Congratulations to Dr Camille Baker, whose SMARTlab PhD thesis ‘MINDtouch’ topped the ranks of all abstracts reviewed in 2011 by the Leonardo peer review panel. Camille has been invited to publish her thesis abstract in the Leonardo electronic journal (LEA) and invited to publish an article on her thesis work in the journal Leonardo (MIT Press).

The abstract of MINDtouch – Ephemeral Transference: ‘Liveness’ in Networked Performance with Mobile Devices is available on the Leonardo website here. (more…)

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Gaze Interaction book coverDr Mick Donegan, SMARTlab’s Adjunct Professor of Multimodal Interfaces and Assistive Technologies, and Co-PI of the SMARTlab InterFACES research project, has co-written a new book, Gaze Interaction and Application of Eye Tracking: Advances in Assistive Technologies, recently published by IGI Global.

Recent advances in eye-tracking technology will allow for a proliferation of new applications. Improvements in interactive methods using eye movement and gaze control could result in faster and more efficient human–computer interfaces, benefiting users with and without disabilities.

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the moment I saw you I knew I could love you TOUR DATES

This is how I dream it. This is how it feels. And I am not a sailor. I cannot steer a craft. I cannot tie a reef knot. I cannot swim. But still this is how it ends. I am out here with the lost mariners, the castaways, the ship wrecked and the sea swallowed.

the moment I saw you I knew I could love you is the new performance by Leslie Hill and Helen Paris made in collaboration with film-maker Andrew Kötting, composer and sound designer Graeme Miller and performers Claudia Barton and Joseph Young. The piece is about ‘gut feelings’; fight, flight and freeze reactions; impulse, love and undefended moments. Designed for life-raft sized groups of audience members at a time, the performance is set in the belly of a whale.

The piece premiered at Chelsea Theatre, London on the 21st November and will touring nationally and internationally from March 2010.

“There are a thousand beautiful moments: my favourites include a film of a woman floating adrift at sea projected onto a tiny Sealegs packet and a harrowing story of a childhood terrorised by a sword-swallower’s accident. It’s a rich and rewarding experience being immersed in this watery world.” Total Theatre


“Film and live performance, soundscape and installation combine in this love story to offer glimpses of an endless horizon as well as intimate close-ups…. There is something immensely wistful about a piece that demonstrates that we are merely chemical compounds, and yet also shows us how to discover equilibrium.” The Guardian

12 March, Axis Arts Centre, Crewe
17-18 March, National Review of Live Art, Glasgow
10 April, The Bluecoat, Liverpool
3 May, The Junction, Cambridge
5-6 May, Nuffield Theatre, Lancaster
15-16 May, Arnolfini, Bristol
21, 22, 23 May, Basement, Brighton
24 June, Colchester Arts Centre
6-7 July, Exeter Phoenix, Exeter

the moment I saw you I knew I could love you is commissioned by Chelsea Theatre for SACRED 2009, Colchester Arts Centre and New Moves International for The National Review of Live Art 2010. It has been made with the support of a Wellcome Trust Arts Award, the National Lottery through Arts Council England, Brunel University, a residency at the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Hosking Houses Trust and collaboration with scientists at the Wingate Institute of Neurogastroenterology.

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SMARTlab is featured on Becta’s Emerging Technologies website with a project video demonstrating the potential of new interface technologies such as eye tracking to improve curriculum access for all. Dr Mick Donegan is planning to introduce such technologies at schools across the UK. If you are interested in this technology, you can get in touch with us at info@smartlab.uk.com.


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The Body of the Avatar (2009), an article by PhD candidate Denise Doyle, has recently been published in the Intellect Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds. This is Denise’s third article to be published since she began her PhD study at SMARTlab in 2006. Her research focuses on the Imagination and Creative Practice in Virtual Worlds. Previous articles have included a joint publication with fellow PhD candidate, Taey Kim called Embodied Narrative (2007), and an article entitled Art and the Avatar (2008).

Details and abstracts for all articles can be found here:

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Two forthcoming book chapters by Dr Susan Kozel:

  • Sinews of Ubiquity: A Corporeal Ethics for Ubiquitous Computing – A chapter in  Throughout: Art and Culture Emerging with Ubiquitous Computing, ed. Ulrik Ekman. Cambridge MA and New York: The MIT Press.

This book is a comprehensive anthology of more than 40 research articles from a constellation of scholars across the world at work on the cultural and technical implications of the third wave of computing now emerging.

