Masterstudiengang Spiel und Objekt

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weekend reading

…still slightly a work in process…

The last weekends I wrote about preparing an online workshop titled from SPACE to SPACE with NO screens on physical-computing over the network in The Boardgame as Remote Teaching Tool?, followed by a post about Why? the networks we use and rely on every day are even possible and how we came to build them in the first place.

This weekend I thought to compile a collection of works that deal with the internet, that use the internet, that make over the internet, with a focus on communications that go beyond the use of screens as information displays.

It was not so easy to find works that remain completely screenless, and that otherwise don’t have audio as their main content communication channel (like a telephone).


GETTING PHYSICAL


over
in
with
on
via
through
because of
despite of

the networked remote communication technologies we’ve built



inTouch

One of my favorites, because old and simple and *super* physical (no screens, non-verbal) is the inTouch by the Tangible Media Group. In the prototype shown in the video the two decides are connected physically (no electronics involved) but later prototypes used motors with force-feedback sensing, producing electronic signals that could be communicated over a network.

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»The Telepresence Garment«

>> https://www.digitalartarchive.at/database/general/work/the-telepresence-garment.html

“I first conceived the Telepresence Garment in 1995 to investigate the notion of the mediascape as an expanded cloth; i.e., to consider wireless networking as a new fabric that envelops the body.” … “The Garment was designed as an interactive piece to be worn by any local participant willing to allow his or her body to be engaged by others remotely.”


The Telegarden

While The Telegarden (1995-2004, Ars Electronica Museum, Linz Austria) by Ken Goldberg and Joseph Santarromana relies on screens on one end, I also like this project as snapshot of what it was like for some artists at the time the possibilities of networked communication became available to them. And they simply asked themselves “what to do with the Internet” in their artistic practices.

“The idea for the telegarden was inspired by the Internet itself…..”

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The Robot in the Garden
Marina Grzinic, “Exposure Time, the Aura, and Telerobotics,” in The Robot in the Garden: Telerobotics and Telepistemology in the Age of the Internet, edited by Ken Goldberg (MIT Press, 2000), p. 215.
http://atc.berkeley.edu/201/readings/Robot_In_The_Garden_Intro.pdf


Green Wall

20 years later another artistic research interpretation of a networked garden is “a prototype installation of a vertical garden, in which a symbiotic interaction between plants, computers, robots and people takes place.” – not so different from before.
Though I remember hearing from one of the people involved that a goal is to eliminate the human from the ecosystem to have it be self-sufficient. Although how can anything be independent these days in world that is showing us how deeply connected everything is.

Click on the button to load the content from biotehna.org.

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Time, Motion, Touch

This is a wonderful post by Julian Bleecker on his thoughts behind his Flavanoid project (A wearable device that measures your activity and uses the data for change your avatar in the cirtual world Second Life) and asks the question:

“What are the ways in which time, motion and touch be used to create a meaningful bridge between 1st life (physical) and 2nd life (digital)?”

>> http://blog.nearfuturelaboratory.com/category/designed_for_implications/page/16/

By Julian Bleecker’s techkwondo website – “mobile, wireless, technology, play”
http://www.techkwondo.com/index.html

>> https://we-make-money-not-art.com/interview_with_14/


Embodisuit

A collaboration between Rachel Freire and Sophia Brueckner

“…the Embodisuit allows its wearer to map signals onto different places on their body. It both critiques and offers an alternative to current trends in wearable technology. Most wearables harvest data from their users to be sent and processed elsewhere. The Embodisuit flips this paradigm.”

>> https://www.rachelfreire.com/embodisuit


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BUTTONS: BLIND CAMERA

by Sascha Pohflepp


Constraint City – The Pain of Everyday Life

by Gordan Savicic

“…lets you literally, feel this pain of information society. The higher the wireless signal strength of close encrypted networks, the tighter the corset gets.”

>> https://www.yugo.at/equilibre/


A Transmaterial Body

by Chelsea Thompto
“the boundaries of the self through poetic appropriation of network technology”
https://www.chelseathompto.com/transmaterial

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vtol’s Hot Ninja

“Its main function is communication and propaganda through the Wi-FI wireless standard.”

http://vtol.cc/Hot-Ninja

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vtol’s hotspot poet:
“Autonomous micro-device which distributes wi-fi masked as wireless network, visible at any gadget such as a smartphone or a laptop. The device is automatically renaming its network every 10 seconds, taking as its name various lines of poems by famous poets.”

