The creative play on photography was part of an RMIT workshop at Sonar+D in Barcelona, an international forum highlighting the digital transformation of cultural industries.
The sold-out workshop was coordinated by RMIT Europe, the University’s European hub, and was run by games expert and researcher Jussi Holopainen.
Holopainen, from RMIT’s School of Media and Communication, provided participants with black and white photos of Barcelona in the 1960s and 1970s with the aim for them to be creatively re-set in the form of interactive experiences.
“We sourced the photographic materials for the workshop from the digital archives of local organisations,” Holopainen said.
It involved a collaboration with Arxiu Fotogràfic de Barcelona, Centre d'Estudis i Documentació, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Fundació Miserachs as well as Fundació Foto Colectania.
At the workshop, participants were asked to take a printed black and white photo and apply to it a Playful Experience (PLEX) Card.
“These are cards that help to foster brainstorming and idea generation, using themes such as competition, nurture, exploration, fantasy and expression as prompts,” Holopainen said.
“The idea was for participants to think of ways these historical photos could be brought to life through different in-person user experiences at a museum or at an online interactive museum.”
Six concepts were developed and presented using the PLEX cards, a technique that has also been employed in other contexts, from novel mobile phone interaction techniques through to approaches to health care.
Holopainen's workshop at Sonar+D was the second time RMIT had participated at the event.
Last year, RMIT designer and artist Dr Jonathan Duckworth presented the Resonance Table, a prototype of an interactive audio visual project that can be used in the rehabilitation of people with acquired brain injury.
As part of this year's event, Duckworth was a member of the judging panel for Sonar+D's start-up competition that saw over 300 entries.
This year RMIT Europe also facilitated a presentation by Kate Crawford, Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, on surveillance, art and data ethics.
Story: Karen Matthews