In September 2014 Martyn and Graham travelled to The Academy of Pop Culture, Leeuwarden, Netherlands to take part in their annual iWeek. They joined a number of academics from across Europe who each prepared and delivered workshops on various contemporary subjects.
Martyn and Graham’s workshop entitled “#co_LAB_NL” looked into aspects of surveillance and monitoring in our modern networked culture, and how these forms permeate both virtual and physical environments. Armed with smartphones, students were let loose to explore locations to document instances of surveillance via twitter / instagram / vine / hyperlapse / etc. The students then contextualised this information via an interactive mapping software, leading to a critical discussion of surveillance culture. This formed a collaborative digital narrative which documented the process and presents informed reflections relating to the topic. The final output can be found at: tinyurl.com/colabnetherlands
Other workshops during the International week ranged from “True Scientists Hangout: Reborn” delivered by Kristaps Grunsteins and Anna Trapenciere from Latvia/Liepaja University, MPLab, where students explored the idea of giving analogue machines a new life, through hacking and connecting to the internet, giving these ‘dead’ objects a new chance of life.
Another on “User-Centered Design” delivered by Kirsi Karimäki from TAMK Tampere, Finland, where students considered designing solutions for the consumers’ everyday needs by relating these concepts to their own practice.
Gyorgyi Retfalvi, Head of the Social Media Specialization at Budapest College of Communication and Business ran the workshop “Recycling Cyberpunk” where she posed the question “Is there anything usable from Cyberpunk for the people of 2014? Is there any stake to understand where are the borders between human beings and machines, or how can we jump to the system?” to which the students responded via a webpage, a video or as game.