Discover more from The Spaces in Between
Issue #175 - The Spaces in Between
I’m coming to the end of busy week, it’s early morning and I’m at home for now, the sun coming up, seeping through the blinds, and this cup of coffee tastes so good, there’s just a little steam rising like a whisper.
I’ve set a timer, I have half an hour to write and then get ready for my bus, so that I can head into work where I’ll stay until late this evening. I have a few people visiting my room, and I need time to prepare for a larger group coming around six o’clock.
Thinking this might be useful, I added a plugin to my calendar that allocated slots to various tasks, and also enabled others to see space and book meetings. That was a bad idea. No sooner had I launched the app and added my todo list, that tasks and meetings, like balls falling through a pachinko machine, filling all the slots one by one. I quickly turned it off but the damage was done. I’ve managed to rescue some time from next week at least, but it’s a lesson that some of these productivity tools are a little too efficient. I need to maintain some control.
Anyway, first week of teaching, met my students who I’m excited to be working with, and looking forward to the semester.
Teaching & Learning
Just like last year, my Digital Realities cohort is a fascinating mix of art, architecture, design, humanities, engineering, computer science, business, film, and language students. That’s just about everyone isn’t it, no bio-med this time… We’re still getting to know each other, it will take a few weeks and I’ve lots of new names to learn.
What pleased me most, was that I was able to push storytelling as a concept, early in the first week. Students picked up their headsets and already they’re diving in, but we managed to avoid talking exclusively about hardware and platforms, instead we looked at a range of different immersive media that we’ll revisit and start to analyze. Already the students are thinking about filmmakers, creatives, how big studios, or individual artists are exploring the medium. We’ve started a discord channel where they can add some of the experiences they’ve found. I’ve asked them in their first week to learn about their headsets and reflect on first experiences and discovery as a concept.
I’m ably assisted by a super Teaching Assistant, who will be able to bring much needed technical expertise to the group and help answer any tricky questions. We have a few guest speakers, including students from previous years, and I’m hoping this will help with projects, perhaps in a better way than using exemplars, which I don’t really like doing. I’m excited, it should be good.
This semester too I’m going to be taking part in the Faculty Success Program, run by the NCFDD. I’ve completed writing programs with this group before and found it incredibly useful. I’m hoping to be able to identify some goals, think clearly about my academic writing, and gain more confidence overall, especially with publications. I’ve probably mentioned this before, it is challenging finding the right tone and writing with the level of complexity and detail that is required at this level. I’ll keep you updated. Writing here doesn’t count I'm afraid, but I’ll still show up on Friday mornings.
I’ll shift these issues to focus more on education and technology, as momentum gathers for the semester.
I’m already looking back on the summer, it has gone quickly, everyone seems rested, just about. It’s interesting that we’ll soon be into routine, our sleeping patterns are already changing, some up and awake early, out of the house, at clubs, and attending school things. We’ll come together for meals and maybe catch up in the car on the way to the next thing.
Lost and Found
Here are a few links that you might be interested in.
Venice Immersive kicked off this week, this is the immersive strand for the Biennale, featuring over 45 new immersive works, some virtual reality, augmented reality, and installation based pieces. One of the difficulties in immersive media, is that it isn’t always easy to see these works, some are Meta or Steam platforms, but others might only see the light at these sorts of festivals and events. I hope that this changes, that there’s a pipeline for distribution, so that more people can experience these exciting and creative works.
I managed to finish Mark Cousin's 40 Days to Learn Film which he created three years ago during lockdown, its a low-fi slide show, with Mark’s signature narration through a series of images and clips. It’s over two hours long, so I don’t recommend a single sitting, although when it was finished, I thought I could have probably watched more.
The Guardian view on language apps, is a fascinating read, reflecting many of the opinions that I’ve heard from my colleagues. Also from The Guardian, this fascinating mixed-reality piece Turbulence: Jamais Vu looks like an incredible piece, I’m hoping I can find a copy somewhere.
I hope that you’re all well, I imagine a few people are back to school this week, or changing routine as we move from summer to autumn. The weather has been good all week, it’s a little cooler, and I’m enjoying being outside when I can. We sat on the bleachers watching our eldest playing footy for the varsity team. You know my thoughts on high school soccer, it is gladiatorial, reckless, and poorly officiated. I only hope he makes it through without an injury, already there’s a bench of walking wounded, a few players with crutches or plastic boots who still come along and support the team. At least it’s only six weeks long and over before you know it. Moan over.
Okay, that’ll do us for this week. I’m looking forward to a long weekend, it’s labor day on Monday which means catching up with friends and recharging batteries.
Take care, thank you for reading.