Friday, August 17, 2007

Transgressing the Frontier Film Issue Announcement - Call for Papers

Transgressing the Frontier Film Issue Announcement
Call for Papers
Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture

Reconstruction is proud to announce the publication of its Vol. 7, No. 3 (2007) themed issue,
"Transgressing the Frontier: Modernity, American Ideology, and Cinema,"
which can be found at

Featured in the issue:

Martin Flanagan,
"Re-Making Time: Chronotopes of the West in Lone Star (1996) and The Searchers (1956)"

Tyler Lorey Adams,
"The Geography of Frontier"

Deborah Shaw,
"Robert Rodriguez's Mexicans in Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)"

Mike Taormina,
"Breaking Bonds in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) and Fight Club (1999)"

Todd Comer,
"Pacifism as Ideological Complicity in The Big Lebowski (1998)"

Markus Rheindorf,
"The Line Must be Drawn Here: The Body as the Final Frontier in Science Fiction Films of the 1990s"

Anthony Enns,
"A Name in Search of a Disease: Illness and Identity in Todd Haynes' Safe (1995)"

Marc Ouellette,
"'Everybody Else Ain't Your Father': Reproducing Masculinity in Cinematic Sports, 1975-2000"

Cheryl Greene,
"S for Scopic: Wellesian Myths of the Border and White Female Beauty"

Zach Saltz,
"A History Without Lightning: African American Image in Early Cinema, 1895-1915"

Reconstruction is now accepting submissions for the following upcoming themed issues:

- Class, Culture and Public Intellectuals (reviews only, ASAP)
- Visualization and Narrative (deadline December 15, 2007)
- Fieldwork and Interdisciplinary Research (deadline October 31, 2007)

For individual CFP requirements and guest editor contact information, please check our "Upcoming Issues" page at

Reconstruction is also accepting submissions for upcoming Open Issues.
The next Open Issue is scheduled for publication in Fall 2007. Please consult our Submission Guidelines found at

Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture (ISSN: 1547-4348) is an innovative cultural studies journal dedicated to fostering an intellectual community composed of scholars and their audience, granting them all the ability to share thoughts and opinions on the most important and influential work in contemporary interdisciplinary studies. Reconstruction publishes one open issue and three themed issues quarterly.

Reconstruction is indexed in the MLA International Bibliography.

All submissions and submission queries should be written care of


Second international conference on Image Science in Goettweig
April 24th - 26th 2008

The DEPARTMENT FOR IMAGE SCIENCE (DIS) at DANUBE UNIVERSITY is pleased to announce the second international Goettweig conference on Image Science.

Never before has the world of images changed so fast, have we been exposed to so many different image forms and never before has the way images are produced transformed so drastically. Images are advancing into new domains: Television became a global zapping field of thousands of channels; projection screens enter our cities, and cell phones transmit micromovies in real time. We are witnessing the rise of the image into a virtual spatial image. Science, politics and entertainment profit from new dimensions in the creation of images and their emotive effects. Since the 60s, the arts and sciences are connected through the fundamental research that media art undertakes, a research whose roots lie in partially unknown traditions.

A multitude of new possibilities in producing, projecting and distributing individual images has led to the formation of new image genres. The spiral movement of image history from innovation, understanding and iconoclasm results in the 21st Century in a global interweaving. These major transformations have hit society to a large extent unprepared and as we gradually start to recognize the demand to address the current knowledge explosion appropriately, we face the challenge to expand our forms of visualization, our “orders and systems of visibility”, and to reflect critically and scientifically on them.

While our written culture has produced a differentiated and dedicated paedagogy, our society still lacks a conscious education concerning images - up to a degree that we can speak of visual illiteracy.

A central problem of current cultural policy, aside from poor knowledge on image procedures, stems from serious lack of knowledge about the origins of the audiovisual media. This stands in complete contradistinction to current demands for more media and image competence. The conference therefore explores the thinking space and the utopias, which were initiated by artists again and again - now on the expanded terrain of image science - and searches for the inspirations these new worlds receive from the arts. What influence does the medium have on the iconic character of the image? What chances and challenges do museums and image dealers face with the “liquidity” of the image?

The interdisciplinary conference aims to step up to the challenge of building a “visual inventory”. One goal of the conference therefore is to build cross disciplinary exchange between the Humanities AND the Natural Sciences.

PROPOSALS are welcome to the following topics and fields:

(New visualization techniques in Nano-, Bio-, Neurosciences, Architecture, Photography, Digital Collections Management, etc.)

(in the Arts, Sciences and Humanities, Politics, Advertising, Comics, Diagrams & Models, Visual Music, etc.)

(Global economy, Tagging, Micromovies, Flickr, Second Life, You Tube, Google Earth etc.)

DEADLINE PROPOSALS : October 21st 2007
Conference Languages: German/English.

One-page abstract or complete paper must be submitted by email. Upon acceptance, complete papers must be submitted by March 21, 2008 as PDF to All rights will remain with the author. Papers will be selected for presentations. Proposals for panel discussions are encouraged and individual papers may be grouped by the Department for Image Science in panel discussion format. Panel proposals should include names of prospective panelists and topics, which should address the general themes of the symposium.

The DEPARTMENT FOR IMAGE SCIENCE is situated near Vienna in the UNESCO World Heritage Wachau, in the Goettweig Monastery. The DIS is housed in part of the fourteenth century castle. It is the platform for the international projects: Database of Virtual Art, Goettweig Database of the Graphic Print Collection,


* DIS * * *

Carl, AIGNER (St. Pölten), Roy ASCOTT (Plymouth), Sean CUBITT (Melbourne), Brigitte FELDERER (Wien), Felice FRANKEL (Boston), Beryl GRAHAM (Newcastle), Erkki HUHTAMO (Los Angeles), Douglas KAHN (Davis/California), Martin KEMP (Oxford), Harald KRÄMER (Bern), Machiko KUSAHARA (Tokyo), Jorge LAFERLA (Buenos Aires), Timothy LENIOR (Duke), Gunalan NADARAJAN (Penn State), Christiane PAUL (New York), Götz POCHAT (Graz), Martin ROTH (Dresden), Wolf SINGER (Frankfurt), Christa SOMMERER (Linz), Paul THOMAS (Western Australia), Wolfgang WELSCH (Jena), STEVE WILSON (San Francisco)

* * *

Gaming Remains the Most Popular Online Entertainment Activity

Playing games is still a more popular online activity in the U.S. than watching short video clips or visiting social networking websites, according to Casual Gaming Market Update, a new report from Parks Associates. Thirty-four percent of U.S. adult Internet users play online games on a weekly basis, compared with 29% who watch short online videos and 19% who visit social networking sites with the same frequency.

“Despite the growing popularity of YouTube, MySpace, and Facebook, gaming remains the king of online entertainment, driven largely by casual gaming activities,” said James Kuai, a research analyst at Parks Associates. “Gaming also has business advantages. Unlike sites for social networking and video streaming, which rely solely on advertising revenue, casual gaming has more mature and heterogeneous revenue models, including web-based and in-game advertising, try-before-you-buy, subscriptions, and micro-transactions.”

The year-over-year growth rate for frequent online gamers was 79%, significantly higher than the growth rate for users of social networking (46%). However, the growth rate for frequent users of video streaming sites was 123%, which could pose a significant challenge to the gaming industry in capturing the online leisure time of Internet users.

“The casual gaming industry cannot rest on its laurels,” Kuai said. “In order to counter the growing competition from other online activities, the industry needs to continue to grow its fan base and find ways to better monetize its existing audience.”


The ethics of data sharing in e-social science - Call for Papers

The ethics of data sharing in e-social science

Annamaria Carusi and Marina Jirotka
Oxford University Computing Laboratory and Oxford e-Research Centre

Keynote speaker:
Prof Elizabeth Buchanan, Center for Information Policy Research, School of Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Call for position papers

The new possibilities for conducting social science research created by e-Social Science also bring with them a number of ethical challenges regarding data use and re-use, access, archiving and management.

While e-social science tools and technologies are forging ahead, they are also creating gaps and indeterminacies where it is not clear what ethical procedures or actions are appropriate. There are also often tensions and contradictions between different legal and institutional requirements, standards and conditions which researchers are expected to meet.

Disciplinary and personal ethics can be further factors which make this a complex arena of ethical judgement and action.

This workshop aims to bring together researchers in e-social science who have experience of ethical issues that arise in the context of data sharing, or who have conducted research in this area.

For full details please see

Please note extended deadline for position papers up to 6 pages is now August 30th, 2007.

