Bart Simon Moderator and Panel Chair
Bart Simon is the current director of Milieux and Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. His areas of expertise include game studies, science and technology studies and cultural sociology. His game studies and design research crosses a variety of genres and platforms looking at the relation of game cultures, socio-materiality and everyday life. Some of his work is represented in journals such as Games and Culture, Game Studies and Loading. His current research on the materialities of play, indie game scenes and player-makers is funded by the Social Science and Humanities Council of Canada.
Garnet Hertz Civil Disobedience and Protest Through Experimental Electronic Objects
Disobedient Electronics: Protest (2017) is a limited edition publishing project by Dr. Hertz that highlights confrontational work from industrial designers, electronic artists, hackers and makers from 10 countries that disobey conventions, especially work that highlight injustices, discrimination or abuses of power. Topics include the wage gap between women and men, the objectification of women’s bodies, gender stereotypes, wearable electronics as a form of protest, robotic forms of protest, counter-government-surveillance and privacy tools, and devices designed to improve an understanding of climate change. As an experiment in research dissemination, three hundred handmade copies were disseminated for free to targeted researchers that wanted to include the book as a part of academic curriculum, reviewers, libraries and nonprofits, or curators including the book in an exhibition. In this talk, Hertz will provide an overview of the project and provide a wider context for electronic objects built as a form of political protest.
Dr. Garnet Hertz is Canada Research Chair in Design and Media Arts and is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Design and Dynamic Media at Emily Carr University. His art and research investigates DIY culture, electronic art and critical design practices. He has shown his work at several notable international venues in fifteen countries including SIGGRAPH, Ars Electronica, and DEAF and was awarded the 2008 Oscar Signorini Award in robotic art. He has worked at Art Center College of Design and University of California Irvine. His research is widely cited in academic publications, and popular press on his work has disseminated through 25 countries including The New York Times, Wired, The Washington Post, NPR, USA Today, NBC, CBS, TV Tokyo and CNN Headline News. More info: http://conceptlab.com/
Silvia Lindtner Hacking Global Supply Chains in Shenzhen
Since 2014, a series of Western media outlets from Wired UK over the Economist to Forbes have begun to celebrate the city of Shenzhen as a rising hub of innovation, a so-called “Hollywood for Makers” and “Silicon Valley of Hardware.” Just a couple years earlier, Shenzhen was largely known as a place of copycats and fakes that lacked creativity where ideas created elsewhere were simply executed and mass-produced. What changed Shenzhen’s image from demonstrating China’s continuous lag in technology innovation towards a place where alternatives to neoliberal capitalism could be prototyped? In this talk, I present excerpts from my forthcoming book “The Promise of Making” to unpack the historical contingencies of this transformation of Shenzhen, and with it China, in the global tech imaginary. I show how the displacement of techno-optimistic ideals onto Shenzhen unfolded through hacking not only machines, but hacking markets, global supply chains, and life itself.
Silvia Lindtner is assistant professor at the University of Michigan in the School of Information, with a courtesy appointment in the Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design. Lindtner’s research and teaching interests include innovation and technology entrepreneurship, making and hacking cultures, shifts in digital work, labor, industry, policy, and governance. This work unfolds through a deep engagement with issues of gender, inequality, and enactments of masculinity in engineering and computer science fields, politics and transnational imaginaries of design, contemporary political economy, and processes of economization. Lindtner draws from more than eight years of multi-sited ethnographic research, with a particular focus on China’s shifting role in transnational and global tech production alongside research in the United States, Taiwan, and Africa. Her research has been awarded support from the US National Science Foundation, IMLS, Intel Labs, Google Anita Borg, and the Chinese National Natural Science Foundation.
Ann-Louise Davidson Constructing maker cultures from decompartmentalizing learning
Constructing Maker Cultures From Decompartmentalizing Learning is a provocative statement that challenges assumptions about what making can mean for education. Education, as we know it today, is a format that places learners in institutions where they are taught subjects in capsules that are divided by grades to prepare them for society. In the case of online learning, the same scenario happens. Knowledge is divided in small compartments called courses, that are part of bigger compartments called programs. This compartmentalization is artificial. There is almost never any situation in society where a problem is solved or a task is accomplished drawing from only one subject matter. In this talk Ann-Louise will discuss how she hacks pedagogy by creating problems that need to be solved by drawing from the knowledge of various fields and that require skills that are distributed in the community.
