Monday, 9 July 2007

Unbiquitous Media: Asian Transformations conference at u-Tokyo

A dancer triggering real time 'visualisation' geometric transformations on screen. A preview of the new work to be shown at SIGGRAPH this year: Geomotion Dance by Yoichiro Kawaguchi, Tokyo University

This weekend the University of Tokyo (Hongo campus) Graduate Schoola of Arts and Sciences will host the 4-day Unbiquitous Media: Asian Transformations conference. Jo-san and I will attend.

It features the interesting and famed speakers: Friedrich Kittler (media theorist from Humboldt University, Berlin), Shigehiko Hasumi (former president of the University of Tokyo and world renowned film critic), Bernard Stiegler (cultural development director at the Centre Georges-Pompidou, philosopher), Barbara Maria Stafford (University of Chicago, Art History), Rem Koolhaas (Dutch architect, architectural theorist, urbanist), Akira Asada (Kyoto University - arts, media, architecture and philosophy), Mark B.N. Hansen (University of Chicago, author of "Embodying Technesis: Technology Beyond Writing" (Michigan 2000), "New Philosophy for New Media" (MIT 2004) & "Bodies in Code"), Katherine Hayles (Design/Media Arts at the UCLA, author of "How We Became Post-human", "Writing Machines" & "My Mother Was a Computer: Digital Subjects and Literary Texts"), Ken Sakamura (Ubiquitous Computing, author of "Ubiquitous Computing Revolution" & "Global standard and National Strategy").

Shigehiko Hasumi and Friedrich Kittler

A character in the Tokyo University students' exhibition, dog outfit

Tokyo University students' exhibition, dog outfit, snake no.4, 3D artwork was presented by Sachiko Kodama, University of Electro-Communications, magnetised fluid art project using liquid dynamics, The Morpho Tower Series and Yoshihisa Abe, CG Arts Society (pictured), Katherine Hayles presentation on positive as well as obvious negative surveillance effects of ubiquitous RFID tags

Some highlights included Christine Ivanovic on the acoustic casing, acoustic mapping, bodily experience of sound and individuality affected by the walkman phenomenon; Adrian Favell on Neo-Tokyo and J-Cool; Erez Goloni Solomon exploring the city through digital story-telling + pathway creation in public space, the wearable media session though more concerned with social and cultural affect than technological developments, Katherine Hayles' presentation on reality mining, RFID tags and real fears about infinite data; and Barbara Maria Stafford on the disappearance of selective attention in cognitive (brain) science addressing the gulf between humanities and sciences, the inclusion of the chemical brain, the conscious vs. selective attention, the capacity to make inferences and associations, auto-poesis of isolating ubiquitous and mobile media, emphasis on autonomy, asking what are our inducements to explore outside, the public realm? In her view words are bodily gestures and the critical concern is autopoesis vs. heteronomy with ubiquitous, filtering media; connecting with Stiegler's new forthcoming book on the colonisation of attention; and Bernard Stiegler himself from Pompidou Paris.

Ebi / 'prawn' fillet burger at the family restaurant - surprisingly tasty (with QR code so you can use your mobile phone to look up its nutritional information)