The Music of War - Call for Papers

The Music of War,
18-19 April 2008,
Stonehill College, Easton,Massachusetts

This interdisciplinary conference will explore the diverse musical responses to war, ranging from the various types of traditional war protest music to the music of soldiers and comrades-in-arms to patriotic and nationalistic music from a global perspective. The conference will cap a year-long study of war at the Martin Institute-its politics, history, social and cultural effects-and will seek to analyze the complex relationship between war and music. As an example of the Martin Institute's commitment to the power of crossing disciplinary borders, we welcome papers from a range of experts in fields such as music theory and history, musical theater, sociology, history, anthropology, political science, cultural studies, and literature.

The conference is particularly interested in the music of war from the mid-nineteenth century through the early 21st. Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:

- Music as an expression of the justice or injustice of war
- The music of soldiers and comrades-in-arms
- The history and future of response music
- Popular music during wartime
- Studies of individual artists, composers, groups or musical genres
- Musical censorship during wartime

Plenary Events:

"Symphonies of War: Music in the United States during the Second World War,"
a lecture given by Annegret Fauser, Professor of Music and Adjunct Professor of Women's Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

"Music in Time of War: From Bunker Hill to Baghdad,"
a performance by the Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, Mark Harvey conductor

"Machine Gun' Blues: Black Popular Music and War,"
a lecture given by Kimberley Phillips, Frances L. and Edwin L. Cummings Associate Professor of History, College of William & Mary

Proposals for papers or panels may be sent to
Peter Ubertaccio, Director
The Joseph Martin Institute for Law and Society
Stonehill College

Proposals for full panels are preferred, but individual paper proposals are also welcome. Panel proposals should include a panel title, 200-word abstracts of 3-4 papers and a brief CV for each person delivering a paper. Individual proposals should include an abstract and brief CV. Postgraduate students, as well as more senior scholars, are warmly encouraged to submit proposals by 15 November 2007. Panels of and poster presentations by undergraduate students are also welcome.

Google Gunning For Microsoft With Free Star Office Software

Google has taken yet another step toward challenging Microsoft’s domination in word processing, spreadsheets and other productivity software.

Over the weekend, the Internet search company began offering free downloads of Sun Microsystems’ StarOffice, a productivity suite that competes with Microsoft Office, one of the software giant’s cash cows.

Unlike Google’s own Docs & Spreadsheets, a package of lightweight online applications that can create and edit Word and Excel documents, StarOffice is a full productivity suite with enough features to satisfy demanding business users. And until Google included it in Google Pack, a collection of free software downloads, purchasing Star Office cost $70.

A person familiar with the arrangement between the two companies said that Google is paying Sun to offer Star Office for free.

Why? Analysts said that the alliance represents a more aggressive effort by Google to go after Microsoft’s core customers, by offering a free product that is likely to eventually be supported by advertising.

“Google understands that their own Docs and Spreadsheets are aimed at lightweight users and small businesses,” said Tim Bajarin, an analyst with Creative Strategies. “Google’s move to do this with Star Office, signals more of an effort to go after serious business users.”Bloggers and analysts expect that soon Google will provide technology to make Docs & Spreadsheets and Star Office work seamlessly together.

Commentators are split over whether or not the Sun-Google alliance will present a serious challenge to Microsoft.

Google and Sun announced that they would collaborate on projects, including Star Office, nearly two years ago, but gave few specifics at the time.

Sun said it would not be available to comment until Wednesday. Google said in a statement: “We partnered with Sun to make a free version of StarOffice available in the Google Pack because we believe that users will benefit from access to a free, full-featured office suite for the desktop.
And we’ve also always believed that users should have choice in their online and PC experience.”


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Back-to-College Shoppers Head to Web

Apparel and books are top sellers

Online shopping is joining the annual back-to-school bookstore scrum for many college students.
College students and families will spend $47.3 billion during the 2007 back-to-school season, according to the National Retail Federation's "2007 Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey," conducted by BIGresearch.

The average total spent on back-to-college goods will be $956.93, up from $880.52 in 2006.

"Retailers will pull out all the stops to catch students' attention," NRF president/CEO Tracy Mullin said in a statement. "Colored laptops, stylish cell phones and distinctive dorm furniture will appeal to today's students and should be big sellers in retail stores across the country."

While 57.2% of students and their families plan to shop at college bookstores, many also plan to shop at a variety of retailers, including discounters, department stores and office supply stores. Nearly one-third of consumers also planned to shop online for back-to-college necessities.

Back-to-college spending on clothing and accessories is expected to jump to $7.41 billion in 2007. The association estimated that consumer electronics spending would reach $12.8 billion.

Spending patterns show that college students are more likely to buy some goods online than others. Clothing was the most frequently cited online purchase in a May 2007 Youth Trends study, with 55% of students having bought something to wear in the past year. Other common purchases included books and textbooks, downloaded music and travel.

"College students, many of whom grew up using the Internet, are very comfortable shopping online for a variety of goods and services," said eMarketer senior analyst Jeffrey Grau. "There are opportunities here for innovative entrepreneurs to dream up new online business models that serve the needs of this lucrative consumer segment."

full article here.

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IEEE Virtual Reality 2008 - Call for Participation

IEEE Virtual Reality 2008
First Call for Participation

We invite you to participate in the IEEE Virtual Reality 2008 conference in Reno, Nevada, USA, March 8-12, 2008. IEEE VR is co-located this year with the IEEE 3DUI Symposium (March 8-9), and the IEEE Haptics Symposium (March 13-14).

IEEE VR 2008 is the premier international conference and exhibition in virtual reality. It provides a unique opportunity to interact with leading experts in VR and closely-related fields such as augmented reality, mixed reality and 3D user interfaces. Share your own work and educate yourself through exposure to the research of your peers from around the world. And of course, there will be time to renew friendships, make new ones and experience the beauty of the snowy Sierra Nevada or tempt the odds in one of the many casinos.

Conference website:

Important Dates:
Papers/Sketches extended abstracts due: September 15, 2007
Papers/Sketches full submission due: September 20, 2007
Workshop submissions due: October 1, 2007
Tutorial submissions due: October 1, 2007
Papers/Sketches review decisions expected: November 5, 2007
Student Volunteer applications due: November 12, 2007
Panel submissions due: November 20, 2007
Research Demonstration submissions due: December 1, 2007
Video submissions due: December 3, 2007
Camera-ready papers due: January 3, 2008

For general information about the conference, please contact:
Bill Sherman, Desert Research Institute
Doug Bowman, Virginia Tech

IEEE VR 2008 will be held in conjunction with the IEEE Symposium on 3D User Interfaces (, which will share the opening weekend (March 8-9) with the VR Tutorials and Workshops. This year, the IEEE Symposium on Haptic Interfaces ( will follow VR on March 13-14, allowing participants a greater opportunity to participate fully in more of the overall program.

Call for Papers

IEEE VR 2008 seeks original, high-quality research papers in all areas of virtual reality, as well as augmented reality, mixed reality and 3D user interfaces. Research papers should describe results that contribute to advancements in state-of-the-art software, hardware, algorithms, interaction, or systems development.

Application papers should explain how the authors built upon existing ideas to solve an interesting problem in a novel way, along with any system evaluation.

Systems papers should indicate how the implementers synthesized together several known techniques to produce a good system with any lessons learned in the process, and including any evaluation and/or benchmarking that was performed.

Paper authors should note that to offer a later deadline than in past years, there is a change to the submission process this year, and the authors must upload an extended abstract in advance of their full submission. This new process is necessary to meet the demands of a considerably shorter review timeframe, and will allow reviewers to be assigned in advance of the full paper deadline.

Extended abstracts should include the list of all authors, keywords, plus a single page summary, similar in content to the introduction of the paper.

The submission deadline will be strictly enforced.

Also we are pleased to announce that the IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (TVCG) journal has agreed to accept extended versions of the top papers from the VR 2008 proceedings in a special section.

Papers must be in English, not exceed eight (8) pages in length and be formatted using the IEEE Computer Society format described at
IEEE VR uses a double-blind review process. Submissions should not contain information (including citations and optional videos) that unnecessarily identifies the authors or their institutions or places of work. All papers must be submitted electronically. Authors who do not have web access should contact one of the program chairs listed below.

Authors may also submit videos to aid the program committee in the review of their submissions. Videos must be submitted following the instructions at the conference website. Videos submitted with papers will automatically be considered for possible inclusion in the video proceedings (video submissions may also be made independantly -- see "Call for Videos" below). When submitted as supporting material for a paper, videos must be free of identifying information. When included as part of the video proceedings, a complete version of the video will be used.