>> http://vtol.cc/hotspot-poet

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datacatchers

by Ebru Kurbak

>> https://ebrukurbak.net/datacatchers/


Hertzian Tales
by Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby


Full Body, Full Everything


teslasuit

The TESLASUIT training solution provides outputs from haptic feedback and climate control to users, and receives inputs from motion capture and biometrics. With our software and partner ecosystem, this technology is a complete solution for improving human performance.

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Internet Of Things (IOT)


UNINVITED GUESTS

by Superflux

In response to the question “As physical objects in the home become embedded with increasing smartness and autonomy, what relationships do we form with them?”
Superflux explored the tensions that could emerge within the ‘connected home’ construct.
>> https://superflux.in/index.php/work/uninvited-guests/#

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Uninvited Guests from Superflux on Vimeo.


rambler shoes

by Ricardo Nascimento and Tiago Martins
“Rambler is a critical embodiment of the (until now) metaphorical notion of blogging every step you take. It aims to bring the practice of microblogging to one of many possible extremes, turning it into an automatic, thoughtless act of diffusing large amounts of slightly ambiguous, repetitive and arguably useless personal information.”

>> https://www.onascimento.com/new-page-4
>> https://twitter.com/ramblershoes?lang=en

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More sensor shoes
by the creator of Shiftr.io:

The Stellvertreter shoes

convey the feeling to be close to a person who is somewhere else by transferring the activities of the distant person’s shoes into the shoes of others. >> https://blog.shiftr.io/showcase-1-2a4ef797cefc

Dia.log

The project “dia.log” explores the term by setting a dialog between the user and the thing; by understanding various contexts through their sitting behaviors. These objects are given the potential to be smart, but also have a chance to fail. >> https://blog.shiftr.io/showcase-2-5bba0cccbddd
Rambler Shoes



weekend reading

Two weekends ago I wrote about the process of turning a workshop about networked spaces, titled “From Space to Space”, into a boardgame. Now the workshop is over and it was a very hands-on and technical introduction to networked communication. We successfully sent and received sensor data over the Internet.
But why?
Why was it even possible?
Why did we want to do it in the first place?


Why?

Why is networked communication such a big thing these days?
It is ubiquitous, many of our everyday tasks depend on networked communication working seamlessly. Messaging friends, checking the news, paying by card, sharing photos, looking up how to get places…..
And because the technology does work so seamlessly, it can be so easy to overlook the role it plays in constructing our realities – the spaces in which we communicate, socialize, live – be they physical or virtual.


Das Netz

I found the documentary Das Netz by Lutz Dammbeck to be a great place to start learning about or reminding myself of the history/origins of the Internet, especially as it relates to art and culture and social theories.

trailer:

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full film:

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Margaret Mead

Margaret Mead was an anthropologist concerned with studying the effects of new technologies on culture. This article is not by her, but refers to her work, and speaks of our human desire for communication being a driving force for developing network technologies in order to communicate more and faster and on larger and larger scales.

“In 1969, the anthropologist Margaret Mead wrote of an “approaching world-wide culture.” While she wrote of a global culture made possible by the electronic and transportation advances of her day, her words actually foresaw fundamental changes that have been substantially enhanced by the computer communication networks that were just beginning in 1969. A new culture is being formed out of a universal desire for communication. This culture is being formed and formulated both by new technology and by social desires. People are dissatisfied with the their conditions, whether traditional or modern. Much of the new communication technology facilitates new global connections. This paper will explore the emerging global culture and the influence of the new net culture on a new participatory global culture.”
Abstract from “Culture and Communication: The Impact of the Internet on the Emerging Global Culture by Michael Hauben (1997)


Staging complexity – art & theatre in the digital age

In the final panel of Staging Complexity, which took place in Dortmund online this March, Christian Sievers also draws our attention to the beginnings of The Internet and societies utopian dreams of it providing a more democratic communication infrastructure….

