NMC Conversations #3
[download MP3] 14.7 Mb 21:20
Live from Indianapolis, Alan, Larry and Rachel invite special guest Darrell Bailey, Executive Associate Dean, Informatics at IUPUI to have a conversation about the 2007 NMC Summer Conference which starts here tomorrow.
In this podcast, Darrell shares his excitement about bringing the conference to his campus. We chat about the keynote sessions, featured sessions, the Five Minutes of Fame, poster sessions, some special awards that are being given out, special activities like the opening reception, the visit to the Eiteljorg Museum, IUPUI campus tours (see the Lambda rail, the hub for Internet 2!), the Friday night jam session. We have a number of events you can participate in remotely via Second Life, and Darrell shares the the keynotes can be seen on the Research Channel network. Look to the NMC web site for links as well to watch the keynotes live via streaming video. And see the web 2.0 content we are wrapping around conference events.
Read on for a transcript from this conversation…
Alan Levine (AL): Hello. This is Alan Levine, and welcome back to another episode of NMC Conversations. We are coming to you live this time from Indianapolis, where we are getting ready for the 2007 NMC Summer Conference, which is just going to be a fantastic conference. We took advantage of having both Larry and Rachel here, as well as a special guest, to help kind of frame the conference for you and tell you what is coming up. So, first of all, I would like to introduce you to Darrell Bailey, who is our official host. Darrell is the Executive Associate Dean for the School of Informatics here at IUPUI. Why donâ€™t you say hello to the audience, Darrell.
Darrell Bailey (DB): Thank you, Alan. It is wonderful to have the New Media Consortium here in Indianapolis. We have worked for two years in terms of planning and bringing this conference to Indianapolis. Our program here in Indianapolis, the New Media program, was actually founded in 1998, and then in 2000 we founded the School of Informatics. We think that having this combination of technology, expertise, and the facilities we have here in Indianapolis, is really going to make for a wonderful conference for all the attendees. My background is actually in music. I did a degree in music performance, and organ performance, and conducting, and further work in computer music technology when I was finishing my doctorate at the University of Illinois. Through the years, I have moved to new media, to informatics, to looking at the arts, sciences, and humanities, and the implications of technology in moving and advancing these disciplines ahead. Again, it is just wonderful to be able to speak with you, and to have everyone here in Indianapolis for the 2007 New Media Consortium conference.
Rachel Smith (RS): Thank you.
Larry Johnson (LJ): Yes. It is wonderful to be here, and to have you host this. I remember the first time I went to your office, Darrell, and you had that wonderful grand piano in there. I am hoping that there will be a time when we get to hear you play while we are here.
AL: I think it will be time for the jam session.
LJ: Yes, thatâ€™s right. Weâ€™ll get him to show us a little keyboard action.
AL: Larry, why donâ€™t you tell us a little bit about some of the great keynotes we have coming up.
LJ: Well, I tell you what, there is a lot of exciting news on the conference front. It looks like we are going to set attendance records at this conference, and I think one of the reasons is the outstanding slate of keynoters we have. Kicking off the conference, on Thursday morning, is Ted Castronova. A lot of you know that Ted wrote a book called Synthetic Worlds, The Business and Culture of Online Games. He studies online worlds, online environments, where thousands, or even millions, of users share a persistent, fabricated geographic space at the same time; spaces like Second Life. Of course, our audience knows that the NMC is very much focused on that, and as Ted and I were talking about the audience and what he might talk about, he was very interested in the kinds of things that NMC is doing with Second Life. In his view, there is a lot more to these worlds than just mere entertainment. They are a fantastical alternative to ordinary life. He has a fascinating perspective on all of this, and, of course, his work is very, very highly regarded. So we will open the conference with those amazing remarks, I think, and I am really looking forward to that. Ted is going to just drive up from Bloomington. He is down at the University of Indiana down there. Then, at the end of the conference, a keynoter that is very special to me, Kristina Woolsey, a dear friend, a long, long, term member of the NMC Board of Directors, is returning to the podium for the second time at an NMC conference, to talk about New Media Means New Choices. Kristina was trained as a cognitive psychologist, as I think most everybody knows. Her special interest is in visual and spatial learning, and she has extended her expertise and experience over the years into the areas of technology and design, and I know she is going to have some very interesting comments for us as she looks forward to where all of this is going. Weâ€™ve got quite the slate of keynoters, I think. A very special session that we are going to have has been set up by the Apple folks, and it is going to be at noon on Thursday. We are going to have Scott Pagano do a presentation on motion design and process. Scott is going to be talking the convergence of production and workflow for video, web, and print, and how all of that is coming together in the design process. The interesting thing about Scott is that in his spare time he is a video disc jockey, so he is going to use video disc jockey techniques to do his presentation. I think it is going to be way fun.