For more information, contact the Program Chairs:
Ming Lin, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Anthony Steed, University College London
Carolina Cruz-Neira, Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise

Call for Research and Application Sketches

The VR 2008 sketches (or "short papers") program provides a forum to present the latest applications and research developments in all areas of virtual reality, augmented and mixed reality, and 3D user interfaces. Sketches can provide overviews of newly-fielded VR systems or first looks at new research results. Sketches will be peer-reviewed and published in the regular proceedings.

Research and Application Sketch authors should note that to offer a later deadline than in past years, there is a change to the submission process this year, and the authors must upload an extended abstract in advance of their full submission. This new process is necessary to meet the demands of a considerably shorter review timeframe, and will allow reviewers to be assigned in advance of the full paper deadline.

Extended abstracts should include the list of all authors, keywords, plus a single page summary, similar in content to the introduction of the paper.

The submission deadline will be strictly enforced.

Research and Application Sketches must be in English, not exceed four (4) pages in length and be formatted using the IEEE Computer Society format described at
IEEE VR uses a double-blind review process. Submissions should not contain information (including citations and optional videos) that unnecessarily identifies the authors or their institutions or places of work. All papers must be submitted electronically. Authors who do not have web access should contact one of the research sketches chairs listed below.

Authors may also submit videos to aid the program committee in the review of their submissions. Videos must be submitted following the instructions at the conference website. Videos submitted with sketches will automatically be considered for possible inclusion in the video proceedings (video submissions may also be made independantly -- see "Call for Videos" below). When submitted as supporting material for a sketch, videos must be free of identifying information. When included as part of the video proceedings, a complete version of the video will be used.

For more information, contact the Program Chairs:
Ming Lin, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Anthony Steed, University College London
Carolina Cruz-Neira, Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise

Call for Videos

We invite participants to submit videos showing the results of VR-related research or applications, including efforts from 3D user interfaces and mixed or augmented reality. Videos describing work in a submitted paper are welcome. However, videos can and should also be submitted independently of a paper submission. Selected videos will be included in the Video Proceedings.

Videos should be able to stand on their own and adequately present their topic. They must be between 2 and 5 minutes long and be narrated in English. Each video must be accompanied by a one-page description including the title, a 200-word abstract, references, acknowledgments, and contact information with author names, affiliations and an email address for the lead author. Each submission should also include a representative still image.

The format of the video submissions should meet the requirements and quality expected of NTSC DVD-video.

When preparing the video, please make it as professional as possible. Producing a video already requires a significant amount of effort, and spending just a little more effort to raise the quality can make a big difference in how it is received.

The video committee is exploring new publication venues for wider dissemination of the content, and are looking at the best way to present them at the conference.

In the meantime: get the cameras rolling!

The deadline for video submissions is: December 3, 2007.

For more information, or details on video submission, contact the Video Chair:
Dirk Reiners, University of Louisiana, Lafayette

Call for Panels

Lively discussions incorporating differing points of view help focus attention on significant and/or controversial topics. Interested parties are invited to submit proposals for interactive panel sessions with the goal of addressing a specific VR or related topic from several perspectives. Panel sessions should not be structured as a series of individual stand-alone presentations but rather should address debatable material that is presented in a lively manner. The goal should be to involve all panel participants and engage the audience.

Panel proposals should be submitted electronically and should include a title for the panel session, a brief description of the overall issues to be discussed (roughly 500 words), and the names, contact information and short (roughly 100 words each) biographies for the organizer and each panelist. Panelists should come from multiple organizations.

The deadline for panel submissions is: November 20, 2007.

For more information, to inquire about a particular panel topic, or to submit a proposal contact the Panels Chairs:
Robert Lindeman, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Gabriel Zachmann, Clausthal Technical University

Call for Workshops

Full-day workshops are intended to bring together researchers, developers, and users for a lively discussion of issues and an informal exchange of ideas and information. Workshops may target a specific application area, a specific research area, or a topic of general interest. We invite individuals or teams interested in organizing such a workshop to submit proposals. Workshops will be held on March 8 and 9, alongside tutorials and the 3DUI symposium.

Workshop proposals should be submitted electronically and should include a title, a brief topic description (approximately 500 words)including a statement of what the organizers expect from the participants (such as position papers or preliminary research results). The description should also include any invited speakers, and whether a panel discussion format will be used, and the expected benefits of participating in the workshop.

The names, contact information and brief biographies (roughly 100 words each) of the workshop organizers should be included with the submission. The proposal should also identify the intended audience, its size, and all technical requirements, including space, audio/visual, computer, and communication needs, etc.

The tentative deadline for workshop submissions is: October 1, 2007.

For more information, or to submit a proposal, please contact the Workshop Chairs:
Mark Livingston, Naval Research Laboratory
Jian Chen, Brown University

Call for Tutorials

Learning and sharing knowledge are at the heart of our success. Interested parties are invited to submit proposals for full-day or half-day tutorials to be presented on March 8 or 9. (Workshops and the 3DUI symposium will also be held on these two days.)

Proposed tutorials may address topics of interest to the VR, mixed or augmented reality, or 3D user interface communities, and may be at an introductory or advanced level. Proposals will be evaluated on the basis of the tutorial's importance and suitability for presentation in a tutorial format, as well as the qualifications of the instructors, the overall balance in the tutorial program, and the likely attendance of the tutorial.

Proposals are welcome on topics that have been previously addressed; new approaches or insights are especially valued. Submissions should include a statement indicating how proposals differ from recent tutorial presentations that may have had a similar topic.

Proposals for tutorials should be submitted electronically and should include a title for the tutorial, proposed length, a brief description of the topics to be addressed, including time alloted to each (roughly 500 words), the level and intended audience, the expected value to that audience, and the names, contact information and a short biography (roughly 100 words each) for the proposed instructors. Also include whether the tutorial has been held before (where and when), and if so, why it should be held again.

Some compensation is provided for tutorial presentations.

The tentative deadline for tutorial submissions is: October 1, 2007.

For more information or to submit a proposal contact the Tutorials Chairs:
Oliver Staadt, University of Rostock, Germany
Maria Roussou, MakeBelieve

Call for Research Demonstrations

We seek research demonstrations from laboratories or research groups (academic, government, or industrial). Demos should interest the broad VR community and be presentable in a conference setting.

Accepted research demonstrations will be invited to participate in an exhibition of new and innovative work. The conference will provide basic infrastructure for the demos. In addition, authors of accepted demonstrations will have a time slot in the Research Demonstration Session to communicate more generally information about the specific demo and other work being performed at the lab. Proposals for research demonstrations should be submitted by email to the research demonstration chairs. Proposals should include a one-page description of the demo and the set up, plus a one-page description of the research lab itself (no more than two pages total).

The full-consideration deadline for research demonstration submission is: December 1, 2007. After this date, venue and publication space cannot be guarenteed. However, researchers are encouraged to contact the chairs to discuss their potential demonstration, and the possible opportunities currently available.

For more information or to submit a proposal contact the Research Demonstration Chairs:
Joseph L. Gabbard, Virginia Tech
Daniel Acevedo, Brown University

Invitation to Exhibit

IEEE VR provides a unique opportunity for your organization to reach the world's foremost VR researchers and application builders. We invite companies, government organizations, and academic institutions to showcase VR-related products -- hardware, software, integrated systems, peripherals, innovations, literature or anything else of interest to our conference participants. Regular refreshments will be offered in the exhibit hall, ensuring a good audience for exhibitors. Posters and research demos will also be located near the exhibits. Additional sponsorship and marketing opportunities are also available.

For more information, contact the Exhibits Chairs:
Skip Rizzo, University of Southern California
Jarrell Pair, University of Southern California

Call for Volunteers

We are looking for dedicated and enthusiastic student volunteers to help "make it all happen". Volunteers may commit to ten or twenty hours of volunteer effort and will receive conference registration, proceedings, snacks, t-shirt and other items of appreciation based on level of commitment.

The tentative deadline for student volunteer application is: November 12, 2007.

For more information, contact the Student Volunteers Chairs:
Catherine Zanbaka, BAE Systems
Ryan McMahan, Virginia Tech
Simon Su, Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise

Zero Comments: Blogging and Critical Internet Culture

In Zero Comments, internationally renowned media theorist and 'net critic' Geert Lovink upgrades worn out concepts about the Internet and interrogates the latest hype surrounding blogs and social network sites. In this third volume of his studies into critical Internet culture, following the influential Dark Fiber and My First Recession, Lovink develops a 'general theory of blogging.'

Unlike most critiques of blogging, Lovink is not focusing here on the dynamics between bloggers and the mainstream news media, but rather unpacking the ways that blogs exhibit a 'nihilist impulse' to empty out established meaning structures. Blogs, Lovink argues, are bringing about the decay of traditional broadcast media, and they are driven by an in-crowd dynamic in which social ranking is a primary concern. The lowest rung of the new Internet hierarchy are those blogs and sites that receive no user feedback or 'zero comments'.

