Imagined Spaces in Real Places

If you are in Perth 11 June please sign up on EventBrite to this free event:

Imagined Spaces in Real Places (Screen Tourism, VR & Cultural Heritage)

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There is a burgeoning global tourist trade for places – both real and imaginary – inspired by cultural texts and their creators. While Stratford-upon-Avon has long been a mecca for Shakespeare enthusiasts, (popular) cultural tourism has now extended the bucket list of travel destinations to include the likes of Westeros (aka Dubrovnik, Croatia; Game of Thrones) and Middle-earth (aka New Zealand; The Lord of the Rings). This Symposium brings together scholars and presenters from industry to discuss how screen-based tourism (film, television) can be a generative force in local economies, in region/nation branding, and as a way of promoting cultural heritage. The potential and practical application of technology – specifically virtual reality, locative apps and interactive media – in facilitating an immersive touristic experience, visualising place and creating narrative will also be explored.

DETAILS

Monday 11 June 20181-4:30PM (Presentations start at 1pm, finish approx. 4:30pm. HIVE opens at 12:30pm).
Venue: Curtin University HIVE (VR Centre), John Curtin Gallery, Kent Street, Curitn Bentley campus WA 6102
Event organisers: Christina Lee, Erik Champion

Keynote speaker: Ian Brodie (http://www.ianbrodie.net/)

Other presenters include: Dr Christina Lee, Professor Erik Champion, Mat Lewis (Southwest Development Commission), Professor Sue Beeton (teleconference).

Venue: https://humanities.curtin.edu.au/research/centres-institutes-groups/hive/

Phone: (08) 9266 9024 (HIVE).
Map link https://goo.gl/maps/FZu8FaEaULt (in John Curtin Gallery opposite Aroma Café)

Landscape Data, Art/Artefacts & Models as Linked Open Data Perth, Australia

For those interested in the above, please keep Friday 27 July 2018, open for an all-day free event in Perth.

We will be inviting speakers to talk on Australia-specific cultural issues and digital (geo) projects in relation to the above event.

More details to follow shortly and announced via http://commons.pelagios.org/:

So there is an Australian working group for Pelagios – Linked Open Data. We will run an event on 27 July at Curtin. News to follow.

http://commons.pelagios.org/2018/05/its-international-workers-day-announcing-our-2018-working-groups/

Australia LAMLOD Group: led by Erik Champion (UNESCO Chair of Cultural Visualisation and Heritage, Curtin University) and Susan Fayad (City of Ballarat), this WG seeks to address the problem of linking materials between academic research and cultural heritage in an Australian context. This is not so much about extending Pelagios linked data practice to an entirely new continent, though that is important; the problem this WG seeks to address is the multi-layered and contentious representation of cultural heritage, namely: the vast scale of Australian landscapes and historic journeys; the local and highly specific Aboriginal ways of describing, navigating and experiencing the landscapes with hundreds of different languages; and the specific problem of integrating UNESCO designated built and natural heritage with its surrounding ecosystems. The LAMLOD WG will create landscape data and visualisation displays, investigate related cultural artefact knowledge (Indigenous and colonial), and build towards the integration of linked open data and 3D models.

 

abstract for CDH 2018

Centre for Digital Heritage meeting 2018:
3D archives, (re)use and Knowledge production, Lund 18–20 June 2018

Our abstract:

Integrating 3d Models and GIS for Digital Cultural Heritage

Recent advances in technology have helped make the capture and modelling of 3D digital cultural objects increasingly affordable. Ever growing numbers of cultural institutions have been digitizing their digital artefacts and sites. Regards the availability of 3D geometric modelling methods and 3D file formats, there are hundreds to choose from. However, an extremely challenging task is to identify the most appropriate 3D geometric modelling method and file format for the specific purposes of digital cultural heritage. In order to overcome those challenges, this paper first summarizes the most-common 3D geometric modelling methods such as constructive solid geometry, non-uniform rational B-splines, triangle meshes, and discusses their advantages, disadvantages and their typical application in the digital cultural heritage domain. Second, various 3D file formats are systematically analysed and discussed, with particular reference to architecture, to archaeology and to heritage studies. Third, future possibilities of 3D file formats and their potential for linking with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and geospatial databases are outlined. What are the successful exemplars but also major challenges for linking GIS, 3D models and heritage aims? Where do these modelling methods, formats, aims and disciplines converge or diverge? Would such combinations create major problems for archives?

Keywords: 3D geometric modelling, 3D file formats, 3D archives, digital cultural heritage

Ikrom Nishanbaev, Erik Champion, Hafizur Rahaman, Mafkereseb Bekele

new Book Chapter (Arqueología Computacional)

My new chapter, A Schematic Division of Game-Learning Strategies Relevant to Digital Archaeology and Digital Cultural Heritage (in Spanish) is out. Diego the editor informed me he will see if all chapters can be available via PDF.

Champion, E. (2017). Una división esquemática de estrategias de aprendizaje relevantes para el patrimonio cultural basadas en juegos digitales (A Schematic Division of Game-Learning Strategies Relevant to Digital Archaeology and Digital Cultural Heritage). In D. Jiménez-Badillo (Ed.), Arqueología Computacional. Nuevos enfoques para el análisis y la difusión del patrimonio cultural (pp. 217-224). México: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, RedTDPC, CONACYT. Chapter 14_Champion_PDF

Mexico-bk-Index1

Mexico-bkindex2

 

The Phenomenology of Virtual Places (observations)

Just submitted a draft of the above edited book of 14 proposed chapters to Routledge, to their Research in Phenomenology series.

The Phenomenology of Virtual Places is an edited book on the history, implications and usefulness of phenomenology for real places and virtual places, with chapters by philosophers, cultural geographers, architects and archaeologists.

I won’t summarize the chapters right now as the series editors have the right to ask for major subtractions, additions and revisions but I am very happy about the range of disciplines, perspectives and topics.

I do have some observations

  1. One thing very much under-represented is the unconventional, the alternative and the non-Western or not so obviously Western (and I don’t like the term “Western” but what are better options here)?
  2. Also, the connections and distinctions between phenomenology and ethnography are perhaps still to be explored, especially for game and VR evaluation.
  3. Phenomenology deserves even more criticism. It is either obvious, or difficult and subtle, available to all or best practiced by trained phenomenologists (or is that, people trained to detect or extract or train phenomenological accounts).
  4. Writing introductions to edited books can be very difficult.
  5. How HMDs will challenge our notions of embodiment and social presence in VR will be a very big thing.
  6. Locative media raise very interesting research avenues for embodiment and the concept of place.
  7. And on a workflow-related note, if the publisher doesn’t give you a complete, formal template at the start, stick to your own and demand it be used by all authors even if the final template changes. Saves a world of pain.
  8. Also, game and VR companies would save us all trouble by clearly saying which screenshots can be used in academic books or provide a pathway for a quicker permissions/rejections process. If your images are in a book, it is free PR!

Visiting fellowships in digital humanities/heritage/serious games

I may have the chance to take a short break from Perth and apply for a visiting fellowship or scholarship, preferably in digital humanities, digital heritage (3D), or serious games (history and heritage).

I asked on twitter if there were links, URLs and did not hear back so I had a little search of my one, hope these may help others. I do not necessarily need a salary etc but some of these might include a stipend:

 

Australia

UK and Eire

Europe

USA

Early career or postdoc

More general

 

 

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

References

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’, http://www.icomos.org/australia/burracharter.html.

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