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A Brief History of Communication

It can also be nice to watch cute simple animations like these to jog our memories about the history of communication technologies.
Reminding ourselves of the awesomeness of The Internet that we experience it everyday.

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Internet Landscapes by Evan Roth

A physical approach to exploring the extents of the Internet’s physical infrastructure is this art work Berlin-Based artist Evan Roth.

“In Internet Landscapes, Evan Roth investigates the physicality of the Internet as a means to reconnect with changing digital and natural landscapes. Roth plans to follow fiber optic cables as they traverse the globe, and document their often invisible existence using technologies and techniques developed by paranormal societies, including: full spectrum photography; infrared video; instruments of trans-communication; and devices for recording electronic voice phenomena. As his personal pilgrimage to the Internet progresses, he will open this process up to a wider group in which techniques, locations and technologies can be shared freely. From his time in the wilderness of the Internet, Roth will produce a series of pieces in a range of mediums (sculptures, prints and websites) for exhibition off and online.”
Read more: http://www.creative-capital.org/proje…

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Halt and Catch Fire

If you are up for it, this is an entertaining series that nicely depicts moments where technologists and designers try to come up with applications for networked communication, for reasons why we should spend time on the network. They come up with applications that allow people to: play games, chat, spend money, exchange goods….. things we do in “real life” too:-)

“Halt and Catch Fire is a television series depicting a fictional insider’s view of the personal computer revolution of the 1980s and later the growth of the World Wide Web in the early 1990s. The show’s title refers to computer machine code instruction Halt and Catch Fire (HCF), the execution of which would cause the computer’s central processing unit to stop working (catch fire being a humorous exaggeration).”

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The Internet and the arts

And finally here a very good, and maybe a bit old (2014), post on the Processing website which serves as their introduction to Networks. It starts off with a brief history and provides a distinction between art of the Internet and art for the Internet.

“Historically, there have been two basic strands of networked art: art where the network is used as the actual medium of art–making, or art where the network is used as the transportation medium for dissemination of the work. The former might be understood as art of the Internet, while the latter as art for the Internet. The goal of this text has been to introduce some of the basic conditions, both technological and aesthetic, for making networked art, in the hopes that entirely new techniques and approaches will spring forth in the future as both strands blend together into exciting new forms.”


Thank you for reading. Have a nice Sunday!

Zulassungsprüfung goes online

Im Zuge der anhaltenden Reisebeschränkungen und aus Gründen der Wahrung der Hygienemassnahmen, haben wir uns enschieden, die Zulassungsprüfung dieses Jahr ausschliesslich Online abzuhalten. Dadurch besteht von Seiten der Bewerber*innen bei positiver Bewertung der Bewerbung keine Reisenotwendigkeit. Der zeitliche Umfang der Zulassungsprüfung ändert sich durch diese Regelung nicht.

Der Bewerbungszeitraum läuft noch bis Montag, 18.Mai, 13 Uhr.

Alle Informationen zur Bewerbung finden sich hier.

Bewerben bis 18.05.

Die Bewerbungsfrist für den 2-jährigen Masterstudiengang Spiel und Objekt endet am 18.05. – 13:00 Uhr.

Details zu den Aufgaben und dem Ablauf der Bewerbung findet ihr hier.

Projekte, die im Rahmen des Studiums entstanden sind, könnt ihr euch hier anschauen:

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All Together Now from MA Spiel&&Objekt on Vimeo.

Wir freuen uns auf eure Bewerbung!

weekend reading

Last week Friedrich summed up some of the things the (now digital?) theater scene in Germany is exploring in terms of new meeting places for performing and socializing. What Friedrich didn’t mention is that he himself has been building such a space, and over the last 2-weeks introducing our students to it in order to provide them with a tool-set/platform with which they can now build and conduct their own experimental experiences.

I won’t write much more about Friedrich’s platform (except that it is a Unity instance hosted on a server in Frankfurt, allowing us to build custom digital spaces that many many people can then enter very very easily through a browser!) in the hopes that he himself will elaborate some more on it next weekend. Plus, over the course of the next weeks we can also report on the student’s experiments on the platform (or maybe they will even do so themselves).