Ann-Louise Davidson is an Associate Professor of Education and Concordia University Research Chair in Maker Culture. She is Associate Director of the Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture and Technology where she directs #MilieuxMake, the Milieux makerspace initiative. Her work focuses on maker culture in education, social innovation, inclusion and innovating with advanced pedagogical approaches and digital technologies. She uses action research methodologies that engage participants in collaborative data collection and meaning-making and hands-on studies in technology and innovation. She is the creator of www.educationmakers.ca, an ambitious project that strives to develop an inclusive and intergenerational community of makers in the field of education including professors, students, teachers and community members. Her research is currently funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and Concordia University
Tomas De Camino Beck Makers as a new creative force in Latin America
Joshua + Karen Tanenbaum Towards A Playful Future for Personal Fabrication
In this talk we explore how lessons learned during the transition from mainframe computing to personal computing can inform the recent turn towards personal fabrication. Popular visions for the future of personal fabrication technologies (such as 3D printers and laser cutters) often imagine a world where the manufacturing of goods has become largely decentralized. These visions of the future conceptualize a form of personal fabrication technology that looks more like the fictional replicator from Star Trek than the limited (and often broken) 3D printing technologies currently accessible to the casual user. The engineering expertise and willingness to tinker that is required to use today’s personal fabrication technologies prevents the widescale adoption needed to drive the development of the technology towards this science-fictional future. We argue that we must instead develop expressive, playful, and non-expert uses for personal fabrication technology before we will see a personal fabrication revolution.
Joshua Tanenbaum is assistant professor at UC Irvine, in the Department of Informatics, where he runs the Transformative Play Lab. His research is interdisciplinary, weaving together threads of human computer interaction, tangible and wearable computing, game studies, performance studies, and interactive storytelling. His work uses design fiction and narrative to better understand the historical, ethical, and political contexts of maker practices and combines speculative methods with iterative design and prototyping. Dr. Tanenbaum has run prototyping workshops at Maker Faires in Vancouver British Columbia, Portland Oregon, and San Mateo California. He is an award winning propmaker, game designer, and artist whose work has been exhibited at festivals, galleries, and conferences including the 2009 GameX Convention, the 2012 Emerge Conference, the 2014 MLA conference, the Stedman Gallery at Rutgers University in 2016, the Beall Center for Art + Technology, and the 2017 IndieCade Festival of Independent Games in Los Angeles, CA.
Karen Tanenbaum is a user researcher, interaction designer, programmer, and technology scholar, focusing on artificial intelligence, virtual reality, tangible/wearable computing, interactive narrative and games, and steampunk/Maker culture. She strives to make playful, meaningful and creative interactive experiences, and to study how technology impacts our daily lives, culture and environment. Karen works in the Department of Informatics at UC-Irvine as a Project Scientist and as Co-Founder of the Transformative Play Lab with Professor Josh Tanenbaum. She also freelances as an interaction designer and developer for the Portland-based VR studio Shovels + Whiskey. Karen received a PhD in Interactive Arts & Technology from Simon Fraser University, an MA in Linguistics from the University of California-San Diego, and a BA in Philosophy and Celtic Studies from the Johnston Center for Integrative Studies at the University of Redlands.
Lynn Hughes Maker as Mise-en-scène
I am someone who had a traditional studio-based art practice (painting) and exhibited regularly in galleries for many years until, around 2000, I transitioned to a digital practice that is collaborative and carried out at the university in a research environment. Collaborative process is more and more explicitly at the core of my practice and I can’t help being, frequently uncomfortably, aware of the tensions between process and product. When we look at Maker practices it often seems like the hype far outruns the results. The easy example, of course, is the 3D printer – slated to change the world but somehow mostly adding to pollution through the proliferation of trinkets? Emile de Visscher in his recent PhD thesis Manufactures Technophaniques (l’ENSAD, Paris, 2018) points out that the 3D printer is a miniature proscenium style theatre which frames a time-based process. He suggests that this mise-en-scene of process is as, or more, important, than the things that the machine produces. I will talk about the mise-en-scène of making processes through some of the examples provided by de Visscher’s thesis. Why is this particularly important now and, why does it interest people like me?
Lynn Hughes is a digital media researcher, artist and teacher who held the Chair of Interaction Design and Games Innovation at Concordia University from 2004 to 2018. She was instrumental in the founding and financing of the Hexagram Institute for Media Art and Technology a major, interuniversity hub for new media research in Montreal (2001- network ongoing). In 2008 she co-founded, with Dr Bart Simon, the Technoculture, Art and Games (TAG) Research Centre and, most recently, the Milieux Institute for Art, Culture and Technology at Concordia University (with Simon and Salter). Hughes’s contributions since 2000 to interdisciplinary research centres reflect a belief that context is crucial and that interesting research and production springs from dynamic, flexible interdisciplinary contexts. Her own production focuses on the design of hybrid physical/digital experiences.
