Erik’s conferencing planning

Notes to myself on some conferences to consider or prepare for in 2018:

11-Apr-18 VHN2018 Dublin Ireland Virtual Heritage Network Not unless neighborhood-shame
02-May-18 Best Practices Menorca Spain Best Practices in World Heritage: Archeology (blog) Abstract accepted but travel complex
28-May-18  VRTCH’18 Brasov Transylvania VR Technologies in Cultural Heritage V.interesting but not great timing
14-Jun-18 Arctemps London UK TANGIBLE – INTANGIBLE HERITAGE(S) Not great timing
18-Jun-18 CDH2018 Lund Sweden 3D models and Archives: Centre for Digital Heritage UNESCO chair objectives, a bit early tho
25-Jun-18 ICC2018 Salamanca Spain Computational Creativity Creativity and VH?
03-Jul-18 GI Forum Salzburg Austria me|places|spaces: Special Session: DH: Spatial Perspectives 3D and GIS formats for CH Issues: enough time?
04-Jul-18 HCI Belfast Ireland British HCI 2017-Digital Make Believe Great topic & timing but no suitable eval?
26-Sep-18 Best in heritage Split Croatia The best in heritage Not conference but best of museum exhibits. Invite to nearby maritime archaeology centre-we shall see.
01-Oct-18 ICOMOS2018 Suva Fiji Pasifika Heritage focus, tbd Not a focus on DH? Good themes though
28-Oct-18 CHIPLAY Melbourne Australia Computer-Human Interaction in Play Perhaps MB’s first project?
31-Oct-18 DH2018 ? Digital Heritage 2018 Will try, not much details on conf yet though
04-Dec-18 SiggraphAsia Tokyo Japan Siggraph ASIA 18 Only if suitable sessions
17-Dec-18 Tagdeva Chester UK Theoretical archaeology If I have a good idea! Great timing





3D and game editors

Free UT (Unreal game engine) assets

I’m having some trouble finding suitable Unreal engine assets for an intern to use the latest Unreal engine on our (stereo) cylinder and semi-dome at Curtin, but in the meantime..

UPDATE: here is the EPIC Sun temple download link:


[And I assume you have something like to convert and a 3D modeller like (free) Blender 3D ]

Thanks for many of the above links, to the Unreal engine forum.


The Sin of Completeness versus the Lure of Fantasy in Contested Possibility-Spaces

[abstract for Critical Archaeological Gaming -Workshop, UCLA, LA USA, 25-26.01.2018]

The Sin of Completeness versus the Lure of Fantasy in Contested Possibility-Spaces

“..virtual archaeology was not only about ‘what was’ and ‘what is’, or just about developing digital tools… It included a licence to imagine ‘what ifs’ and ‘what might come to be’.”1

In contrast to virtual archaeology, I will outline but question how the fantasy elements of computer games’ pretend completeness enrich ritual, player choice and reward. Could archaeology-focused games leverage fantasy (imagination) for not just engagement but also for critical reflection?


[1] Beale, G. and Reilly, P. 2017 After Virtual Archaeology: Rethinking Archaeological Approaches to the Adoption of Digital Technology, Internet Archaeology 44. [Section 2].

digital heritage, virtual heritage

Experiencing the Experience of the Past

Experiencing the Experience of the Past and

Experiencing Exhibition Portals of the Future from the Past.

[Notes on a potential future article of speculative/manifesto-oriented content, but where it fits with journals or conferences, I do not know].

Keywords: Experience, heritage, 3D models, experience of experience, Heidegger

In creating virtual heritage models and sites there is a typically recurring problem seldom discussed. In the midst of so many technical, conceptual and social problems I wish to highlight one of the most difficult, the experiencing of experiences.

Charters into digital heritage usually relate back to UNESCO’s concepts of cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible. And UNESCO’s concepts are predicated on the notion of communicating (local, past) cultural significance of the site: what was valuable and significant about it and how do we communicates its values?

Conversely, exhibition architecture celebrates the new, the inspiring, they act as gateway to a visionary future. How do we preserve communicate or re-establish their function and impact, as portals between past and future? They are generally forgotten and dismantled. But the experience of encountering them is never fully recorded, transmitted or preserved.

For Heidegger, the work of art (say, a Greek temple), does not just sit there, it provides a perceptual threshold through which the perceiver can suddenly encounter the shadow-furrowed outline of their past silhouetted against the blinding light of their future.

The power of the sudden vista is such that the very material of the temple (be it marble or some other shiny material) “causes it to come forth for the very first time” [PLT 46]. That is, on the edge of the bringing-forth of the work of art, one is carried away by the impression that the moment is unique: that the work is appearing before one in a way that will never quite be “caught” again.

