Those of you who participated in the April session on locative media might
find this of interest.
Announcement and CFP
PERVASIVE AND LOCATIVE ARTS NETWORK (PLAN)
A new international and interdisciplinary research network in pervasive
media and locative media has been funded as part of the Engineering and
Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Culture & Creativity programme.
The network will bring together practicing artists, technology developers
and ethnographers with the aim of advancing interdisciplinary understanding
and building consortia for future collaborative projects.
The network will stage three major gatherings. Each gathering will have a
distinct form and focus: an initial workshop to launch the network and
assess the state of the art; a technology summer camp for artists and
technologists, including hands-on prototyping sessions using the facilities
at Nottingham’s Mixed reality Laboratory; and a major public conference and
participatory exhibition as a central component of the Futuresonic 2006
festival in Manchester; as well as a supporting web site and other resources.
CALL FOR PROPOSALS - PLAN Workshop
Submissions are invited to the first of these events, a two day public
workshop with papers, demos and discussion sessions. The aim of the event
is to launch the network, review the state of the art, bring key players in
the field together, and make initial contacts. The event will also aim to
identify a range of specific interests that can lead to the formation of
sub-groups within the network. Position papers and a summary report will
subsequently be published on the network web site.
The workshop will take place in London over two days in the week beginning
24th January 2005. Venue and final dates announced soon.
Please send submissions to [log in to unmask] by Monday 8th November.
We request that participants seek support for travel and subsistence from
their institutions. For participants without institutional affiliation the
network shall support applications to funding councils and foundations,
please contact us for further details.
Pervasive and Locative Arts Network (PLAN) - Enhancing Mobile and Wireless
Technologies for Culture and Creativity
This network will draw together computer scientists and engineers who are
leading the field in developing pervasive and locative technologies;
artists who are using these technologies to create and publicly deploy
innovative and provocative experiences; social scientists with a proven
track record of studying interactive installations and performances;
industrial partners from the creative industries, spanning the arts,
television, games, education, heritage, mobile computing and
telecommunications sectors; and international partners who are coordinating
parallel networks around the world.
The network aims to support the formation of a new interdisciplinary
research community to investigate how the convergent fields of pervasive
media and locative media need to evolve in order to support future cultural
and creative activities. Specific network objectives are:
-To review the scope of the research that is currently being carried out in
these fields through a focused workshop, leading to an integrated ‘state of
the art’ survey paper.
-To identify the key research issues that need to be addressed in order to
further develop pervasive and locative media to support culture and
creativity, leading to a series of discussion ‘white papers’.
-To seed future projects by bringing artists, scientists and industry
together in a creative environment so that they can generate and
practically explore new ideas, and also to provide a forum for publicly
demonstrating some of these.
-To produce online and offline resources to support researchers, artists,
industry and to promote public understanding of this emerging field,
including a public website, an online document repository for members and a
newsletter and DVD.
The network will organise and support a range of activities aimed at
growing a research community and generating new collaborative projects
between artists and technologists. These will include staging three major
research gatherings, producing online and offline resources for fellow
researchers and PhD students, and outreach activities targeted at industry.
We will stage three major gatherings. Each gathering will have a distinct
form and focus: an initial workshop to launch the network and assess the
state of the art; a technology summer camp for artists and technologist,
especially PhD students, including hands-on prototyping sessions using the
facilities at Nottingham’s Mixed reality Laboratory; and a major public
conference and participatory exhibition as a central component of the
Futuresonic 2006 festival in Manchester. These major gatherings will be
interspersed with more ad-hoc steering and reflection meetings as required
by the network participants.
We will produce resources to publicise the network, encourage the exchange
of perspectives and discussion, and to provide tutorial support for PhD
students, artists and other researchers who wish to break into this area.
These will include:
-Online resources: a public website providing access to network information
including project deliverables as well as news of forthcoming calls for
proposals and conferences, supported by a online document repository where
members can upload documents and take part in discussion. The latter will
be realised using BSCW or Project Place software.
-Offline resources: a six monthly printed newsletter and a DVD of video
The network will reach out to other researchers beyond the initial partners
and also to the creative industries. This will include distribution of the
newsletter and also staging a series of industry seminars, for example as
part of the DTI/EPSRC Outreach programme. The network research associate
will also carry out a series of site visits to different partners and
potential partners in order to learn more about and report on ongoing
BACKGROUND IN SCIENCE AND CULTURE
A new generation of pervasive technologies is enabling people to break away
from traditional desktop PCs and games consoles and experience interactive
media that are directly embedded into the world around them. And locative
media, the combination of mobile devices with locative technologies,
supports experiences and social interaction that respond to a participant’s
physical location and context. Together these convergent fields raise
possibilities for new cultural experiences in areas as diverse as
performance, installations, games, tourism, heritage, marketing and education.