Lovink explores other important changes to Internet culture, as well, including the silent globalization of the Net in which the West is no longer the main influence behind new media culture, as countries like India, China and Brazil expand their influence. Zero Comments also looks forward to speculate on the Net impact of organized networks, free cooperation and distributed aesthetics.

Zero Comments on Amazon US

Zero Comments on Amazon UK

Zero Comments on Amazon DE

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

HASTAC/MacArthur Digital Media and Learning $2M Competition: Call for Entries


HASTAC and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation are mobilizing the field of Digital Media and Learning through a $2 million open call competition designed to support innovation and networking.

Application Deadline: October 15, 2007 (8 pm EDT, 5 pm PDT)

To learn more about the Competition, visit

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced today a public competition that will award $2 million in funding to emerging leaders, communicators, and innovators shaping the field of digital media and learning. The competition is part of MacArthur’s $50 million Digital Media and Learning initiative that aims to help determine how digital technologies are changing the way young people learn, play, socialize, and participate in civic life.

“An open competition is an excellent way to identify and hopefully inspire new ideas about learning in an increasingly digital world,” MacArthur Foundation President Jonathan Fanton said. “We do not yet know how much people are changing because of digital media, but we hope that this competition will help support the most innovative thinking about learning, the formation of ethical judgments, peer mentoring, creativity, and civic participation, all of which are increasingly conducted online.”

Awards will be given in two categories:

Innovation Awards will support learning pioneers, entrepreneurs, and builders of new digital learning environments for formal and informal learning. These innovations might range from a teacher add-on for MySpace that allows for safe assigning of a class group discussion, to a platform co-developed by teachers and students to facilitate digital literacy and peer-mentoring between college students and high-school drop-outs earning their GED degrees, to a digital learning festival for the leaders of a worldwide youth environmental campaign.

Knowledge Networking Awards will support communicators in connecting, mobilizing, circulating or translating new ideas around digital media and learning. For example, a team of teacher bloggers who already reach hundreds of thousands of readers may now seek to provide multimedia coverage and translation of MIT Professor Henry Jenkins’ recent white paper on media literacy.

The open competition will be administered by a network of educators and digital innovators called “HASTAC” (the Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Advanced Collaboratory). HASTAC was founded and is primarily operated at two university centers, the University of California Humanities Research Institute and the John Hope Franklin Center at Duke University. HASTAC has a network reaching more than 80 institutions globally. The choice of HASTAC, one of a new breed of “virtual institutions,” reflects MacArthur’s goals in promoting next-generation learning.

“We are already teaching a generation of students who do not remember a time before they were online,” said Cathy N. Davidson, John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Duke University and co-founder of HASTAC. “Their social life and informal learning are interconnected. They don’t just consume media, they customize it. These students bring fascinating new skills to our classrooms, but they also bring an urgent need for critical thinking about the digital world they have inherited and are shaping.”

As part of their prize, awardees will receive special consultation support on everything from technology development to management training. Winners will be invited to showcase their work at a conference that will include venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, educators and policy makers seeking the best ideas about digital learning. Applications are due Oct. 15, 2007, and prizewinners will be announced in January. Detailed information on the competition is available online at

“With the digital media and learning initiative, the MacArthur Foundation is playing a leading role in reshaping both institutional and informal learning practices,” said David Theo Goldberg, HASTAC co-founder and director of the University of California’s Humanities Research Institute. “Traditional learning practices are being supplemented and supplanted by new digital media, which both enable and extend their reach through virtual institutions like HASTAC. This is a natural partnership.”

This HASTAC competition is supported by a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to the University of California, in collaboration with Duke University. The University of California Humanities Research Institute and Duke University's John Hope Franklin Center are the principle administering bodies for this grant on behalf of HASTAC.


About the MacArthur Foundation
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is a private, independent grant making institution dedicated to helping groups and individuals foster lasting improvement in the human condition. More information is available at or

A consortium of humanists, artists, scientists, social scientists and engineers from universities and other civic institutions across the U.S. and internationally, HASTAC is committed to new forms of collaboration for thinking, teaching, and research across communities and disciplines fostered by creative uses of technology. More information is available at

Call for Workshop Proposals: GROUP 2008

The term social computing is used regularly to describe research projects, technology systems, conference sessions, and even research groups, but what are the research questions and strategies that will help move forward a deep understand of social computing?

The commonalities - the causes, effects, and motivations- in the human and technological factors underlying social computing systems are the big issues we are searching for with this workshop. Social psychological processes of online groups, crowd behavior in large online forums, social organization structures in online games, identity and deception in online dating sites, and creating and enforcing norms in media-poor environments are examples of work in this purview.

How can we pull together a research effort effective and large scale enough to really address these and similar phenomena?

Attempting to identify and define research directions in social computing implies a somewhat larger goal, which is to take a step toward solidifying social computing as a distinct research area, with common methods, theories, and publication outlets. Many researchers are addressing questions in this area, yet often under the rubric of other disciplines.

In order to take a step to bring this field into its own, we hope this workshop will begin to address the difficulty in unifying the diversity of people working in the area. Thus, an additional goal for the workshop is to bring together researchers that might not normally interact and may bring very different perspectives, but that nonetheless are studying similar phenomena.

Finally, we hope to use this workshop to contribute to a roadmap for more organized research, funding, and publication activities going forward.

Proposals to participate in the workshop should focus on one of the three topic areas below (or combinations thereof). Given the nature of the workshop goals, note that we anticipate a focus on theory and method over system demonstration.

1. A research issue central to the idea of social computing that illustrates how social science theory is embedded in technical systems

2. An area of study critical to ongoing research in social computing

3. A method for studying social computing. Proposals should not focus on an implementation of a system.

Attendees will be accepted to the workshop based on 2 page position statements on the meaning of social computing and the research issues they see most cogent to the area, as couched in one or more of the above topic areas.

A focus on how the ideas expressed can help establish social computing and carry it forward is encouraged. These position papers will be assembled and distributed to attendees before the conference, with the expectation that readers will read and comment on them before arrival. Position statements and attendee bios will be made available through a groupware application. Each attendee will be expected to comment on at least one other position paper.

In addition, we will recruit and present position papers from researchers representative of these fields who were unable to attend the workshop. Using phone and email interviews, we'll query leading researchers in a variety of disciplines on their perspectives on social computing, and make these available through the groupware before the conference begins.

Deadline for submissions will be September 15. We will screen submissions for quality and relevance to the workshop. Announcements of acceptance will be sent on October 1. The ACM GROUP conference starts on November 4, 2007 (which is the day the workshop takes place).

Conference webpage:

Workshop webpage:

Customer Satisfaction with Search Engines

Yahoo rates higher in terms of customer satisfaction than Google. That's according to the annual e-business report released by ForeSee Results and the University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).

The e-business sector experienced a 1.7 percent dip to an overall score of 75.2 on ACSI's 100 point scale. The e-business category includes search engines, portals, news, and information sites.

Google's score sunk from 81 last year to 78 in 2007; a 3.7 percent decrease. In the same period, Yahoo raised its score from 76 to 79, up 6.8 percent.

"While Google does a great job in search, which is what they do, but [consumers] are seeing Google the same as three years ago," said Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee Results.

Freed said Google's word-of-mouth marketing earned the search engine success in search, but hasn't effectively promoted applications like Gmail, Google Docs & Spreadsheets, and Google Earth. "It might be time to step back and grow the market share in these applications."

Yahoo rebounded after suffering what Freed calls the "relaunch effect," when the site underwent a serious upgrade. "It takes [users] a while to get comfortable and relearn how to find things," Freed said. "The future looks bright for Yahoo, its gotten past the tough spot of the relaunch, which should translate into financial gains." registered a gain of 5.6 percent to a score of 75, up from 71 last year. While relaunched in early 2006, when it shed its "Ask Jeeves" identity, it never suffered the relaunch effect. "Ask did a relaunch and really had remarkable results," Freed said. "They took the Google strategy and seemed to actually do it a little better."'s homepage is simple, but promotes the services like city searches, news and blogs, Freed said. "While clearly they are a minority player, Ask is poised to start to gain market share. I think they've done a great job reinventing the Web site, and transforming from Ask Jeeves to Ask, and it will start paying dividends," he said.

News and information sites on the Web were also covered in the report. The category received an overall score of 75, up 2.7 percent from 2006. Freed said there were no clear winners in the news and information category. "I have not seen them be able to leverage that personality to the Web. When you get to the Internet, you lose that personality, with personality you can build loyalty," he said.

