CYBERSALON Digital London - Then & Now
Monthly Event - Last Wednesday of every month
London, United Kingdom
Meaningful Online Interaction
Sleeping with the enemy, can interactivity and stories get along?
How do brands create meaning in an interactive world?
How can multiple authors create a compelling narrative?
Nik and Tom Roope, leaders in interactive stories, will look back at their digital narrative over the last 20 years from Antirom and Tomato Interactive to Poke and the Rumpus Room. They'll also share their insights on what consumers are really looking for through digital media, and how best to give it to them.
Can interactivity tell a good tale? How do we tell online stories that really speak to the human condition?
"I’ve always said every time we try and combine games and stories to make something new – an adventure game or interactive cinema – it doesn’t work. But I’ve secretly hoped to be proven wrong..."
- Andy Cameron
(co-founder of Antirom, Creative Director of Benetton’s Fabrica Lab and Weiden + Kennedy)
In 1994 Antirom was one of the first creative collectives to treat interactivity as a medium in its own right, rather than simply a way to access content. Antirom also blurred the line between artist and commercial agency.
Come along for a lively debate on the future of story-telling!
The narrative is dead! Long live the narrative!
The Rumpus Room was founded in 2007 to harness the power of people building experiences together and align this activity with brand communication. Tom’s work at The Rumpus Room has been integral in the company being recognised with some of the highest accolades, by award bodies including D&AD, Cannes, One Show, Brit Insurance Design of the Year and Campaign Media Awards.
In 2012 Tom was one of the first 30 British inductees into the Bima Digital Hall of Fame as well as presented the award of Honorary Royal Designer for Industry by the Royal Society of Arts, in recognition of his “innovative work in taking computer interactions beyond the desktop and into communities and shared spaces” - Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the RSA.
Nicolas is an artist, and one of his materials of choice is interactive media and the communities and businesses that drive it. A lot of this interest is expressed through Poke, a vibrant, rigorous creative company that believes in the power of creativity as a force for unlocking and creating value. Poke are highly acclaimed by creative peers in the field and also by long standing clients who repeatedly witness the results of their deep, honest approach.
Nicolas was included in The Wired 100 and Adage Creative 50 lists in 2011 and inducted into the BIMA Digital Hall of Fame in 2012.
Niki is a digital strategist, co-founder of Cybersalon and an MIT graduate. Andy Cameron and the members of Antirom were her inspiration to enter the field of digital media, discovering them whilst working at an early experimental net cafe, the Cybertheatre, Brussels in 1998.
See you there!
Entrance is free but please book.
6.30pm: doors open and drinks.
Discussion: 7.00 - 9.00 pm.
Followed by drinks in the pub: The Slaughtered Lamb.
The Arts Catalyst,
50-54 Clerkenwell Road,
London EC1M 5PS
Tubes: Old St/ Barbican
Barclays Bikes: Right outside the venue
Arts Catalyst is next to Foxtons on Clerkenwell Road.
Audio recordings, tweet timeline and transcript of the discussion will be available after each event.
The last Wednesday of every month - 6.30pm-10.00pm
The Antirom collective was formed in 1994 by a group of Londoners as a protest against "ill-conceived point-and-click 3D interfaces" grafted onto re-purposed old content - video, text, images, audio and so on - and repackaged as multimedia. The members of Antirom felt they could do better than this multi-mediocrity, or at least no worse.
