Cultivating Diverse Participation through Digital Media


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  • To begin I would like to share this concept of the artifact as a framework for how to promote or enhance information and programs that can engage a more diverse audience.
  • A cognitive-computer artifactmediates directly between the person and the object, or they canpresent a virtual object or world upon which operations are performed, eventually to be reflected onto a real object; the object might actually exist outside the computer, but be created or operated upon through the virtual world of the artifact; in these cases there are several layers of representation: (a) the representation itself; (b) the represented world of the real object; (c) the representing world within the artifact; (d) the way the artifact displays the virtual world; and (e) the mental (or symbolic gestural and performative) representations of the human.
  • Museums evolved from exhibitions referred to as “cabinets of curiosities,” or “cabinets of wonder”. These exhibits were closed to the public, only accessible by wealthier, more privileged members of society. This year, in London, The Last Tuesday Society attempted to create a sense of wonder by turning a storefront “cabinet of wonder” into a site of experimentation (play), using technologies that provide new ways to experience what is on display. 
  • Maxence at The Last Tuesday Society wore a suit composed of a helmet with high definition video glasses, an Arduino glove with force sensors controlling the 3D view and a harness for Kinect. Instead of having a static point of view, the user becomes able to navigate through the 3D environment enabling new behaviors specific to the hyperreal world while still having to physically interact with the real environment. Thus it creates a new type of computer interface between these two states.
  • Tagged in Motion merges the layers of representation – the cognitive-computer artifact – in a mixed or blended reality experience. The overlay of virtual information in a physical or augmented space create new opportunities for engagement and participation. Much of this development comes from and/or captures the spirit of open innovation and collaboration.
  • Other examples of digital media tools that maintain, display, or operate upon information in order to serve a representational function include, HistoryPin which enables people across generations, cultures and places, to share small glimpses of the past and to build up the huge story of human history. EyeWriter is ongoing collaborative research effort to empower people who are suffering from ALS with creative technologies. It was initially designed for graffiti artist TEMPT1 whose art was recently on view at the Pasadena Museum of California Art. Qualcomm offers a free Augmented Reality software development kit or SDK.
  • The HTML5 canvas element uses JavaScript to draw graphics on a web page.  The canvas element has several methods for drawing paths, boxes, circles, characters, and adding images.  JavaScript code can access the canvas area through drawing functions similar to those of other common 2D APIs, thus allowing for dynamically generated graphics.
  • I am working with another grad student on a 9th grade world history Augmented Reality project. The site is West Hall High School in Gainesville, GA where there is a new innovation program for rising 9th graders. Here, I am introducing the 9th graders to pattern-based AR, i.e. QR codes and markers. They are studying ancient Roman and Mayan civilizations. This participatory design process also lends itself to other communities who may be diverse and have different shared experiences, skills and interests.
  • We propose to take this body of work to a new level by developing techniques to help youth generate creative, interactive designs, transfer these designs to large wall murals, and enhance the murals with Augmented Reality; thus allowing digital media to be overlaid when viewed through touchscreen, camera-enabled devices. Developing techniques to move between virtual and physical instantiations of culture-based creative designs will allow STEM learning to be approached as bridge to culture, rather than a barrier, which is an especially important framework for engaging under-represented students.
  • This is one way to look at the production process for developing a mobile AR app. Targeted engagement is at every stage, from idea generation to dissemination and user experience of the app. Involving the user community is critical for the success of the app.
  • My research looks to answer the question of how local hacking behavior and a “making do” approach to innovation is connected to socioeconomic and cultural domains in under-resourced communities, i.e. through “ground up,” not “top down” practices.  This work provides insights into role of design, participation, or collaboration that are situated in historical, collectively defined, socially produced, culturally constructed activities, with a meaningful, holistic intent towards their surroundings.
  • Cultivating Diverse Participation through Digital Media

    1. 1. Cultivating Diverse Participationthrough Digital MediaExploring new media forms and formats that can transform the museum-going experience and engage diverse audiences who are active users ofmobile phones, gaming devices and other emerging technologies.MCN Conference 2011 PresentationPresenter: Nettrice R. Gaskins
    2. 2. The Cognitive-Computer ArtifactA cognitive artifact is an artificial device designed to maintain, display, oroperate upon information in order to serve a representational function.
    3. 3. For more information contact: Nettrice R.
    4. 4. Cabinets of Curiosities: Then & Now
    5. 5. Voxels, Snow Crash & Memory TheaterAugmented Reality has existed conceptually for quite a while now, but with theexplosion of mobile devices it has become actualized… really real as in likewearing a big yellow helmet with a virtual 3D display inside and a Kinect port-a-pak. This is Maxence’s Hyper(reality) experiment at The Last Tuesday Society.
    6. 6. The RepresentationNextwall’s ―Tagged in Motion‖synchronizes gestural movement withan augmented layer of laser graffititags in physical space.Equipped with a handheld augmentedreality tool, artist DAIM sprays virtualgraffiti into empty space. Three motioncapture cameras record his positionand the movements he executes with avirtual spray can. The resulting data isshown to him in real time in a pair ofvideo glasses — as free-floating three-dimensional graffiti in real space.
    7. 7. The Representing WorldThe computer interface provides userswith ways to generate representationsof their world. More specifically, thispresentation highlights the creation ofvirtual, or computer-based artifacts (asoverlays) in blended, or mixed realities.HTML5 canvas can be ported into anAugmented Reality browser like Argon(see here) – to draw artifacts over thephysical world. The real worldbecomes the canvas.
    8. 8. Displays of the Representing WorldThere are several ways in which artifactsdisplay the virtual world, including thepresentation of a virtual object, iconicrepresentation, or world upon whichoperations are performed, eventually tobe reflected or overlaid onto real objects– where they can be read by others.Museums can use existing, commonopen platforms to develop software thatis situated in mixed reality environmentsto cultivate participation and engagementamong visitors from diverse social andeconomic contexts.
    9. 9. Communities of PracticeEffective sdesign is built on thecollective experience ofcommunity members. Only aninsider can appreciate the issuesat the heart of the domain, theknowledge that is important toshare, the challenges their fieldfaces, and the latent potential inemerging ideas, tools andtechniques. This requires morethan community "input." Itrequires a deep understanding ofcommunity issues.
    10. 10. Culturally Situated Design PracticesThe AR/game design team atGeorgia Tech has access toexisting tools such as Argon forAR and Culturally SituatedDesign Tools (CSDTs). CSDTsare a suite of web applets thatallow students to utilize specificmathematical and computationalideas to simulate thecorresponding artifacts(
    11. 11. Augmenting World HistoryThe 9th grade World History AR projectis the first of several open innovations– as cultural, techno-scientific platformsand paradigms for idea generation –that engage a variety of audiences,including artists, activists, gamedevelopers, audio programmers,application developers, etc.Features we are using includeFrameMarkers and ImageTargets fromthe Qualcomm SDK. The use ofpanoramas and HTML5 canvas objectsare also being explored.
    12. 12. URLs and Contact InfoCulturally Situated Design Tools – http://csdt.rpi.eduHistoryPin - http://www.historypin.comEyeWriter Initiative - http://www.eyewriter.orgArgon - AR SDK - R. Gaskins,