March Madness at the CML

…Admittedly, March at the CML had nothing to do with basketball, though we did have an all-star lineup of special visitors and a pretty action-packed schedule of events (hence, why this post is coming to you in April!).

First, we had a week-long visit from media scholar N. Katherine Hayles of Duke University and a team of her colleagues, Patrick Jagoda (University of Chicago), Patrick Lemieux (Duke University) and Ainsley Sutherland (University of Chicago). The group was in Kitchener to collaborate with Professor Marcel O’Gorman’s Necromedia grad class and some other English grad students and faculty. The group was working on developing modules for Hayles’ new augmented reality game Speculation (see my previous post for more details). The game is really best if you experience it for yourself, so I won’t give away any secrets. You can check it out here. Below, the CML is a-buzz with the creative conspirings of a room full of digital media collaborators:

hayles

speculation1

speculation2

speculation3

During Speculation week, the CML also hosted a nifty little exhibition called Research Routines, curated by CML Research Assistant Farah Yusuf (see this post for details). The exhibition was a playful look into the very different research practices of three scholars/artists from varying backgrounds: UW PhD student Adam Bradley, artist Marc Ngui, and researcher/designer/artist Richard Thomas. Here are some snapshots from that event:

Conversing in front of Marc Ngui's work

Conversing in front of Marc Ngui's work

Adam Bradley demonstrates his Motion Poetry

Adam Bradley demonstrates his Motion Poetry

Marc Ngui talks about his "Drawings from A Thousand Plateaus"

Marc Ngui talks about his "Drawings from A Thousand Plateaus"

Richard Thomas and his “Rapid Thought Prototyper v01: Ten Stack Jig”

Richard Thomas and his “Rapid Thought Prototyper v01: Ten Stack Jig”

Later in March, the CML experienced an infusion of youthful energy, as we introduced the projects and programs of the lab and UW English to two groups of high school students. The first group, a collection of grade twelve Waterloo Unlimited students, visited the CML, where Professor O’Gorman inspired them with an introduction to critical media studies and challenged them to design their very own applied media theory project.

For the second group, a theatre full of grade ten students at the TEDxWaterloo high school event, the CML hit the road… or, rather, the sidewalk (stay tuned for pictures of the infamous CML cow making its merry way down King St.). The event at the Chrysalids Theatre was a huge success. Students interacted with Adam Bradley’s Motion Poetry project (exhibited earlier in March at Research Routines), an arcade cabinet from 2011’s Cyberbodies grad course, and a Mindwave brainwave sensor, all while learning about what happens at the CML. Hopefully we have inspired some future digital media tinkerers and investigators.

That’s it for now! April is a pretty quiet month at the lab, as the Winter semester winds down and students finish up final exams. We’ll be busy again in May with the SAGE 2012 Colloquium reception and the launch of an exciting applied media theory project by a UW English PhD candidate. More details to follow. Happy Spring everyone!