The idea was to explore interactivity and try to understand what made an interactive experience engaging a simple question but one that proved difficult to resolve. Inspired by Gerald Van Der Kaap's BlindRom, Antirom's eponymous first CD-ROM was a collection of small interactive pieces that were playful, fun, often silly and usually explored only one interactive idea at a time... more
Dissimulations, an essay by Andy Cameron
The Illusion of Interactivity
Interactivity refers to the possibility of an audience actively participating in the control of an artwork or representation. Until now, what we call culture has not allowed for a great deal of interaction from the audience. The audience is given a space for interpretation and a space for reaction, but not for interaction. There are those who argue that interpretation is interaction, and so of course it is, but not in the sense intended here. For the purposes of this discussion, interactivity means the ability to intervene in a meaningful way within the representation itself, not to read it differently. Thus interactivity in music would mean the ability to change the sound, interactivity in painting to change colours, or make marks, interactivity in film the the ability to change the way the movie comes out and so on. In its most fully realised form, that of the simulation, interactivity allows narrative situations to be described in potentia and then set into motion - a process whereby model building supercedes storytelling, and the what-if engine replaces narrative sequence...more
In 2011 Tom Roope talks about those Antirom Days (1994)- YouTube
: 26th June - Mobile Culture
Mobile telephony from text-me to tag me.
Sophia Drakopoulou (Middlesex)
David Plains (Middlesex University)Yanna Voyatzou (Nokia, T-Mobile)
Wed 24th April from 7pm - Net Politics
The Future: Then and Now
This month's Cybersalon is looking at how new media have inspired new forms of activism over the past two decades and will explore the transformative possibilities of the next wave of technological innovation.
See cybersalon.org for video and transcript
In his 1996 'Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace', John Perry Barlow announced the coming of a hi-tech utopia where rugged individualists would escape from the stifling controls and onerous taxes of national governments into a borderless and deregulated virtual world.
Over the past two decades, this seductive mix of hippie and entrepreneurial libertarianism codified in the Californian Ideology has dominated our understanding of the political impact of the Net. Left or Right, mainstream and alternative, mass connectivity is still celebrated as the technological antidote to the multiple failings of Westminster politics from voter apathy to out-of-touch MPs. While deep scepticism is required about the predictions of dotcom boosters, no one can deny that the rapid diffusion of social media has enabled much more participatory forms of campaigning, organising and mobilising.
From the Arab Spring to the Five Star Movement in Italy, citizens have bypassed the old party structures to create their own autonomous groups. As in Athens, Madrid or New York, London's anti-austerity protesters are tech-savvy and always on-line.
In Bitcoin, hackers now believe that they have discovered a way of liberating money from the clutches of the power elite.
The Net is still only a toddler, but it has already established itself as the people's forum for political debate and decision-making. With the status-quo seemingly no longer viable, the collaborative experience of social media should now inspire an emancipatory vision of what it means to be a citizen in 21st century Europe.
What are the lessons of Then and Now that we can apply confidently when we're anticipating the future of Net Politics?
Richard Barbrook - University of Westminster politics lecturer, co-author of The Californian Ideology and author of Imaginary Futures - will trace the evolution of dotcom neo-liberalism from the techno-utopian early-1990s to today's more austere times.
Amir Taaki - open source programmer, co-founder of the Bitcoin Consultancy project development, principal of Intersango, a Bitcoin exchange and organiser of the Bitcoin conferences UnSystem- will explain how Bitcoin challenges the monetary hegemony of both big banks and big government. Amir will be joined by Bitcoin developer, Pablo, and banker Michael Parsons.
Clare Solomon - the ex-president of ULU during the 2010 student protests, editor of the book Springtime: The New Student Rebellions and now runs the radical Firebox cafe in King's Cross - will describe how the participatory structure of the Net is inspiring new methods and ideas of political campaigning.
Jamie Bartlett - the Head of Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at the Demos think-tank - will describe how the electoral success of the Five Star movement in Italy was achieved through the intelligent use of on-line campaigning, the subject of his recent study.
Yvonne de Rosa - photographer, activist and member of the Italian Five Star (M5S) Movement.
Tunes: Wildlife Display Team.
27th March - 20 Years of New Media as Art
Full Summary here
This month's Cybersalon celebrated the past two decades of digital creativity in London and looked forward to the city's next burst of artistic innovation.