Kim Sheridan Learning in the Making: Designing for resourcefulness
Drawing on a series of design-based research studies of learning in youth-oriented makerspaces, in this presentation I discuss how makerspaces can be designed to support individual and communal resourcefulness, that is the habits of drawing on internal (e.g., skills, interests, experience) and external (e.g., tools, community organizations, social networks) resources to solve a problem or meet needs and wants (Sheridan & Konopasky, 2016). I argue that makerspaces designed to support resourcefulness develop youth’s sense of agency and help them envision possibilities for future projects. I also discuss how this approach to makerspace design is particularly potent in underserved and underresourced communities.
Dr. Kimberly Sheridan is an associate professor with a joint appointment in Educational Psychology and Art Education at George Mason University, where she directs the Learning in the Making Lab and is a founding co-director of the Mason Arts Research Center (Mason ARC). Dr. Sheridan’s research focuses on how people learn through making things. She takes a sociocultural perspective, studying how learning is situated in diverse and changing contexts with the advent of new technologies. She focuses in particular on creative production with technology and how technology can create innovative contexts of possibility for youth from traditionally underserved groups. Her work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the National Endowment of the Arts. She completed her doctorate in Human Development and Psychology at Harvard University Graduate School of Education.
Jorge Sanabria A competency-based model for Maker Lab networks
Launching a maker lab within a public institution involves assigning a space, facilities, equipment, training of managers, maintenance funds and, above all, deciding on a modality of use in relation to the school curriculum. This implies, however, conceiving a transversal mesh that integrates the particular objectives of such labs towards the development of a maker culture. A model that supports a network of maker labs should consider the synergy among them, in terms of updating their hardware and software, managing resources as a network, feeding a general interface for exchange of information and as a repository, defining and implementing pedagogical objectives for the development of competencies, and monitoring the scope of the network. Likewise, the model should include global projects for the development of students and teachers, such as competitions, collaborations, or conferences that will strengthen the perception of the network as a whole, adding to its consolidation.
Jorge C Sanabria holds a doctorate in Kansei Sciences from the Advanced Research Center in Neuroscience, Behaviour and Qualia at the University of Tsukuba, Japan. He completed a postdoctoral course at the University of Guadalajara, Mexico, from which he has developed the Gradual Immersion Method, an approach to promote creative cognition in collaborative settings. He is currently responsible for the innovation program and full-time professor at the University of Guadalajara, where he focuses on the development of methods of training and assessment of 21st century skills in digital manufacturing and educational robotics environments. Among his activities stands out the launching of a network of maker labs within a public high school system in Jalisco, Mexico, which comprises 9 student labs and a teacher training central lab where he develops courses to enhance knowledge with respect to 21st century skills in maker lab environments.
Margarida Romero Attitudes in maker education: from trust to tolerance of ambiguity
In maker education, techno-creative projects are highly ill-defined and unfold depending on the interactions with the community and the available resources. In this context, attitudes are a key characteristic of learners, teachers and other maker education facilitators in order to allow the advancement of the techno-creative projects within a process that is not well defined in advance. Attitudes such trust in others, a certain risk taking prevalence and tolerance to ambiguity are key elements to facilitate maker education.
Margarida Romero is research director of the Laboratoire d’Innovation et Numérique pour l’Éducation (LINE), a research lab in the field of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL). Full professor at Université Côte d’Azur (France) and associate professor at Université Laval (Canada). Her research is oriented towards the inclusive, humanistic and creative uses of technologies (co-design, game design and robotics) for the development of creativity, problem solving, collaboration and computational thinking.
David Gauntlett Rethinking Maker Cultures
In this presentation, David Gauntlett will set out some of the themes from his book Making is Connecting and the insights that emerged during preparation of 2018’s Second Expanded Edition. In particular he will focus on the ways in which ‘making’ and ‘maker’ cultures have solidified in recent years. While it is great news that making has become a recognized ‘thing’ within many societies and cultures, it is surprising that this tends to be one dimension of activity, often centred around electronics and robots, and so maker culture tends to appeal to a particular slice of the community and not really all people who like to make things. Gauntlett will argue that we need to look again at how we can build an inclusive and diverse community of makers, embracing craft, fashion, music, and all kinds of creative activity.