A community of researchers working in pervasive media, also known as
ubiquitous computing, are exploring location awareness as a requirement for
the delivery of accurate contextual information. Another community,
primarily consisting of informal networks of technical innovators and
cultural producers, which identifies its field as Locative Media, is
exploring developments in and applications of locative technologies within
social and creative contexts. One of the aims of this network is to bring
these two communities together, linking academic research initiatives and
agendas to key figures and ground breaking developments that are currently
taking place outside mainstream academia.
The creative industries are also beginning to take up these opportunities,
led by artists who are actively charting out the potentials and boundaries
of the new pervasive and locative media. Other cultural sectors have also
been exploring the potential of pervasive and locative media including the
games industry through commercial examples of locative games played on
mobile phones such as Bot Fighters and Battle Machine and also research
projects such as ARQuake, Mindwarping, Pirates! and Border Guards.
Researchers have also demonstrated applications in heritage and tourism,
for example personal tourist guides and outdoors augmented reality displays
and as well as in mobile learning experiences and participatory local
history mapping projects.
A key characteristic of this research is its interdisciplinary nature, with
many of these projects combining practicing artists, technology developers
and also ethnographers, whose studies of early experiences that are
actually delivered as public artworks have yielded new insights into the
ways in which participants experience pervasive media, for example how they
(and performers and technical crew) deal with uncertainty of location and
connection, and, conversely, new metaphors for engaging in locative media.
However, realising the full potential of pervasive and locative media
requires several further developments. First, it is necessary to expand the
research community, drawing in new academic partners and also a greater
range of partners from the creative industries. Second, it is important to
deepen the interdisciplinary relationships between artists, technology
developers and social scientists working within and between these two
convergent fields. This is not only a matter of reflecting on this
relationship, it is also necessary to pursue it in practice, which means
forming new collaborations leading to practical projects. Third, we need to
clarify and deepen the research agenda for this area, by opening up a
variety of research questions, including:
-To what extent does the convergence of pervasive media and locative media
signify a commonality of views, definitions and issues in each field?
-What new kinds of cultural applications will become possible through
pervasive and locative media? Can we envisage new installations,
performances, games and other public experiences?
-Can common design frameworks and tactics help create powerful user
experiences? Can we identify and share design guidelines and generate
useful abstractions, for example building on recent proposals for
deliberately exploiting uncertainty and ambiguity
-What tools are required by creative users, for example that enable them to
easily (re)configure an experience to work in different locations or to
orchestrate it from behind the scenes. What new research challenges do
these embody, for example, how do we visualise the state of the technical
infrastructure – networks and sensors – or intervene in participants’
-What methods do researchers use to design and evaluate their experiences?
We already see the use of ethnographic studies, audience discussions and
even analysis of system logs; how should these be extended and can we share
approaches, tools and even datasets to enhance our understanding of
experience and design?
These questions, combined with the need to build a broader
inter-disciplinary research community, provide the underlying motivations
for this network.
Steve Benford, Nottingham (Principle Investigator)
Drew Hemment, Salford
Henk Muller, Bristol
Matthew Chalmers, Glasgow
Michael Sharples, Birmingham
Geraldine Fitzpatrick, Sussex
Christian Heath, Kings College
Jon Hindmarsh, Kings College
Ben Russell, Headmap/Locative Media Lab
Marc Tuters, Locative Media Lab
Dennis Del Favero, NSW iCinema
Steve Sayers, NESTA
Toby Barnes, EM Media
Richard Hull, HP Labs
Denny Plowman, City of Nottingham Council
Sara Diamond, Banff Centre
Andrew Caleya Chetty, Metapod
Amanda Oldroyd, BT Exact
Matt Adams, Blast Theory
Nick Southgate, Ricochet TV
Annika Waern, iPerG
Giles Lane, Proboscis
Minna Tarkka, m-cult
Carsten Sorensen, LSE
Angharad Thomas, Salford
Chris Byrne, New Media Scotland
Paul Sermon, Salford
Nina Wakeford, INCITE, Surrey