Another factor affecting loyalty to a particular Web site is the commoditization of news. "More and more users are not going to those sites for information, they are going to the Yahoos and the Googles," said Freed.

The answer, said Freed, is in the convergence of multiple channels. "You'll see more people starting to watch TV with their laptop, doing things like going to the Web site to vote on a topic, or find out more. If they can create that convergence, they will build the loyalty and bolster the strength and loyalty of the online channel."

ForeSee Results uses the University of Michigan's ACSI as a predictor of financial performance. Data are derived from an annual interview of approximately 70,000 consumers, released on a quarterly basis.

Content Time Comes at Search's Expense

Nearly half of Internet users' time online is now spent with content, a report says. So where does that leave search?

Internet users now spend nearly half of their online time visiting content, according to the Online Publishers Association's "Internet Activity Index," conducted by Nielsen//NetRatings.

Time spent with content is up 37% over 2003 levels, the OPA claimed. The Index measures time spent with e-commerce, communications, content and search.

"The index indicates that, over the past four years, the primary role of the Internet has shifted from communications to content," OPA president Pam Horan said in a statement. "[The Internet now handles] traditionally offline activities, such as getting news, finding entertainment information or checking the weather."

"Consumers spend considerable time with social networking sites, which serve not only as places of content but are also increasingly important communications vehicles," Ms. Horan said in the statement.

The OPA suggested several reasons for the shift in how Internet users spend their time online. One was that broadband proliferation, coupled with more accessible and faster sites, had increased overall time spent online. Another was that online video's popularity has increased the amount of time users spend with content.

The association also noted that search is better than before. This lets consumers find what they are looking for more quickly. That reduces time spent on search and increases the amount of time devoted to other activities.

If content is consuming so much of Internet users' time, where does that leave search? For those marketing a retail e-commerce site, search still matters.

The American Marketing Association's "Mplanet" survey ranked the online resource consumers were most likely to use first for product information during last year's holiday season in different retail categories. Search engines (43%) and direct visits to company Web sites (29%) were the sources consumers turned to first for product information, regardless of product category.

Newer types of consumer-generated content, such as online social networks, blogs and chat rooms, were less important as a primary source for finding product information.

Engagement, as measured by time spent on a particular activity, counts for something. It just does not always count for everything.

for the full article with graphs and stats click here.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Flow Journal, Vol. 6, Issue 5 now online

The new issue of Flow: A Critical Forum on Television and Media Culture is out.

This issue features columns by Stephen Harrington, Alex Munt, Tim Gibson, Chuck Tryon, and Eric Freedman.

Please visit the journal at to read these columns and contribute responses to them.

This issue's columns in brief:

"Why Political Journalists Should Get Into Top Gear"

by Stephen Harrington: How the rise of car culture in Australia suggests ways to increase political literacy

“Inland Empire: The Cinema in Trouble?"

by Alex Munt:
Can the death and destruction – of the feature, of celluloid, and cinema-going–be a good thing?

"No Regrets"

by Tim Gibson:
The boundaries of the permissible on network TV have not expanded to match the public’s ill-mood about the war. And the latest proof of this comes in the most unexpected place of all — Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance.

"Watch Now: Netflix, Streaming Movies and Networked Film Publics"

by Chuck Tryon:
Computer access content results in new ways of viewing television and film.

"Notes from Economy Class"

by Eric Freedman:
The airline seat is an often-overlooked signpost of convergence — a site of convergent media, convergent functionalities, convergent spaces, and convergent subjects.

Also, cast your vote for deserving Emmy-nominated programs in this issue's poll.

The 9th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research

We invite you to attend dg.o 2008

The 9th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research

May 18-21, 2008 - Montréal, Canada

“Partnerships for Public Innovation”

The Digital Government Society of North America (DGSNA) is an organization of professionals and scholars who share an interest in furthering the development of democratic digital government. The Society grew out of the community of researchers sponsored by the US National Science Foundation Digital Government Research Program and the government partners involved in their projects.

We welcome government professionals, managers, researchers, educators, students, and others interested in the linkages among democratic processes, government management, innovation, information, and technology.

The conference, now in its 9th year, will feature invited speakers, panels, research presentations, system demonstrations, posters, workshops, and discussion groups. Please join us!

Conference website:

Call for papers:

Global Information Society 2007

The digital divide: a review of ICTs in Africa, Asia and Latin America

Authors: R. Bissio; W. Curry; A. Esterhuysen
Publisher: Global Information Society Watch, 2007

The Global Information Society Watch 2007 report - the first in a series of annual reports- looks at state of the field of information and communication technology (ICT) policy at local and global levels and particularly how policy impacts on the lives of people living in developing countries.

Studies of the ICT policy situation in twenty-two countries from four regions are featured:

- Africa (Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda);

- Asia (Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and the Philippines);

- Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru);

- Eastern Europe (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania),

- one report from a Western European country (Spain).

The report concludes that when it comes to ICTs for development, there are some conspicuous similarities between the countries. Excluding Spain, the other twenty-one countries each show obvious evidence of the “digital divide” which impacts on the majority of people negatively.

According to Brazilian authors RITS, the absence of a people-orientated policy framework in Brazil runs the risk of condemning the vast majority of people to “eternal disconnection.”

The report also includes provocative, analytical essays on five international institutions (including ICANN and the World Intellectual Property Organisation) questioning the extent to which they allow all stake-holders to participate in their processes.

Download the report here.

Youth and ICT - A World bank Report

Download the report here:$File/Youth_ICTs_Development.pdf

New technologies such as the Internet and mobile phones are growing much faster than older information and communication technologies (ICTs) such as television, radio, mainline telephones, and newspapers.

Mobile phones have overtaken mainline phones in coverage in many parts of the world, and there are more internet users per 1,000 people than there are daily newspapers purchased in every region except South Asia.

Even so, internet use remains low in poorer developing countries, and radios and televisions are much more prevalent. The main ICT priority for governments is to ensure a good investment climate that allows private companies to serve the growing demand for ICT services, by enacting regulations that provide for easy entry and competition.

Challenges and Opportunities of New Media for Press Freedom

The Press Freedom Dimension conference publication from UNESCO can be downloaded as a PDF document here:

This book is a record of an international conference – “New Media: The Press Freedom Dimension Challenges and Opportunities of New Media for Press Freedom”

– to explore the emerging and rapidly evolving environment of press freedom created by the new electronic media.

It took place at the headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientifi c and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris 15-16 February 2007.

With speakers from more than 30 countries, the discussions covered a wide range of topics from citizen journalism and freedom of expression, to the looming reality of censorship, as dictators, taking the cue from China, place blocks on the Internet and lock up people for expressing their views in cyberspace.

The conference was sponsored by the World Press Freedom Committee and co-sponsored by UNESCO and the World Association of Newspapers, in partnership with the other member groups of the Coordinating Committee of Press Freedom Organizations:

Committee to Protect Journalists, Commonwealth Press Union, Inter American Press Association, International Association of Broadcasting, International Association of the Periodical Press, International Press Institute, and North American Broadcasters Association.

The conference was organized by the World Press Freedom Committee, the Communication and Information Sector of UNESCO, and the World Association of Newspapers.

It was made possible by a generous grant of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The book includes adaptations of speeches given at the conference and background papers along with reports of presentations that were made in visual formats.

World Press Freedom Committee:
Ronald Koven, European Representative

World Association of Newspapers:
Kajsa Tornroth, Co-Director of Press Freedom and Development
Virginie Jouan, Co-Director of Press Freedom and Development
Amelie Kalinine, Press Freedom Program Manager

Bertrand Pecquerie, Director, World Editors Forum

Mogens Schmidt, Deputy Asst. Director General, Division for Freedom of Expression, Democracy and Peace
Sylvie Coudray, Senior Program Specialist, Division for Freedom of Expression, Democracy and Peace
Brigitte L’Horty, Secretary, Division for Freedom of Expression, Democracy and Peace

Habeas Corpus for Avatars!

Will avatars in Second Life end up having more rights than their human creators?

Wow, our own democracies could learn from this, as found by Raph:

Erik Bethke’s LiveJournal has a recent post stating that he’s offering a $5000 bounty to those who can help him draft the legal form of an avatar rights document for GoPets.
Among the clauses he intends the service to sign up to:

- Due process (including player-run tribunals)
- Habeas corpus
- Free expression
- Free assembly
- Property rights
- Non-discrimination
- Account transfer rights
- Right to keep some amount of the value generated by service errors (e.g., if there’s a bug and the player benefits, they keep some of the benefit)
- Compensation to players for service outages exceeding the maximum standard downtime
- Advance notice in the event of policy changes


Microsoft Games Open for Non-Commercial Re-Use

You can create derivative works -- but don't even think about reverse engineering!