David Gauntlett is Canada Research Chair in Creative Innovation and Leadership in the Faculty of Communication and Design, Ryerson University, Toronto (since 2018). He was previously Professor of Creativity and Design, and Director of Research, at Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design, University of Westminster, UK. His teaching and research is about creative processes, self-initiated everyday creativity, and cultures of making and exchanging. He is the author of several books, including Creative Explorations (2007), Making is Connecting (2011, second edition 2018), and Making Media Studies (2015). He has made a number of popular online resources, videos and playthings, and has pioneered creative research and workshop methods. His research has been funded by multiple awards from the UK Arts and Humanities Council (AHRC), the European Union (Horizon 2020), and other funders. He has worked with a number of the world’s leading creative organisations, including the BBC, the British Library, and Tate. For 13 years he has worked with LEGO and the LEGO Foundation on innovation in creativity, play and learning.
Darren Wershler Console Modding as Critical Cultural Policy
What is the relationship between making, modding, repair and other related practices to the efforts of governments to regulate and encourage (or discourage) cultural production? Long-standing hobbies like video game console modification are increasingly at odds with corporate platformization strategies that attempt to silo all corporate properties into a single, tightly-managed channel, accessible only through proprietary hardware. Further, everyday practice and scholarly research are directly conflicting with national Intellectual Property legislation (this is especially true in Canada, but is still a problem in the USA, despite recent recommendations). Long-standing practices and rights like format shifting, the right of first sale, the production of backup copies, reverse engineering for research purposes, the circulation of digital materials in libraries, and even basic hardware repairs are now at risk.
Recent legal actions from Nintendo against various ROM-sharing sites have sparked commentary about software modding and ROM-hacking, but the implications of Nintendo’s recent successful lawsuit against Canadian modchip retailer Go Cyber Shopping have received no attention outside of legal circles. Drawing on specific examples from practical console modification work at the Residual Media Depot, this talk will walk through the inevitable encounters with cultural policy that an act as simple as removing a security screw can create.Computer and console modding techniques offer an example of a different kind of relationship with our commodities, based on active curiosity, a desire to understand black-boxed technology, and the ability to repair the things we own — in a word, *sustainability* rather than disposability. The point of this talk is to emphasize that it is not in the public interest to let these rights and accepted practices disappear
Darren Wershler holds the Concordia University Research Chair in Media and Contemporary Literature, and is the co-founder of the Media History Research Centre and Director of the Residual Media Depot. He is currently writing _THE LAB BOOK: Situated Practice in Media Studies_, with Jussi Parikka and Lori Emerson.
Josep Perello From a do-it-yourself practice to a do-it-with-others action: Can I be a citizen scientist?
Citizen science is blooming everywhere and there are nice examples in Europe, Asia and America that clearly underlines how its principles and participatory practices overcome the mere academic context. Citizen Science practices assist the needs and concerns of citizens and build knowledge with the participation of the non-expert but affected citizen. Citizen science provides the ability and capacity to gather data and construct valuable knowledge. Citizen science in its most extreme version include a wide variety of actors and it needs to be a research-in-the-wild practice because it is taking place out of the secluded labs and research becomes fully public. Citizen science principles therefore nicely resonates to maker’s movement. Is it then possible to shift a do-it-yourself practice to a do-it-with-others collective action? We will also discuss about how citizen science in the European context is taking shape along these lines and how a municipality such as Barcelona is supporting a Citizen Science Office to reinforce such a participatory research. And finally, by taking the notion of citizen social science, we will deepen in the idea of producing socially robust knowledge in a participatory manner and to drive social changes. How citizen science can become a movement rather than a list of principles?
Josep Perelló is an Associate Professor in the Department of Fundamental Physics at the University of Barcelona. He leads the OpenSystemsUB research group, which focuses on citizen participation and artistic practices as an alternative way of doing science. He works on complex systems, particularly in social and economic contexts. He is a member of the Complexitat.cat committee, and he was the head of the science department on behalf of the UB at Arts Santa Mònica (2009-2012), a project that won the 2012 Antoni Caparrós award for the best knowledge transfer project run by the UB. Since 2012, he has worked with the Creativity and Innovation Directorate of the ICUB, Barcelona City Council, and the bcnlab to strengthen citizen science practices in the city, through the Human Behaviour (as part of the DAU Festival), Bee-Path (experiments on human mobility) and Urban Bees projects. In conjunction with Barcelona City Council he is setting up a citizen science office, with the support of RecerCaixa and the FECYT.