While Friedrich’s course (titled Vernetzte Räume / Networked Spaces) dove into the PC/smartphone (mouse+keyboard+screen/touchscreen) common setup that would allow many access. My own interest is more on how our bodies interact physically with technologies (objects.things.materials). And what possibilities arise when we are able to mediate these interactions (digitally) over the network to other humans (and non-humans). Building custom sensor/actuator controllers results in setups that are harder to make accessible to larger audiences, but this is a limitation of time&energy, not of the controller things themselves.

Since I will be teaching my workshop starting coming Tuesday, my head is quite completely occupied by it. So I thought to use this weekend reading space as a place to write down some things I’ve learned by translating my course contents that I would “normally” teach very hands on in a space full of materials and tools, into something that “makes sense of” the new circumstances – communicating remotely via audio/visual networked devices and the preparing and shipping of material KITs across town.

The Boardgame as Remote Teaching Tool?

Over the past month, I’ve been working to turn two of my courses/workshops into boardgames. Using the game board as a format for organizing and communicating the workshop contents in order to teach, or rather to lead participants through a learning experience.

This sounds so simple, but the realization that the boardgame format would work to communicate with, and lead participants through, new terrain, was an incredible one. It lead me to so many other ideas for communicating aspects of teaching, learning and making with materials by using playfulness as a means of engagement.

Preparing content to be learned/experienced in a different way, brings with it an opportunity to be(come) aware of the situatedness of the content in its new format/context. In general I’m a fan of exploring different ways of doing things as opportunities to open up knowledge spaces to people (audiences) who were not previously drawn to them. See far bellow for some more links and readings on these topics of Epistemological Pluralism and Situated Learning.

The fact that you have a boardgame in front of you, not a book, zine, online tutorial/video, situates you in a certain place where all of a sudden I can start to introduce a coin currency to be spent on certain resources (materials, knowledge, time-outs…). Limiting the number of coins you have to spend, and what items are deemed valuable enough to require purchase, is a pretend limitation, but I implement it as a reflection of the “real-world” process I (as an educator) am hoping to share with you (as a learner).

The first time I did this was for a workshop that was going to be about building dioramas and animating them in order to tell short stories.

MaterialAdventures the_boardgame (beta version)
>> https://www.plusea.at/?p=6605
instruction booklet: http://plusea.at/downloads/games/20-MaterialAdventureGame_instructions_current.pdf

The second time I did it, and am still amid the process of doing so, is for the workshop I will be teaching coming week:

from SPACE to SPACE (with NO SCREENS?) (in process)
>> https://www.kobakant.at/DIY/?p=8182

THE WORKSHOP/GAME DESIGN PROCESS

Basically, translating my former workshop topics into the boardgame format is less a process of translation and more of re-thinking them entirely. Embracing the new opportunities provided by the play/game elements to shape the flow, but also the contents.

The process of re-thinking is a constant back and forth of working through the following aspects:

*title, subtitle, introductory paragraph (laying things out in words)
These help me maintain an overview/focus of the overall learning content/experience I am aiming for.

*layout a schedule (laying things out by content and timing)
This helps define a flow. It can branch, circle back… but the linking of the contents to positions in time help arrange a kind of narrative for both me and the player.

*sketching out a path (laying things out in space)
Working physically on paper and on a 1:1 scale is incredibly important here. This process brings together the content and flow

*the graphics/aesthetics (making strong use of visual communication)
Trying out different aesthetics for the board, the visual elements (mixing and matching computer design with hand drawing, collage….)

*to-do lists (keeping track of what is possible)
Keeping track of all the things that need to get done and making sure I am able to do them in time. But also a means of deciding

The whole while, every one of these aspects has the ability to inspire or lead to a new idea. For example trying out an old game-boy icon aesthetic might lead one to discover that jump-and-run metaphors are great for explaining electron flow…….

THE GAME/PLAY

A big motivation for me to produce the physical elements was so that a majority of the workshop time could be spent playing at one’s own pace, “alone” with the materials/technology. That the connectedness with the other players could be kept rather discrete and sporadic, because I find it very consuming to have continuous audio/visual channels to others open while being amid a process of focussing-in (concentrating) on new materials/technologies, code, knowledge. At least until we build more wholesome (for lack of a better word) means of remote communication.