LJ: So, youâ€™ll want to be there for lunch.
AL: That is quite a slate. We also have some special feature sessions going on, with two colleagues that I know through Second Life. On Thursday, Angela Thomas is coming to Indianapolis all the way from Sydney, Australia. She has set up a session on Pleasure Play, Participation, and Promise. Iâ€™m not sure I could say that four times, but I got it right. I have never met Angela, so I am really looking forward to the in-person version. I know her in Second Life, and I am looking forward to this session quite a bit.
LJ: Her work in Australia is very highly regarded. She has been Australian TV many, many times. She was recently featured in an article in the Australian edition of Vogue magazine.
LJ: I think any gal would love to be in Vogue, and she certainlyâ€¦ she lists that higher than any of her professional ones.
AL: I think I ought to get her autograph then.
LJ: I got a copy of the cover, and of course Vogue always has a beautiful model on the cover. I was showing it to my wife and she says â€œIs that Angela?â€ Angela is even prettier.
AL: That is very cool. There is a lot of excellent work going on in Australia with Second Life. They are really taking off with it. We look forward to hearing her perspective. Then on Friday, weâ€™ve got Cynthia Calongne from the Colorado Technical University, who is going to be presenting a view from Second Lifeâ€™s trenches, Are You a Pioneer or a Settler? Cynthia did a presentation for us at the regional conference at Trinity, and she is just amazing the way she works an audience. She is so engaging, an amazing person, and she just kind of lights up a room with her presentation. I know her, I met her once in real life, and in Second Life as Lyr Lobo, and she is quite a person in both lives. So, some great sessions going on. And then, I know we have some of our traditional ones which are always quite a bit of fun. Weâ€™ve got our Center of Excellence Awards and our Five Minutes of Fame. What is going on there, Rachel?
RS: Well, the Center of Excellence Awards and the Five Minutes of Fame is a general session that we do every year, as you know. It is a chance for NMC members to really shine and show their stuff for the rest of the NMC community. The Center of Excellence Awards is the highest award that the NMC gives to its member institutions, and we will be awardingâ€¦
LJ: Three this year.
RS: Three this year.
LJ: We canâ€™t tell you who they are. Youâ€™ll have come to the session on Thursday.
RS: Thatâ€™s right, thatâ€™s a secret. Then the Five Minutes of Fame is an eventâ€¦ has that happened at every NMC conference?
LJ: As far as I know, that goes all the way back to the beginning.
RS: All the way back to the beginning. That is a fabulous session if you have never seen one, because the people who are doing it are showcasing what they have done at their institutions, but they only have five minutes to do it. They get up there and show these fabulous multi-media demonstrations of things that are going on in the member campuses. It is really fun to watch, and if they go longer than five minutes they get gonged off the stage, which is also really fun to watch.
LJ: You learn about a lot of really cool projects.
RS: It is just a fabulous session, and you see all the neat things that are being done.
LJ: There is really some phenomenal work out there.
RS: We have some incredibly creative members.
AL: They kind of condense the whole presentation down to just the bare, exciting messages.
RS: Thatâ€™s right; just the most important things in just five minutes. And then, I also wanted to mention the Poster sessions, because this year is the third year that we are doing posters and we got a huge number of poster submissions. We have 22, I think, posters that are going to be shown in the showcase. This year we encouraged people to be especially creative, and I donâ€™t want to give anything away, but there are some posters that will not be mounted on paper. So definitely donâ€™t miss that.
LJ: You know the Poster sessions, Darrell, are something that has come out of our work in our new scholarship initiative. There is another piece of the conference that is added this year that is directly a result of interacting with some of the faculty on your staff, and that is that, for the first time, we are going to have proceedings this year.
LJ: That would be in response to Edgar Huangâ€™s request about that.
