1. Randall Packer

    Collaborative Learning in the 3rd Space

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    Open Source Studio: Collaborative Learning in the 3rd Space

    A Research Talk by Randall Packer, Kristy Kang, and Juan Camilo González Friday, April 11th, 12:30 pm ADM Library Cinema Room, Mezzanine
    While online learning has captured the attention of educational institutions worldwide, pedagogical techniques for encouraging innovative forms of collaborative learning remain an emerging area of academic investigation. This joint presentation focuses on the Open Source Studio (OSS) project, which over the past two years has been in development at the California Institute of the Arts and ADM. OSS addresses how online education can be implemented in the arts to create a virtual studio environment that encourages transparency and collaboration in online research, writing, and the artistic process. The presentation will explore additional online initiatives including FemTechNet's Distributed Open Collaborative Course (DOOC), which served as an inspiration for designing a multi-nodal course taught collaboratively this year between faculty in ADM and The New School for Social Research in New York. It is our intent to both summarize the current accomplishments of the OSS project, as well as point to new opportunities for cross-cultural and inter-institutional collaboration via the network. PDF Flyer
  2. Randall Packer

    Media Transformations

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    Today’s world is largely made up of pixels. There is no denying it. As everything shifts from analog to digital, we essentially are moving from continuous waves to discreet numbers. That is the world we are becoming: an algorithmic arrangement of zeros and ones. As we communicate and transfer media across the network, the minutia of information is circulating endlessly in the system. We too, in our distributed presence, are broken down as data and reassembled as well. How will this come to reshape our thinking, our self-image, the meaning of who we are in the world? Created by Casey Reas The manipulation of data, so pervasive in everything from glitch art to everyday media tasks, raises the question of whether or not our identities are being resorted in these media transformations. If information is as fluid and transportable as the launch of a photo attachment or the playback of a video, then what is happening to our sense of place and situation in time as we transmit and navigate through the third space. Why, in fact, are we so fascinated by electronic disturbances? Why are we hypnotized by static and pixels and other digital debris floating across our screens and through the synapses of our brains? There is something alluring about the desintegration of information particles. It is as though we are peering through a microscope, not at the invisible paramecium and amoebas found on lab slides, rather, the content of an emerging universe of digital life that we […]
  3. Randall Packer

    The Post-Human Condition

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    Stelarc and his prosthetic third arm It has been said that tools are more than a function of their use, rather, they in turn reshape the minds who use them (Alan Kay). It has also been said that our tools have become an extension of our collective nervous system, (Marshall McLuhan). And finally, it has been said that all of us who are active participants in the Network are always in a potential state of global embrace (Roy Ascott). For those of us who have come to inhabit the third space, perhaps to a greater degree than we care to admit, the notion of how our technological tools have reshaped us, extended us, as far as the Net can reach, is fundamental to our understanding of what is implied by the post-human condition. For in the third space, where boundaries are blurred, connections are instantaneous, and everyone is just a click away, we have to wonder, and quite critically so, how this is effecting what we consider to be our innately human qualities. What does it mean to be human in the first place? That is a question perhaps too large to be answered by any one mortal soul. But if being human means we occupy space, exist in time, create relationships with others, nourish ourselves physically and intellectually: well all of those human necessities have been irrevocably altered by our exposure to technologies and our increasing immersion in the third space. In the photo above of the Australian performance […]
  4. Randall Packer

    Between the Real and the Virtual

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    Week 2: January 21 - 27 (Art-B1-14)

    A review of historical theatrical concepts: the suspension of disbelief and the construction of illusion, the fourth wall, Wagner’s gesamtkunstwerk (total artwork), the integration of the arts, immersion, and the blurring of physical and virtual space within the context of theater and performance. A broader discussion of remapping physical and sonic spaces through media, theatrical architectures, and the reconfiguration of the traditional proscenium. A review of the historical use of media in performance, including: Happenings, electronic theater, satellite projects, and installation; leading to new paradigms in contemporary media & performance, with an emphasis on the use of the network. There will be an in depth review of technical requirements of the Wordpress multi-site environment, Adobe Connect webcasting, and specific software applications for micro and final projects. Continued discussion of ideas and possibilities for the final project.
  5. Randall Packer

    The Third Space

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    Week 3: January 28 - February 3 (Adobe Connect)

    Our first session in Adobe Connect will offer an opportunity to experience the concept of the third space, conducted in the medium itself: a shared electronic space with remote participants connected via the network. We will explore the psychological and conceptual dimensions of the third space, notions of distributed presence, the dissolution of the object, disembodiment, the immaterial, and the intimacy of the telematic embrace. We will discuss how performance draws from the collective experience of the Network, live media, remote location, mobility, transformations of geographical perception in time and space, and how the third space lends itself to artistic realization. A review of historical third space projects: networked art, satellite broadcasts, net.art, leading to more contemporary works of cyber / networked performance art.
  6. Randall Packer

    Identity Multiples

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    Week 5: February 11 - 17 (Adobe Connect)

    A discussion of identity construction and character formation in performance: the notion of the double, the avatar, and the narcissistic lure of the alter ego. An in depth look at historical and contemporary role-playing in online environments: MUDs, MOOs, Second Life, the Palace, hypertextual fiction, game strategies, e-life, and other forms of text-based and graphical desktop theater. We will study works and forms that include choreographic and gestural works in virtual space, as well as social media and networked relations between active performer-participants assuming multiple identities and character. We will explore the psychological dimensions of “life on the screen,” including the effects of multi-tasking, the confusion of identity, alienation, aloneness, fragmentation, and addiction.
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