Such an opening is not an object that is unrelated to the perceiver’s self-guided interests (as one might view the situation in terms of a Kantian disinterestedness), it is the revealing of those very same to all past theories of art and aesthetics. And in the very act of creating this realm, Heidegger claims that it might be significantly more tempting and worthwhile to the perceiver than even the phenomenal world that actually (tangibly) lies before them:

“Towering up within itself, the work opens up a world and keeps it abidingly in force…The world worlds, and is more fully in being than the tangible and perceptual realm in which we believe ourselves to be at home.” [PLT 44-45]

Can we recapture this? The problem, in other words, is how to communicate the experience, historically situated, in how people then experienced what was then fresh, new, revolutionary.

There are paintings, news clippings, sometimes audio interviews. But nothing together in an experiential gestalt that helps communicate what was new to them. Presence research does not help, it aims for a universal not situated measure of presence and immersivity. My concept of cultural presence also does not go very far, it may only apply to certain sites, and…

Do 3D models help? No, they are limited in terms of backstory, paradata (context), not experientially rich, lacking in interactivity and agency (not the same thing), no multimodality or gestalt framework (for reasons I will elaborate), and seldom have feedback. Here I will explain why the most basic elements of games, theme (fantasy, imagination), challenge (engaging difficulty), optional strategies that help develop intrinsic game-related growth and change…

But museums? Museums don’t have the time to enable the above! Well, they don’t have the freedom to allow users to develop the above (references to follow). Growth, deep understanding, all take time and reflection. The monumental, forgotten impact of old museums is disappearing…

There are examples in architecture (embodiment: Kathadaw Pagoda, caryatids; expression: Colosseum; innovation: Duomo of Florence, Hagia Sophia, Pantheon; sensory overload and uniqueness: Crystal Palace).

SO how can we relay and transmit the above?

  1. Biofeedback
  2. Paradata trails
  3. Backstory (incorporate witness and expert interviews)
  4. Historical mementos from different eras recapturing the apparent newness of the event
  5. Shareable experience indicators


Charitos, D. (1996). “Definining Existential Space in Virtual Environments”, Proc. Virtual Reality World 96, (Stuttgart: IDG Publications).

Heidegger, Martin, (translated by Albert Hofstadter), Poetry, Language, Thought, Harper and Row, New York 1975 [PLT]

ICOMOS, (1999).‘The Burra Charter: The Australia ICOMOS charter for the conservation of places of cultural significance’,

Nitsche, Michael. 2008, Video Game Spaces Image, Play, and Structure in 3D Game Worlds, MIT Press, USA.

3D and game editors, game, HIVE

Converting Unreal Tournament Levels

Hope to convert an Unreal Tournament (UT2004) game level to UT3. My models (originally), but ported to UT from Adobe Atmosphere and re-textured (read: sculptures/reliefs removed) by students in 2005.


And tutorials warn I have to delete almost everything to convert, and it may well not work. Great!

Perhaps it would be easier to import from 3DS (3D Studio Max) but I no longer have the models! Oh well, that is virtual heritage for you.

If others have virtual heritage models in the UDK editor (Unreal 3) or directly in the latest Unreal 4 engine, please let me know, a student intern here is modifying Unreal to run on the Curtin HIVE cylindrical screen and (semi) dome.