The BOARD and the GAME ELEMENTS are physical things that I have players print out and assemble (or I distribute as KITs to them), the COMMUNICATION between players happens over the Internet. We will use a mix of Skype for video/audio and Discord for chat/video/audio. I still need to come up with a good solution for sharing code and documentation among players……

THE BOARD

The graphical interface of the boardgame is an amazing opportunity for arranging information in a single image/instance. Not separated out over the pages of a book or navigated via endless scrolling/clicking through webpage(s).
You can perceive the entirety of the content in one go, while at the same time needing to zoom in (by focussing your attention and looking/reading) in order to take in detail. And ultimately you have to actually play the game in order to really understand all the meaning(s) embedded within.

So each time I’ve translated my workshop content into a boardgame the graphical layout of the information, and the aesthetics used to communicate with, have been extremely important elements. So much opportunity here, and such a challenge to do it well!

StoS_gameboard_v6_BW

GAME ELEMENTS

Here a list of the game elements I have implemented so far:
*the rules and the commitment of all players to play by these rules
*start and end, and the path/route between
*choosing/creating a character to play with/through
*interactions between characters
*currency/coins as value system (introducing constraints/limitations)
*resources for purchase, gifting, collecting, exchange….
*decision moments and randomizations (chaos)
*help-cards, time-outs
*punishments and rewards
*ways to cheat (and get caught….. or feel guilty)
*competition and collaboration
*moments of suspense and disappointment

COMMUNICATION & IMAGINATION

In practice: the game(s) start with a video-call where we say hello and go over the instructions/rules together. We maybe even play some of the first steps together (if they were designed for this), but at some point the games no longer require a continuous audio/visual channel, and players retreat into their own spaces to play (play-to-make).

The board, the rules and the elements of the game now lead the player on their “material adventure”. Knowing that there are others abiding by the same rules, going through the same steps….. is what I think of (and have experienced to be) as a remote social connection. The fact that the connection “works” despite there not being any high-res digital/electronic data-transmission. The fact that we are able to IMAGINE the other and feel connected with them in the absence of an open communication channel is what draws me to this format.

Writing and sending discrete letters via snail-mail bridges time and physical distances between people, while creating continuous shared intimacy because of our ability to bridge these gaps with our imaginations. But we also need the technologies (language, symbolic notation systems, paper, pen… the postal service……. electricity, code, transistors, networks, protocols……devices ) to establish the communication channels that spark our imaginations.

GAME OVER

I think this is a good moment to end for now.

Thanks for reading!

Hannah


P.S. Interested in exploring technology and play, networked experiences, material adventures and their stories….. Come study with us in Berlin! We are NOW accepting students for next semester!
>> https://spielundobjekt.de/bewerbung/


// FURTHER READINGS

Epistemological Pluralism is a term used to refer to different ways of knowing things.

Sherry Turkle and Seymour Papert published their article “Epistemological Pluralism and the Revaluation of the Concrete” (1992) in which they studied and reflected upon different approaches that different people have in learning how to write computer code.
https://www.mit.edu/~sturkle/epistemologicalpluralism.html

“Our central thesis is that equal access to even the most basic elements of computation requires an epistemological pluralism, accepting the validity of multiple ways of knowing and thinking.”

Situated Learning and Situated Knowledges are terms that lead to much reading on a (to me) very interesting field of work and practice.

“Situated learning is a theory that explains an individual’s acquisition of professional skills and includes research on apprenticeship into how legitimate peripheral participation leads to membership in a community of practice. Situated learning “takes as its focus the relationship between learning and the social situation in which it occurs”.
–https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Situated_learning

Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective (1988) by Donna Haraway
https://philpapers.org/archive/harskt.pdf


// REFLECTIONS

Now the workshop is over and in this post I will briefly reflect on how it went went as well as provide some further reading on the topic of networked communication, art, spaces.

The gameboard worked well to lead through the week, but it functioned as an information display rather than a playable platform. The fact that it lay open on everybody’s table meant it was an ever-present shared reference, but the making of a player character and the spending of money to purchase resources remained entertaining features and did not become playful means to a learning experience.