RS: Actually, I am glad you mentioned that. There are two things that we do at the conference, both the proceedings and also the posters, that are peer reviewed, and one section, or one part, of the peer reviewing is done by the actual attendees. The attendees have a chance to vote for the posters that they feel are the best, and attendees will actually be selecting the papers that will appear in the proceedings.
DB: I think that for faculty members this is very, very important, and itâ€™s really terrific to see this initiative having developed. I believe that we will continue to attract, and indeed probably increase, the interest of faculty members in New Media. As we all know, New Media is an emerging field. It is dynamic. It is changing. We donâ€™t have a history of centuries, if you will, that other disciplines have. So, in many ways, having this process, in terms of proceedings and peer review, to initiative in place, is really going to be helpful for the profession.
LJ: That is our hope, and it plays into our whole idea of user generated content that weâ€™ve got some news for you about, too. Weâ€™ve got some kind of fun special events going on at the conference. We are going to be at the Eiteljorg Museum, Darrell, and then weâ€™ve got a nice open house at Informatics. Why donâ€™t you tell us what is in store.
DB: Well, weâ€™re really excited about the opening reception at the Eiteljorg Museum. Itâ€™s a wonderful museum here in Indianapolis Southwestern Art. A wonderful, wonderful collection. A beautiful new facility that has recently been added to. Itâ€™s actually opening onto the canal. We have the Steve Allee Band that is going to perform for us. It is just a wonderful setting. I think everyone will enjoy being both inside the museum and on the wonderful terrace opening onto the canal, which is a real centerpiece for Indianapolis.
AL: I took a walk over there yesterday, and itâ€™s just a fabulous view and environment.
RS: Oh, nice.
LJ: Well, and weâ€™ve got another tradition that is unfolding. Last year we had that remarkable jam session on Thursday night at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and we are going to reprise that here in Indianapolis, with a jam session on Friday this time. Everybody is looking forward to it. We hadâ€¦ how many musicians that have signed up so far?
AL: I donâ€™t know, but the Wiki page is spilling over. I am hoping we get a reprise from Johnny Cash.
LJ: I have been in contact with his spirit representative.
AL: Channeling Johnny Cash.
LJ: Of course we are talking about Tim Svenonius from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, a remarkable singer who gave a performance last year that was just amazing.
RS: It just blew us away.
AL: He actually got me hooked on Johnny Cash, because I wasnâ€™t much into his music until I heard that.
LJ: Well, Johnny Cash was a remarkable performer. That reminds me that we are going to be honoring some remarkable people ourselves at this conference. Weâ€™ve got a special honor that you guys are doing for one of your colleagues. Why donâ€™t you tell us a little about that?
DB: Yes. We are really thrilled to be able to honor Jurgen Friedrich, a professor from the University of Bremen in Germany. Jurgen has been a very close collaborator in our international partnerships for many years. We have had, each semester, students from the undergraduate and graduate programs at the University of Bremen. Jurgen was responsible for establishing, formally establishing, media informatics in Western Europe. His work is certainly noteworthy. He has been a really, really terrific individual to work with in the computer science department of the University of Bremen. Weâ€™re happy to be able to award him, and honor him this year, as the first recipient of the School of Informatics Atlas Award, which celebrates international engagement and international contributions to informatics and, certainly in Jurgenâ€™s case, to media informatics. The other thing that I did want to mention; at our reception in the informatics building on Friday evening, we are going to have a tour of the Network Operations Center of Internet2, which is the high-performance hub of high-performance networking.
LJ: Oh, the Abilene Network.
DB: Yes, the Abilene Network and National LambdaRail.
LJ: 400 gigabits?
DB: Yes, it has incredible speed.
AL: Do we get to put our hands on the rail?
DB: Weâ€™re going to do a tour.
AL: Iâ€™m signed up for that one.
DB: We have a large center, our Advanced CyberInfrastructure Facility, and we are going to tour that. We have Mass Data Storage, Big Red, which is the 23rd largest supercomputer in the world, and the largest of any US public university. Weâ€™ll do a tour of that. Weâ€™ll have tours of the 3D work that we do in the auditorium, 3D stereoscopic work, and two really interesting events. We have an artwork called the Strandbeest. What this is is a sculpture that actually walks. Theo Jansen from Sweden, the Sweden and Denmark area, is the person who invented and built this, and that should be fascinating. Also, we have the School of Engineering and Technologies race car that will be on display.
RS: Cat, the car is called Cat.