Conferences for 2018

19-Mar-18 Gone MuseumNext MuseumNext: The future of museums? Australia Brisbane Australia
11-Apr-18 22-Jan-18 VHN2018 Virtual Heritage Network Dublin Ireland
18-Apr-18 15-Jan-18 ICA2018 Digital Approaches to Cartographic heritage Madrid Spain
18-Apr-18 31-Dec-17 MW2018 Museums on the Web (Lightning talks and demos) Vancouver Canada
21-Apr-18 15-Jan-18 alt-CHI Human Factors in Computing Systems Montreal Canada
02-May-18 15-Oct-17 Best Practices Best Practices in World Heritage: Archeology (blog) Menorca Spain
07-May-18 10-Jan-18 WAM18 We Are Museums Marrakech Morocco
30-May-18 01-Feb-18 Orientations A Conference of Narrative and Place Nottingham UK
09-Jun-18 08-Jan-18 DIS Designing Interactive Systems Hong Kong
12-Jun-18 15-Dec-17 Heritage 2018 HERITAGE 2018 – Heritage and Sustainable Development Granada Spain
14-Jun-18 01-Apr-18 Arctemps TANGIBLE – INTANGIBLE HERITAGE(S) London UK
18-Jun-18 15-Mar-18 CDH2018 3D models and Archives: Centre for Digital Heritage Lund Sweden
20-Jun-18 16-Feb-18 web3D 2018 web 3D Poznan Poland
25-Jun-18 15-Feb-18 ILRN Immersive Learning Research Network Conference Montana USA
26-Jun-18 27-Nov-17 DH2018 Digital Humanities 2018 Mexico City Mexico
29-Jun-18 15-Mar-18 AAE Archaeology and Architecture in Europeana Lund Sweden
29-Jun-18 23-Feb-18 ICC2018 Computational Creativity Salamanca Spain
04-Jul-18 31-Mar-18 HCI British HCI 2017-Digital Make Believe Dublin Ireland
10-Jul-18 15-Jan-18 EVA18 Electronic Visualisation and the Arts London UK
18-Jul-18 15-Jan-18 Serious Play Serious Play Conference Virginia USA
25-Jul-18 31-Jan-18 DiGRA2018 The Game is the Message Turin Italy
07-Aug-18 12-Mar-18 FDG Foundations of Digital Games Malmo Sweden
12-Aug-18 23-Jan-18 SIGGRAPH18 SIGGRAPH: Generations Vancouver Canada
01-Sep-18 31-Dec-17 2018achs Heritage Across Borders Hangzhou China
09-Sep-18 ? Jadh2018 Japanese Digital Humanities Tokyo Japan
17-Sep-18 ? TC-14 ICEC Entertainment Computing Poznan Poland
19-Sep-18 01-Feb-18 eCAADe2018 computing for a better tomorrow Lodz Poland
20-Sep-18 28-Feb-18 Spatial humanities Spatial Humanities Lancaster UK
26-Sep-18 ? Best in heritage The best in heritage Split Croatia
01-Oct-18 ? ICOMOS2018 Pasifika Heritage focus, tbd Suva Fiji
14-Oct-18 03-Apr-18 UIST ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology Berlin Germany
28-Oct-18 13-Apr-18 CHIPLAY The annual symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play Melbourne Australia
31-Oct-18 18-Jan-18 World Forum “The Human Image in a Changing World” Busan Korea
31-Oct-18* ? DH2018 Digital Heritage 2018 *(actually sometime in Oct) San Francisco
13-Nov-18 28-Feb-18 ga2018 WEB ARCHIVING HISTORIES AND FUTURES Wellington NZ
28-Nov-18 15-Aug-18 VRST18 Virtual Reality Software and Technology Tokyo Japan
04-Dec-18 SiggraphAsia Siggraph ASIA 18 Tokyo Japan
24-Apr-19 ? CAA2019 Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology Kraków Poland
01-Jun-19 ? iLRN Immersive Learning Research London UK
04-Sep-19 10-Oct-18 EAA2019 EAA 25th Annual Meeting Bern, Switzerland
01-Nov-19 ? SiggraphAsia Siggraph Asia 19 Brisbane Australia
06-Jul-20 ? WAC#9 World Archaeological Congress Prague, Czech Republic
22-Jul-20 ? DH2020 Digital Humanities Ottawa Canada
Academic, Conference, Digital Humanities, visualisation

When Academics Don’t Get Interaction Design


Prototype of city square that creates music when city-goers run around the moving circular "tracks" of a giant turntable and camera tracking turns their arm gestures into music beats per audio track (image by Danish architect at our MAB workshop in 2012, Aarhus).

Actually this is more a plea.

Consider this imagined scenario. You are an academic having coffee with a colleague. They do interaction “design-y” stuff and you ask them what they are working on. When they give you a broad overview of the technology and interaction, you might say”Well, that is all well and good but I need to research practical and useful things.” If they know what your focus (tunnel vision) is on, chances are they will then explain how a modification or redirection of the interaction design they were just describing will allow you and your content to do X. “Oh, that I can use” you might say.

Just hold on a minute here. They described an application, tool or service with more generic potential, and then had to use their creative imagination that you didn’t bother tapping into, to show how it could work for you. After you had poured mild scorn on their research. Seems to me they had the brainpower to

a. come up with a generically useful, hopefully transferable idea, concept, tool..

b. be able to summarize your research

c. understand how this new idea, concept or tool could apply to your context in a way that you could understand, AND

d. not be offended that you still didn’t grasp the exemplar they provided you was only a subset of what they had invented to start with.

I am not sure step d would happen though. And I wouldn’t blame the interaction designer if they didn’t have coffee with you again.