StoS_gameboard_v6_BW

WORLD MEETS COMPUTER
We started the week by going over networked communication between computers, servers, clients, brokers, routers…….
And then implemented a concrete instance using Processing to publish and subscribe and and MQTT broker (https://shiftr.io) with a really nice browser visualization of the system.

GETTING PHYSICAL
Next we switched from screen-based processing to physical-computing tool Arduino. But rather than switch to a wifi enabled Arduino board we kept with the simple setup and still communicated over the network via Processing.
Most of the day was spent building textile sensors, converting their analog resistance values into voltages (Voltage Divider!) and then converting them to digital with the Arduino’s ADC (analogRead!).

TAKING CONTROL
We connected a servo motor as output and controlled it’s angle using the sensor’s value. The challenge was to pull the string from the party popper…..
…. but the motor was too week. Instead the motor could push something heavy from the table that could pull the string….. but we needed more time to build stable setups.

ROAMING FREE
We made the switch from Arduino Uni <—> Processing to the ESP32 Dev Module DOIT, which is a wifi board that can be programmed using the Arduino language and IDE. It was a struggle to get the setup running on everybody’s computer, but we got it working for everybody just in time for lunch! We managed to send and receive sensor data over the network, but did not manage to pull the string….

THE END
Making the transition from learning to imagining. Everybody is now working on their own small projects. To control characters in unity with sock-puppets, to send onion-data and graph it, to play pong with breath over the network, to build datagloves and pressure matrixes to capture physical gestures and feed them into virtual spaces.

weekend reading

After some time of working behind the scenes to restructure our communications for the school and figuring out how to move forward with classes, we are now back to resuming our regular schedule with the weekend reading (and will post updates on what we are working on here on the blog soon).

The cultural sector is re-negotiating its possibility space in providing access to the experiences we used to share and get inspired by. In many ways, I feel reminded of the late 90s and up to the 2010s, where many artists tried to figure out ways in which social situations could be delocalized and, sometimes, atemporalized.

Examples of recent online-social spaces and experiments include:

Paolo Pedercini‘s likelike Arcade, which has been revamped into a full-blown MoMa-like (pun intended).

click goes to ever-wonderful rockpapershotgun.com

Christiane Hütter, who is, among many many other things, also one of our visiting lecturers, and Christian Römer, who is, among many other things, one of our MA students, have recently startet a series of Workshops titled Weltübergang:

projects that startet development during the first round of workshops

TAG Montreal‘s new Minecraft server

After the Consequences is a bit different from the modpacks that have been seen on previous TAG servers. TAGsters will be playing in a world rebounding after an unnamed apocalypse. Nature is quietly reclaiming the remnants of a society that clearly ran rampant, made evident by the sprawling urban landscapes that dominate the game world. These city biomes are alternately quiet, brutal, and violent, filled with darkened skyscrapers and long subway tunnels holding unknown secrets. Nature biomes are enchanting, diverse, and lush — rich with a diverse array of flora, fauna, and even magic.”

“A screenshot from After the Consequences

Epic Games (who used to be called Epic Megagames) and Travis Scott have created an interactive Public-Viewing Music video (link goes to Forbes article).

And finally, the FFT Düsseldorf will be hosting an online Symposium, in which a newly developed theater play by Machina Ex will be playable.

Meanwhile, our friends at the Akademie für Theater und Digitalität are collaborating with nachtkritik.de and the Berliner Festspiele, to put together a Version of this year’s Theatertreffen online for people to experience. We are happy to see our MA student Christian Römer, our team member Janne Nora Kummer, and our visiting lecturer Christiane Hütter as part of this event.

click goes to Theatertreffen Blog

Last week was the first week of online classes. As you all may or may not know by now, online education is a horrible way for a group of people to gather and disseminate knowledge. But it’s the only way we have for now. Here is a super quick “three things” that we found in our experiences (building on many other best-practices that you might have read online already):

  1. As a teacher, you can use OBS Studio to set up transitions between different workspaces. I have a computer with Pen input, so i like to have a Whiteboard Window running – we use Microsoft Whiteboard, other use Miro.com, I am sure there are lots more. OBS Studio has a virtual camera plugin that works with most videoconferencing tools.
  2. Remember that many videoconferencing tools use different Codecs for sharing your screen or sharing your webcam image. I ended up using Screen share on Skype and had that point to my OBS Studio window.
  3. We experimented with moving Q&A to a separate chat-based service. So i could ask a question in Skype, and every participant can immediately start answering the question in Discord. In our experience, the discussion and interaction was a lot more lively, with people engaging with each other more when typing (and emoting).

