Nov 10, 2016

What was digital life in a hybrid world? – A Live Cross Institutional and International Webinar Event

A video of highlights of the webinar can be viewed here 

 Last week eight HDR students from two different Universities, half from Deakin University and half on the other side of the world at Coventry University, were asked to answer the question- ‘what is digital life on a hybrid world?’ This was to be discuss in a live webinar event, creating an interactive environment, allowing discussion and debates that crossed oceans, institutions and disciplines.

Under the guidance of Alun Evans, Becca Weber, Scott deLahunta and Associate Professor Sean Redmond, each group were challenged to present a 10 minute ‘answer’ to present and discuss with the other participants and the event organisers, over the online software Appear.in- similar to Skype. Deakin students were drawn from different discipline areas so that a degree of inter-disciplinarily was nurtured.

Being on opposite sides of the time zone, 8pm in Melbourne and 9am in Coventry, breakfast was served for one team, while the other enjoyed a nightcap.

The Centre for Dance Research, Coventry University team: Carol Breen, Claire Ridge, Kim Kothen and Teoma Naccarato went first, presenting HybridWe ), an interactive ‘choose your own adventure’ style experience presented via a web platform.

The Deakin Motion.Lab- Centre for Creative Arts Research, Deakin University team: Jeremy Martino, Autumn Royal, Greg Penn, Alison Bennett followed presenting Reworlding Hybrid Digital Life, an interactive video/sound experience.

As Jeremy Martino reflected:

To reconvene as a team and showcase our creation was a rewarding experience. But feeling so connected to the team from Coventry while experiencing the differences and similarities between our exploration of the topic was my favourite moment.”

Discussions and questions followed each presentations. There was a high degree of critical engagement with each other’s work, a sharing of differences and different theoretical underpinnings, especially as students answered further questions to a new provocation: Digital life in a hybrid world is a dangerous thing?

The time and geographic difference between the participants proved to be particularly interesting factors, opening a whole new discussion of how this may have affected the discussions, leading to the hope of expanding future endeavours with more participants- three Universities in opposing time zones.

“We could see light coming through the windows via the Coventry feed while in Melbourne we were shrouded in darkness within the Deakin motion-capture lab. However, our own distant whirlpools of coffee and shiraz pulled us into in a different world – a digital sphere of questions, answers and the promise of a wondrous future.”

The Live Webinar Event was positively endorsed by all involved, as a new and exciting way to engage, enliven and enrich the student’s research experience

As a member of the Melbourne team, I found the whole experience overwhelmingly rewarding… We spoke about many potential interpretations of the question, and many possible answers. Just like our peers in Coventry we decided to do more than try to answer the question, we wanted to present our own questions within an artistic, multi-faceted experience.”