Hayles and ARGs and Research Routines, oh my!


I have to admit, I’m pretty excited. We’ve got a really great week coming up at the Critical Media Lab!

Over the past couple of days, the lab has been enthusiastically preparing for the arrival of renowned media theorist Dr. N. Katherine Hayles (Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Program in Literature at Duke University and author of Electronic Literature (2008), My Mother Was A Computer (2005), Writing Machines (2002), and How We Became Posthuman (1999)) who will be working with students from Professor O’Gorman’s ENGL 794: Necromedia class to develop an alternate reality game (ARG). Hayles and her team of grad students and post-docs will be at the lab March 5th through the 9th developing the ARG, which Hayles has called “Speculation”; appropriately, it’s based on a post-apocalyptic scenario in which markets have crashed and corporations control the world.

Throughout the week, groups from O’Gorman’s class, as well as colleagues from the English Department will meet in groups of 3 or 4 to develop modules that will be worked into the larger game. The groups will primarily focus on writing and engaging in applied media theory, rather than coding and actually creating the game. Friday will involve an exciting session of presentations in which groups share the modules they’ve invented over the course of the week.

To introduce the ARG, Hayles and her team will be presenting a talk at the University of Waterloo main campus on Tuesday, March 6th at 4:30 in AL 124. All are welcome and encouraged to attend!

speculation-posterAnd then, of course, on Wednesday, March 7th from 5-8, the lab will be open for the exhibition Research Routines. We’ll be having an opening reception and talks by the artists, Marc Ngui, Adam Bradley, and Richard Thomas. See below for more details!

We’ll keep you updated on the development of “Speculation” over the course of next week. With so many brilliant minds coming together, I think we can expect some really exciting ideas to emerge!