It is a space of constant negotiation though. You and the people you want to share knowledge with will probably have to find your own dos and don’ts. It is probably a good idea to have feedback sessions outside of classes, in which different ways of interacting can be suggested and experimented with. We have to re-build all the small nuanced subtleties that we use to negotiate our roles and the situations we are in. The ones we are used to from Face to Face Communication most definitely don’t work as well anymore.

That being said, and on a lighter note, I think there are few better ways of teaching an Introduction to Erving Goffman’s Behaviour in public places.

Oh, and one last thing. If you know someone, or are someone, who might be interested in studying with us (and are pretty okay with speaking german), why not check out our Bewerbungsverfahren – it’s still running until 18th of May.

weekend reading

Dear friends,

our school discord channel

Both faculty and students are currently in the process of continuously assessing the situation. In the coming days and weeks, we will develop a stronger online presence, to make our work and research, but also spaces for discussion and collaboration available to you. Right now, we are working internally to provide stable infrastructure for communication and social exchange.

We have had experience using the software Discord for organizing Spiel und Objekt, and will be using it more to provide classes, lectures and support. We have also moved the school proper to discord, recreating similar channels of communication to what we had when we still saw each other. It’s not the same, but it works well to provide a space for atemporal and documented discussion, when email and phone calls and skype can all only provide some part of that. It is also comforting to see hundreds of people checking in and out throughout the day.

With all these hastily established digital tools come new challenges. Limiting your screen time, organizing your availability, and, separating channels of communication between work and social life. Making appointments, even though people can get notifications on their phone, and providing help to those that have not had the necessity to develop their online literacy are super-important. It is new grounds for all of us, at least on this scale. The amount of notifications, experimental ways of creating culture and always online mindset can lead to heightened stress, especially when your day-to-day is changing so rapidly.

We firmly believe, that theatre is a shared social space. What we don’t know yet, is how these social spaces work without bodily co-presence. We will experiment and share, just as many of you do, and we will try to create groups for people to share their experiences, and create safe spaces for experimentation, where mistakes can be made and not everything has to be for everyone. For that, we want to take our time, and slowly establish these new channels, so as to make them robust and understandable and meaningful and not overextend ourselves. There are many weeks ahead of us, where urgent social and medical issues will rightful be at the center of our attention. But we will try to continually inform you about the services, knowledges and tools we can provide.

Weekend Reading

We have just returned from an international workshop on participatory and interactive theatre that was held at FFT Düsseldorf this past week. As you might imagine, the recent measures regarding the Corona-Virus pandemic have left their mark on everyone involved. Still, during the past couple of days, many conversations took place, many ideas were exchanged and we started accumulating and sharing a lot of knowledge on digital tools, dramaturgies and best practices, that we are in the process of sharing more widely.

Preliminary Documentation happened in Form of a Zine created by Participants, which you can read and download here:

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More Information has been published to the Hyperdramatik.net Wiki.

We are both saddened to witness the complete shutdown of cultural life in Germany and see this as a reasonable course of action, giving current developments. Our hearts go out to those in need of aid, be it physically, mentally or financially.

We do believe that theatre is, first and foremost, a social gathering, and that digital spaces can only go so far in recreating this space. We also understand, that not having any sort of cultural input (or output) for an undetermined amount of time, is an untenable situation. In the coming weeks, we will be evaluating how we can provide information regarding digital toolsets that might help people with their artistic output.

As for our university – as with all other universities, we have postponed all physical lectures until at least April 20th. Our application period will still start tomorrow with the publication of our online form. And we will keep you updated on any developments.

Stay home, stay safe.

Impressum