LJ: So, a race car. Not many universities have their own race car.
DB: Not many.
LJ: Itâ€™s true, but being here in Indy, that makes sense.
AL: Thatâ€™s very cool. We have some awards, too. Right, Larry?
LJ: Thatâ€™s right. Weâ€™re going to be honoring Kristina Woolsey, also a real pioneer in our field. Kristina Woolsey was with Atari and Apple. She ran a media lab in San Francisco, a place where, literally, most of the things we take for granted as commonplace today, the fact that video plays on computers, and music, and all those types of things, were developed there. Kristina has influenced this field in so many ways, and so we are honoring her this year with the NMC Fellow Award. It is only the third time this award has ever been offered. It is not offered every year, and I canâ€™t think of anyone who is more deserving of it than Kristina. She is just a brilliant force for good in our field.
AL: Thatâ€™s great. You know, we have talked about all of these wonderful special things, but letâ€™s not forget that the conference is just jammed full of many exciting concurrent sessions. So many that people are going to be really psychologically torn about where they are going to go.
LJ: Something like 90 sessions, I think.
AL: Yes. So itâ€™s really outstanding. And then, the last thing that I want to mention are some things I have been involved with were trying to connect a number of these events into Second Life, so we has some remote participation for people who arenâ€™t at the conference. The two keynotes; the video will be streamed with some help from Darrellâ€™s staff, and a number of other events. Weâ€™ll be doing some live audio streams. Most excitingly, youâ€™ll get the chance to meet these people in Second Life that you only get to know by their avatars. You can play this game of â€œYou really donâ€™t look like your avatar.â€ Everybody who registered had the option to put their Second Life avatar name on their badge. It will be interesting to see how people meet up. Also, through the conference, weâ€™ll be exploring some new web technologies of tagging things. Hopefully, people will be Twittering in the sessions and aggregating information.
LJ: That new tool, Attendr, I thought was pretty slick.
AL: Yes. That was just kind of an accident that I found from some other conference site, where we sent this link to people who were registered and they could put on a Google map their geographic location, and they could describe themselves in tags and who else they know. The last time I checked, we had over 150 people who had put little pins on the map. Itâ€™s kind of interesting the way they can sort of use this technology to make new connections. Joan Freedman told me she saw some people that she made some connections with through common interest, and she is looking forward to seeking them out at the conference.
AL: Yes. We ask everybody to tag their conference photos that they are taking here with â€œnmc2007,â€ and I am making a blog about the same thing. It is a really easy way for people who are putting content online to be able toâ€¦ we can sort of aggregate it all together and almost see it unfold in real time. The last two conferences we have done that and we have had probably 400-500 photos posted with Flickr.
LJ: Some amazing photographers among these groups.
AL: Absolutely. Thatâ€™s really exciting. People can also tag websites using Del.icio.us if they upload their Power Points to Slideshare, another nice Web 2.0 site. They can tag it there. We will be doing a â€œpeople taggingâ€ activity.
RS: Thatâ€™s right.
AL: That is a lot of fun in person. There is a whole lot going on in the next couple days, and we are just so excited, Darrell, that you were able to join us today.
LJ: Darrell has just passed me a note that there is somebody else that we ought to mention, so go ahead.
DB: Weâ€™re really pleased that we will be able to provide the keynote lectures through the Research Channel.
LJ: Oh, thatâ€™s very exciting. I didnâ€™t know about that.
DB: This is the group from the University of Washington. It broadcasts to some 20 million households through cable and educational television, webcasts, internet, and other modes of delivery. They have been a close partner of the Internet2 community for many, many years. I am really happy to have them on board as a partner as we move ahead and continue to extend the reach of the New Media Consortium and its presenters to as broad as possible an audience as we can.
LJ: I tell you, itâ€™s awfully exciting to finally be here in Indianapolis. We have been planning this for so long.
AL: Absolutely. And to think of that, we have a record attendance, weâ€™ll have people participating as keynotes from Second Life, and now this huger audience on the Research Channel. Itâ€™s quite a nice reach.
RS: Very exciting.
AL: Thanks, everybody, for joining us for another NMC Conversations. We hope to maybe capture one or two more from some other people we meet up here at the conference. So, stay tuned. See you next time.
LJ: Thank you, Darrell.
DB: Thank you, Larry.
LJ: Bye everybody.