New Media Art in the 1990s was not about a particular art form, but rather about exploring the emerging medium itself. Some have called it techno-deterministic, others saw it as a rise of new digital aesthetics. What is now clear is that the best artworks from this pioneering decade explored how the decentralised and open structure the Net encouraged the development of virtual and real-life communities. It was this artistic avant-garde that would find its home in the rave scene, cybercafes and autonomist collectives. In 2013, learning from this formative experience, both veterans and newcomers are producing many weird and wonderful media artworks for our own times. Come to Cybersalon to discuss the past, present and future of new media art in this vibrant city. London's greatest contributions to digital aesthetics are yet to come!
New Media Art incorporates Artificial Intelligence, immersive Virtual Reality, connectivity, interactivity, net.art, CD-ROMs, flash aesthetics, artificial-life, locative media, 8-bit, glitch aesthetics, data-visualisation.It also overrides all these developments.
This session of Cybersalon brings together media theorists, artists and curators to explore New Media Art Now and Then, its journey over the last 20 years and its relevance today.
Digital Art casts off trends as fast as the built-in obsolescence of technologically-driven innovation allows. New conceptual advances are exhausted in a fortnight. Is there anything we can call 'digital' that stands still? How has New Media Art of 1990s shaped today’s digital culture? And is there a place for New Media Art practice today or should we rather talk about Digital Art?
Artist William Latham showed and spoke about his early experimental work on digital sculptures, developing Mutator and its influence on the aesthetics of the London club scene of the 1990s.
Sean Cubitt from Goldsmiths, University of London, talked about how the interaction between electronic artists and their technologies creates a distinctive digital aesthetic.
Ruth Catlow and Marc Garrett discussed Furtherfield, its online community, and their physical gallery space, and showcase the latest trends and up-and-coming artists of London's new media art scene.
Ivan Pope, the founder of ArtNet BBS and co-director of Webmedia, showed the thinking, creation and impact of his first Web artwork - The Last Words of Dutch Schultz - and it's implication for today's Net innovators.
Ilze Black, currently completing her pHD at Queen Mary, University of London, co-founder of network media group Take2030 and seminal art initiative art bureau OPEN in 1990s post-Soviet Latvia.
Has social media lived up to its original liberating and communitarian promise of the net?
Early pioneers of the internet hailed this new medium as the harbinger of person to person media. A new media that will destroy government and corporate hierarchies and allow us to create new identities and have more freedom. Less prosaic perhaps but even more pervasive has been the claims by many others that it will usher in an age of media and marketing that is more communitarian, conversational and authentic.
will argue that social media is indeed completely reshaping media, but in ways the pioneers did not foresee.
will argue his case through his personal experience of how social media is changing business and government in fundamental ways.
will approach this debate from his personal research into the Arab Spring and Indignados movement.
Eva Pascoe was a member of the first online community The Well and founder of Cyberia, London's first Internet Cafe in 1994. She is also co-founder of EasyNet.
Jan 2013: Digital Design: From the 1990s to Now
Speakers: Laura Jordan (SheSays);
Jim Boulton (Digital Archaeology) and
Craig Blagg (iwillreply).
Tunes: Wildlife Display Team.
The Arts Catalyst
50-54 Clerkenwell Road
EC1M 5PS London
A monthly meeting of minds on how the Internet is shaping society:
For entrepreneurs, techies, activists, academics, artists and designers
In 1997 we started doing discussion events in pubs, at the ICA and Science Museum. Now we're back!
The Net - Then & Now
When the Internet launched in the 1990s the ideas, hopes and ambitions of the early users were different to those of today. Or were they?
At Cybersalon, the pioneers of early Digital London join forces with the Net hot shots of today as we showcase ‘forgotten’ work that can’t be accessed on today’s machines- from early web design to online art, politics and social media. And discuss its relevance to what’s being created today.
Come along to understand the important links in thinking between the cyber utopian dreams and today's Internet realities.
Audio recordings, tweet timeline and transcript of the discussion will be available after each event.
School of Media & Performing Arts, Middlesex University: http://www.mdx.ac.uk/aboutus/Schools/media-and-performing-arts/index.aspx
Easynet Global Services: http://www.easynet.com/