Landmark legal move allows consumers free use of Halo, Forza and Viva Piñata assets in homebrew works.

After announcing the 2.0 version of XNA Game Studio during Gamefest's keynote, XNA general manager Chris Satchell also revealed that the company had made an "unprecedented" move to allow consumers direct, legal access to game content from a number of Microsoft-owned IPs.

Effectively immediately, Microsoft has granted consumers "a personal, non-exclusive, non-transferable licence to use and display Game Content and to create derivative works based upon Game Content, strictly for noncommercial and personal use".

The licence, similar to the Creative Commons agreement that some writers and artists use to give their works free and open copyright to the public, gives users access to any game published by Microsoft Game Studios (but not any third-party brands). Users don't get rights to share the games themselves, but can share creations that use game content.

That means materials from Age of Empires, Forza Motorsport, Halo, Project Gotham Racing, Viva Piñata and any other MGS game can be freely and legally 'remixed' by players.

continue reading this article at

Let 1,000 YouTube Presidential Debate Remixes Bloom!

via EFF

It's amazing how fast things can change. In April, a transpartisan coalition spearheaded by Stanford Law Professor and EFF Board Member Lawrence Lessig called for the release of presidential debate footage into the public domain. The coalition of Internet luminaries, free speech advocates, conservative and progressive activists and others asked the broadcasters behind the debates to make all footage available to the public for remixing, blogging, commentary, analysis, and parody.

Starting in May, three out of the five major networks granted the public access to their debate footage and acknowledged the ever-growing number of citizens that are already making use of new forums like YouTube to engage in political debate.

Of course, even without the networks' permission, people are free to engage in non-infringing re-uses -- commentary, news reporting, and parody are classic examples of fair use. But uncertainty in the law and threat of litigation can nevertheless have a significant chilling effect on free speech.

Find out which major networks have granted access in our complete post:

Read Lawrence Lessig's April blog post, "A Call on the RNC & DNC to Eliminate Unnecessary Regulation of Political Speech":

Monday, August 13, 2007


Call For Papers:

Presented by The New Media Caucus in Association with the College Art Association
February 20-23, 2008; Dallas, TX

Panel Chair: Carolyn Kane, PhD Candidate Media, Culture, and Communication, New York University

Contrary to traditional aesthetic theories that argue for the primacy of either the subjective and phenomenological, or formal and objective interpretations of artwork, the aesthetics of electronic media, like the logic of technical media itself, is thoroughly removed from anthropomorphic sensibility. One could say that electronic media aesthetics are marked by technical trauma.

However, much contemporary new media art criticism exemplifies a hermeneutic approach that seeks to rationalize and transform work into intelligible *art objects* for canonization and social theories. Is this approach problematic for the logic of technical media? Can certain attributes such as color, form, affect, or sound, effectively reconcile computer based artwork with the subjective and humanistic drives in art making?

The panel invites papers that address the aesthetics of New Media art in distinction to previous aesthetic models or media platforms. For instance, papers suggesting the ways in which color, sound, line, form, symbolism, affect, anti-aesthetics or ideology may be distinct to new media aesthetics are all welcomed. Essentially the panel inquires: what do theoreticians and practitioners address in New Media art, and why? Which artists and / or commercial work do you think best exemplifies these issues? Special attention will be given to those abstracts that are concerned with the use of color in New Media work.

Presenters can propose brief lectures; media or artist presentations of their own, or other artist's work; discussions; or other acceptable suggestions.

Due by October 1, 2007:
*Abstracts (max 500 words)
* Paper / Presentation Titles
*Confirmation that presenters will be able to travel to Dallas on February 20-23, 2008
* Current CV and a brief bio.
*Specification of presentation format

Send proposals and / or any question to Carolyn Kane

For CAA conference information visit:

re:place 2007 - The Second International Conference on the Histories of Media, Art, Science and Technology

re:place 2007

The Second International Conference on the Histories of Media, Art, Science and Technology

Location: Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin
Date: 15-18 November 2007


An interdisciplinary forum of over 70 researchers and artists from all over the world, re:place 2007 presents multiple historical relations between art, science and technology. The title 're:place' refers to the sites and the migration of artistic and knowledge production. This theme is highlighted during the panel discussions and poster sessions, particularly in the 'Place Studies' stream which looks at specific historical instances and settings. Special attention will be given to alternatives to the 'Western' historical paradigms through presentations about art-science relations in the former Soviet Union, Africa, and Latin America.

The conference includes general forum discussions on interdisciplinary research strategies, as well as keynote lectures by Lorraine Daston and Siegfried Zielinski.

replace 2007 is a project of Kulturprojekte Berlin GmbH in cooperation with Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin. Funded by Hauptstadtkulturfonds, Berlin. Conference partners include Leonardo, Database of Virtual Art at Danube University Krems' Center for Image Science, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute Media.Art.Research, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Kulturtechnik at Humboldt Universität Berlin, Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, and others. Supported by Tschechisches Zentrum Berlin - CzechPoint and Schwedische Botschaft Berlin.

Conference chairs: Andreas Broeckmann (D), Gunalan Nadarajan (SG/USA)


Conference ticket (3 days): EUR 50 (full) / EUR 20 (concessions)
Day ticket: EUR 25 (full) / EUR 10 (concessions)

Contact and information:,


PRAGUE / art - science - media - theory / BERLIN
8-18 NOVEMBER 2007

Three major conference events on art, science and media theory will take place in Prague and Berlin this November. Visit the MutaMorphosis conference (8-11 Nov.) and bring yourself up to date with contemporary art in extreme envirnments at the border between art and science. Take part in a Prague symposium about the exceptional media theorist, Vilem Flusser (12-13 Nov.). And then make the short journey to Berlin, where the re:place 2007 conference (15-18 Nov.) will feature outstanding interdisciplinary research and debates about the histories of media, art, science, and technology.

Flyer download (1.9 MB) for this series at:


Programme re:place 2007

check for updates

*** 13 / 14 / 15 November, pre-conference
workshops and events (to be announced)

****** Thursday 15 November **********************************

*** Opening Session
15 November, Thursday, 14.00-15.00, Auditorium

Welcome by Andreas Broeckmann (DE), Gunalan Nadarajan (SG/US), Bernd Scherer/HKW (DE)

Introductory talk by Oliver Grau (DE/AT): MediaArtHistory - Image Science - Digital

*** Panel 1: Place Studies: Art/Science/Engineering
15 November, Thursday, 15.00-17.30, Auditorium

Michael Century (CA/US), Encoding motion in the early computer: knowledge transfers between studio and laboratory

Stephen Jones (AU): The Confluence of Computing and Fine Arts at the University of Sydney, 1968-1975

Eva Moraga (ES): The Computation Center at Madrid University, 1966-1973: An example of true interaction between art, science and technology

Robin Oppenheimer (US/CA): Network Forums and Trading Zones: How Two Experimental, Collaborative Art and Engineering Subcultures Spawned the "9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering" and E.A.T.

*** Panel 2: Intersections of Media and Biology
15 November, Thursday, 15.00-17.30, Theatersaal

Assimina Kaniari (GR/UK), Morphogenesis in Action: D'Arcy Thompson and the experimental in Leonardo from LL Whyte to now

Jussi Parikka (FI): Insect Media of the Nineteenth Century

Michele Barker (AU): From Life to Cognition: investigating the role of biology and neurology in new media arts practice

Boo Chapple (AU): Sound, Matter, Flesh: A history of crosstalk from medicine to contemporary art and biology

*** Keynote 1/Helmholtz Lecture (speaker t.b.c.)
15 November, Thursday, 18.30 at Helmholtz-Zentrum, Humboldt University

*** Special Lecture Presentation
Timothy Druckrey (US): Cinemedia - Visions of Computation in Cinema
15 November, Thursday, 21.00 at TESLA Media>Art

****** Friday 16 November **********************************

*** Panel 3: Histories of Abstraction
16 November, Friday, 10.00-12.30, Auditorium

Laura Marks (CA): Artificial life from classical Islamic art to new media art, via 17th-century Holland

Arianna Borrelli (IT/DE): The media perspective in the study of scientific abstraction

Amir Alexander (US): Death in Paris: When Mathematics became Art

Paul Thomas (AU): Constructed infinite smallness

*** Panel 4: Comparative Histories of Art Institutions
16 November, Friday, 10.00-12.30, Theatersaal

moderation: Stephen Kovats (DE/CA)

Lioudmila Voropai (RU/DE): Institutionalisation of Media Art in the Post-Soviet Space: The Role of Cultural Policy and Socio-economic Factors

Renata Sukaityte (LT): Electronic art in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania: the interplay of local, regional and global processes

Christoph Klütsch (DE): The roots and influences of information aesthetics in Germany, Canada, US, Brazil and Japan

Catherine Hamel (CA): Crossing Into The Border - an intersection of vertical and horizontal migration

*** Panel 5: Place Studies: Media Art Histories
16 November, Friday, 14.30-17.00, Auditorium

Daniel Palmer (AU): Media Art and Its Critics in the Australian Context

Ryszard W. Kluszczynski (PL): From Media Art to Techno Culture.
Reflections on the Transformation of the Avant-Gardes (the Polish case)

Caroline Seck Langill (CA): Corridors of Practice I: Technology and Performance Art on the North American Pacific Coast in the 1970s and Early 80s

Machiko Kusahara (JP): A Turning Point in Japanese Avant-garde Art: 1964 - 1970

*** Panel 6: Media Theory in Cultural Practice
16 November, Friday, 14.30-17.00, Theatersaal

Kathryn Farley (US): Generative Systems: The Art and Technology of Classroom Collaboration

Nils Röller (DE/CH): Flusser's Individual Academy: Thinking instruments in institutional and personal relations

Wendy Hui Kyong Chun (US): The Enduring Ephemeral, or the Future is a Memory

Antony Hudek (US/CH), Antonia Wunderlich (DE): Between Tomorrow and Yesterday: charting Les Immatériaux as technoscientific event

*** General Discussion
16 November, Friday, 17.30-18.30, Auditorium

*** Keynote 2: Siegfried Zielinski (DE)
16 November, Friday, 20.00, Auditorium

****** Saturday 17 November **********************************

*** Panel 7: Interdisciplinary Theory in Practice
17 November, Saturday, 10.00-12.30, Auditorium

moderation: Sara Diamond (CA)

Christopher Salter (US/CA): Unstable Events: Performative Science, Materiality and Machinic Practices

Simone Osthoff (BR/US): Philosophizing in Translation: Vilem Flusser's Brazilian Writings

Karl Hansson (SE): Haptic Connections - On Hapticality and the History of Visual Media

Janine Marchessault (CA)/ Michael Darroch (CA): Anonymous History as Methodology: The Collaborations of Sigfried Giedion, Jaqueline Tyrwhitt, and the Explorations Group (1951-53)

*** Panel 8: Place Studies: Russia / Soviet Union
17 November, Saturday, 10.00-12.30, Theatersaal

Introduction/Moderation: Inke Arns (DE): The Avant-Garde in the Rear View Mirror

Olga Goriunova (RU): Cultural critique of technology in philosophy of technology and religious philosophy of early XX century Russia

Margareta Tillberg (SE/DE): Cybernetics and Arts: The Soviet Group Dvizhenie (Movement) 1962-1972

Margarete Voehringer (DE): 'Space, not Stones' Nikolai Ladovski's Psychotechnical Laboratory for Architecture, Moscow 1926 (t.b.c.)

Irina Aristarkhova (RU/US): Stepanova's 'Laboratory'

*** Panel 9: Cross-Cultural Perspectives
17 November, Saturday, 14.30-17.00, Auditorium

moderation: Bernd Scherer (DE)

Sheila Petty (CA): African Digital Imaginaries

Cynthia Ward (US): Minding Realities: Geometries of Cultural Cognition

Erkki Huhtamo (FI/US): Intercultural Interfaces: Correcting the pro-Western Bias of Media History

Manosh Chowdhury (Bangladesh/JP): Can there be an 'Art History' in the South?: Myth of Intertextuality and Subversion in the Age of Media Art

*** Panel 10: Cybernetic Histories of Artistic Practices
17 November, Saturday, 14.30-17.00, Theatersaal

moderation/introduction: Geoff Cox (UK): Software Art has No History

Christina Dunbar-Hester (US): Listening to Cybernetics: Music, Machines, and Nervous Systems, 1950-1980

David Link (DE): Memory for Love Letters. Computer Archaeology of a Very Early Program

Brian Reffin Smith (UK/DE): Hijack! How the computer was wasted for art

Kristoffer Gansing (SE): Humans Thinking Like Machines - Incidental Media Art in the Swedish Welfare State

*** General Discussion
17 November, Friday, 17.30-18.30, Auditorium

*** Keynote 2: Lorrain Daston (US/DE)
17 November, Saturday, 20.00, Auditorium

****** Sunday 18 November **********************************

Presentation of Results of the LBI Workshop on Documentation and Metadata with Dieter Daniels a.o.
18 November, Sunday, 10.00, Conference Hall 1

Forum on Cyber-Feminism
with Faith Wilding, Irina Aristarkhova, a.o.
18 November, Sunday, 10.00

Forum Discussion: Connecting Music(ology) and Media Art
Statements by Dr. Joseph Cohen (Collège de Philosophie, Paris) and Dr. Rolf Grossmann
(Applied Cultural Studies/Aesthetics, Leuphana University Lüneburg). Discussants include Dr.
Werner Jauk (University of Graz) and Dr. Paul Modler (Design University Karlsruhe). Moderation by Joyce Shintani (Design University Karlsruhe).
18 November, Sunday, 10.00, Conference Hall 3

Feedback Session and planning for re: conference follow-up in 2009
18 November, Sunday, 12.00, Auditorium

****** POSTERS **********************************

(poster exhibition plus short lunchtime presentations)

Su Ballard (NZ): 'Real Time': early encounters with immersive installation in Aotearoa New Zealand

Clarisse Bardiot (FR): The Artists and Engineers of 9 Evenings:
Theatre and Engineering, New York, 1966

Ross Bochnek (US): When Clinical Neuropsychology Met Time-Based Art

Wayne Clements (UK): The Descent of New Media: Art, Warfare and Cambridge Cybernetics

Lenka Dolanova (CZ): What They Were Cooking in There: Cooks, Their Kitchen and the Taste of Fresh Video

Ernest Edmonds (UK/AU) Human and robot behaviour: art meets AI

Francis Arsene Fogue Kuate (Cameroon): The contribution of technical centres to the development of Media Art in Africa: A case study of the Audiovisual Professional Training Centre of Ekounou (Yaounde)

Francesca Franco (IT/UK): New Media Art and an Institutional Crisis in the History of the Venice Biennale, 1968

Darko Fritz (HR/NL): Vladimir Bonacic: Dynamic Objects (1968-1971) - computer-generated works made in Zagreb within New Tendencies art network (1961-1973)

Yara Guasque (BR), Sandra Albuquerque Reis Fachinello (BR), Silvia Guadagnini (BR): Skipping stages. From constructivism in architecture and in poetry to the digital media: searching for parameters to understand the emerging media and the formation of a specialized audience in Brazil

Rosana Horio Monteiro (BR): Art and Science Playing on the Margins. On the discovery of photography in the 19th century Brazil

Karen Ingham (UK): A Ticket to The Theatre of The Dead

Maude Ligier (FR): How cybernetics entered the world of art? The case of Nicolas Schöffer

David McConville (US): Cosmological Cinema: Pedagogy, Propaganda, and Perturbation in Early Dome Theaters

Vytautas Michelkevicius (LT): (Post)photography and Media Art: Rethinking Institutionalization and Public Curatorship in Lithuania

Simon Mills (UK): framed: interviews with new media writers and artists

Angela Ndalianis (AU), Lisa Beaven (AU), Saige Walton (AU): Technologies of Wonder - a Pansemiotic Approach

Ariane Noel de Tilly (CA): The different 'versions' of John Massey's As the Hammer Strikes (A Partial Illustration)

Ryan Pierson (US): Thinking Space: Mediating IBM's Deep Blue in the History of Computers

Markku Reunanen (FI): Observations on the Adoption of Science in a Subculture

Nina Samuel (DE/CH): Re-Reading Fractals: Towards an Archeology of the Digital Form

Roberto Simanowski (DE/US): The Art of Mapping Data: Statistics, Naturalism, and Transformation

Stefan Sonvilla-Weiss (AT/FI): Paul Otlet's impact on visual knowledge building in current developments of Web 2.0

Melanie Swalwell (NZ): Early Digital Games Production in New Zealand

Carolyn Tennant (US), Kathy High (US): The Experimental Television Center

Claudia X. Valdes (CL/US), Phillip Thurtle (US): From Spiderman to Alba: transgenics in a post-nuclear world

Simon Werrett (US): The Festive Formation of the City: The Art and Science of Urban Space in the late Soviet Union

Fashion Industry Gets a Whiff of Web 2.0 Marketing

The apparel industry has long been a holdout to online advertising as other categories commit ever more dollars to the medium. Now that may be about to change, as several agencies and digital properties have begun courting fashion marketers with digital ad offerings.

A new division of Ketchum, a unit of Omnicom Group, is ramping up a service called Fashion Interactive 2.0. The new initiative will deploy brand evangelism, social networking, word-of-mouth, blogging, podcasts, and mobile communications to reach consumers, and -- the company promises -- deliver measured ROI to marketers. Other current efforts by "paper doll" avatar site Stardoll and, yes, a Second Life agency, aim to snare the attention of fashion brands.

Jeff Danzer, VP and group manager at Ketchum, explained that Fashion Interactive 2.0 will focus on "how to keep a brand fresh in the eyes of consumers, going out where they live and where they play." Without sharing many details, he said the agency's formula includes outreach to brand evangelists, content creators and consumers who frequent social shopping sites like This Next and Kaboodle, which was just acquired by Hearst. The agency is currently in talks with apparel companies, but has not identified any clients yet.

Ketchum is better known for its PR work on behalf of a roster of tech clients than it is for building programs around clothing brands. Fashion Interactive 2.0 practice head Danzer's professional background includes the development of the brand and marketing strategy behind the men's underwear brand 2(x)ist, and the designof iBoxer, a line of men's underwear with a pocket for an iPod. When those projects earned him the nickname "underwear guru," Danzer sought to apply his expertise more broadly to the apparel category, and to interactive campaign development.

Though it's early, that may prove a wise choice. Earlier this week the founder and CEO of Kaboodle, Manish Chandra, told ClickZ News that the fashion category is now the growth leader on e-commerce and comparison shopping sites.

Virtual communities in particular appear ripe for fashion marketing. Clothing manufacturers like American Apparel have created storefronts in Second Life, and H&M is providing its clothing collections to EA's "The Sims 2" though the expansion pack "The Sims 2 H&M Fashion Stuff."

And this week, Stardoll, a virtual community for teen and tween girls, opened StarPlaza, an interactive galleria where girls can spend "Stardollars" to outfit their avatars, called MeDolls, with real-world fashion brands. Stardoll already has celebrity boutiques with promotional merchandise from Hilary Duff, Avril Lavigne, and Swedish pop singer Darin.

Additionally, Second Life-centric marketing firm Dynamedia is seeking brands to help develop what he calls VirtuReal, a shopping mall in Second Life where Founder and President Antonio Collier says visitors will be able to shop for real-world products.

Connected Consoles Benefit from Three Added Revenue Streams

The current generation of video game consoles has out-of-the-box connectivity, creating additional revenue streams from subscriptions, downloadable content, and advertising. An IDC report, "Worldwide Connected Console 2007 - 2011 Forecast: Downloads for Dollars," looks at the anticipated $981 million in revenues derived from connected consoles in 2007, and expected growth through 2011.

Video game consoles are sold at a loss; manufacturers hope to build an installed base and recoup money through licensing fees paid by game publishers. Fees have eroded to entice publishers to release games on their platforms due to the current market in which game production costs continue to rise.

"The losses are traditionally offset by higher margins of the software, but some of those margins are dissipating," said Billy Pidgeon, program manager of consumer markets: games at IDC.

Revenue from connected consoles, the Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Wii, is expected to reach $981 million this year, and grow to $10.5 billion in 2011. The income accounts for 2.5 percent of the video game market worldwide, and could represent 18.6 percent of total market revenue by 2011.

Three key areas where the console manufacturers can realize growth on the current generation systems are subscriptions, downloadable content, and advertising and sponsorship deals. Pidgeon sees downloadable content as the break-out category, though advertising is expected to provide increasing revenues.

Subscription rates are expected to grow from $476 million this year to $2.4 billion in 2011. In that time, share of revenue for subscriptions will recede from 48.5 percent to 23.2 percent. Downloadable content revenues are expected to see an increase from $493 million in 2007 to $7.2 billion in 2011, or 68.6 percent of online revenue for consoles. Downloadable content also offers branded or sponsorship opportunities, Pidgeon said downloadable content for free is a great way to do advertising.

Advertising revenue from sponsored services, in-game ads, and product placement in connected consoles is expected to grow from $12 million in 2007 to $858 million in 2011. If realized, it will account for 8.2 percent of market share for online console revenues.

Early in a console's lifecycle, the addressable audience may be smaller than a PC audience for casual games and downloadable content, though Pidgeon said advertising on a console network has its merit. PC users can jump around to other networks while console gamers are captivated.

"Online on the PC has more opportunity, but lower value of the consumer unless you can aggregate a group and keep that network," Pidgeon said.

Microsoft has a lead, having released the Xbox 360 a year before Sony and Nintendo got their consoles to market. Microsoft also plans to integrate Xbox Live with the Live audience on the PC and other platforms. "You'll have that entire Live interface up and running on the PC as well, and appealing to different user bases, and eventually mobile," said Pidgeon.

Pidgeon expects Sony to build out a similar, cross-platform network.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

JOURNAL OF ELECTRONIC COMMERCE RESEARCH: Issue on Virtual Worlds Call for Papers


Special Issue on Virtual Worlds
Submissions due: November 1, 2007
Scheduled Publication date: August 2008

The emergence of virtual worlds and Web 3.D change the way of doing business. Web 3.D is the synonym for Internet-based virtual worlds, where people can create own 3-D *virtual* personalities. Virtual Worlds such as Second Life and others are undergoing an evolution similar to that of the Internet in the mid nineties and might impact profoundly the way people cooperate, communicate, collaborate, and conduct business.

The recent entering of companies such as Toyota, American Apparel, Nissan, or Adidas indicate the upcoming role of this platform for the next generation of conducting electronic business. This call for papers is intended to cover a wide range of business and research topics that fall within the broad description of activities, challenges, opportunities, applications, innovations and implications associated with Virtual Worlds as the emerging new online business landscape.

Purpose of the Special Issue:
The purpose of this special issue is to encourage discussion and communication of important research issues that underpin Virtual Worlds as an important aspect of e-commerce and to showcase interesting and significant research work in this critical area. Specifically this issues is focusing on business and legal issues of doing business in Virtual Worlds.

Of particular relevance to the described focus are papers about business models, marketing, promotion, pricing, customer integration, consumer behavior, legal, cultural and cross-cultural research. The issue, however, will not be restricted to these topics; rather, it welcomes reports of theoretical or empirical research that examines pertinent business issues related to Virtual Worlds e-commerce. This special issue will be of interest to researchers, governments, small and large businesses, marketing and PR companies among others.

List of possible topics are:
- Product Development and Testing in Virtual Worlds
- Image, Branding, Advertising in Virtual Worlds
- Marketing in Virtual World
- Avatar-based Marketing
- Promotion of Virtual Goods in Virtual Worlds
- Pricing of Virtual Goods in Virtual Worlds
- Selling, Cross-Selling Real and Virtual Worlds
- Business Planning for Non-profits in Virtual Worlds
- Fundraising and Virtual Worlds
- Convergence of Real and Virtual Worlds
- Customer Integration and Virtual Worlds
- Technology, Business, Strategy in Virtual Worlds
- Financial Systems, Investments, Currency Exchange Real and Virtual Worlds
- Emerging Media Presence in Virtual Worlds
- Consumer Behavior, Consumer Acceptance and Virtual Worlds
- Trust, Cross-Cultural Studies and Virtual Worlds
- Intellectual Property, Copyright, Trademarks and Virtual Worlds

Submission of Manuscript:
JECR publishes original empirical research, theoretical and methodological articles, evaluative and integrative reviews, field research, business surveys, and application papers of interest to a general readership. A submission based on a paper appearing elsewhere (such as conference proceedings or newsletters) must have major value-added extensions to the earlier version. For conference papers, it should have at least 30% new material. The submitted manuscripts should follow the format as suggested in the Submission Guideline found in the journal website:

Of particular note is that the manuscript should be prepared in Microsoft Word format. The names, affiliations, and contact information (i.e., phone, fax, email addresses) of all authors should be provided only on the cover page. The submitted paper will undergo a double-blind review. Contributing authors may be asked to serve as reviewers for the special issue. Authors may submit completed manuscripts electronically at any time prior to November 1st 2007 deadline. Manuscripts and questions send to

Guest Editor
Marc Fetscherin, Ph.D.
Rollins College
International Business Department
Winter Park, 32789, FL, USA
Tel: +1 407 691 1759
Fax: +1 407 646 1566

Important Dates:
Deadline for Submission: November 1, 2007
Paper acceptance/rejection: January 15, 2008
Revised paper submission: March 15, 2008
Final acceptance following revisions: May 15, 2008
Publication Date: August 2008