  • The Virtual and the Physical: Creative convergence between the corporeal and the digital – A chapter in Arts Research: A Critical Introduction, eds. Michael Biggs and Henrik Karlsson. (Forthcoming 2010)
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Two forthcoming book chapters by Dr Esther MacCallum-Stewart:

26835_Carlisle_Encyclopedia_of_Play_3D_72ppiRGB_150pixwThe Encyclopaedia of Play (SAGE) (In press: August 2009)

This major encyclopaedia contains a significant contribution by Esther MacCallum-Stewart on the role of video games and of warfare in games. Titles include larger entries on the sociology of mock warfare in games, and the psychology of the wargame, as well as a larger essay on the seminal tabletop roleplaying text, Dungeons and Dragons. Specific entries on Runescape, Counter-Strike, Maple Story, Napoleon, Battlefield 1942 and Silk Road Online are also included.

Ringbearers: The Lord of the Rings as Online as Intertextual Narrative.(co-edited with Tanya Kryzwinska and Justin Parsler), Manchester University Press.

As online gaming continues to develop in scope, this book examines the role of a single text – Turbine’s Lord of the Rings: Online (2007-present). Unlike many of the other titles currently available, LOTR:O is in a unique position, coming as it does from the rich history created around Tolkien’s original books by films, previous games and popular culture. This book therefore examines the game both in the context of online gaming, and the other texts that surround it. Chapters include work on pageantry, roleplay, MMORPG design, mythology, adaptation and machinima. The book follows the success of the authors’ previous contributions to the World of Warcraft Reader by trying to provide a definite series of texts analysing the growing complexity of online gaming.

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Routledge CompanionThe Routledge Companion to Science Fiction

041545378X (hardback)

Esther MacCallum-Stewart has written a chapter with Professor Tanya Kryzwinska (University of Brunel) on video games and science fiction. It looks at the history of science fiction in video games and discusses how the two genres are integral to each other. Whilst games do not need to contain science fiction, it has remained a persistent, and popular subject for the medium.

More details at http://www.routledge.com/books/The-Routledge-Companion-to-Science-Fiction-isbn9780415453783

GreenwoodThe Greenwood Encyclopaedia of Women in Science Fiction and Fantasy

0-313-33589-3 (hardback, 2 volumes)

This two volume set is the definitive guide to science fiction and women.  Esther MacCallum-Stewart has written sections that contain work on online gaming, history and warfare in science fiction, sword and sorcery science fiction fantasy, and the quest narrative, adding a vital part to this comprehensive text.

More details at: http://www.greenwood.com/catalog/GR3589.aspx

simulation and gamingHardcore meets Simulation and Gaming

Esther MacCallum-Stewart is now editing a regular column for Simulation and Gaming, which will replace DiGRA’s Hardcore column. The column will provide news and commentary from Games Studies around the world. Simulation and Gaming is now celebrating its 40th Anniversary, and Esther is publishing two further articles this year on the divergent topics of Stealth Learning in Games, and Sex in Games! The journal also has a peculiar honour; both Esther and her mother have now published in it! Linda MacCallum-Stewart was one of the first proponents of incorporating management games and simulation into training exercises in the 1970s.

More details at: http://www.unice.fr/sg/index.html

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In this volume, the editors have recovered the lost voices of North African women and, as a consequence, have restored their rich cultural and historical legacies.

The volume covers six countries – Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Mauritania and Sudan, and contains over one hundred texts from nine languages. It includes works from 3000 BC to the present; from an Egyptian Queen’s marriage proposal to contemporary women promoting new marriage and family laws. In addition to Berber poetry and oral history, much prose in the volume is original, and many names will resonate with modern readers.

To order a copy visit The Feminist Press, CUNY.

Fatima Sadiqi is a SafetyNET’s founding members. She is Professor of Linguistics and Gender Studies, Director General of the Fes Festival of Sacred Music and Director of Isis Center for Women and Development. www.fatimasadiqi.on.ma>>>

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‘Skilling Up: The Workforce Agenda & the Club Tech Contribution to Youth at Risk’ by Lizbeth Goodman, Esther MacCallum-Stewart and Vicki Munsell will soon to be available through The MIT Press.

This paper presents the major case study of a comprehensive IT package delivered over seven years to a large group of users from the ‘youth at risk’ sector of American society: the Microsoft CSR and Boys & Girls Clubs of America Club Tech program.

Club Tech was an early and significant workforce and entrepreneurship pilot, which evolved out of a community technology project. It pioneered the implementation of digital technology programs within large and diverse communities in its first five-year phase from 2000-5, and has now reached nearly five million of the most disadvantaged youth across the USA (and with some limited additional young people supported internationally).

Now in its eighth year, the project still provides benchmarks for today’s users and shows innovative ways forward for the ‘workforce’ agenda. The cohesive nature of the project is what makes it extraordinary, and provides a model for future use. Through the investment of over $100 million dollars in cash and software by Microsoft in the first five years, and through community engagement to a much larger scale, the project has provided software, curriculum, training and a new model of empowered learning. This attempt to address the digital divide, or rather to assess the impact of the ‘digital dividend’ of strategic investment in youth at risk, remains one of the only cohesive community technology provision packages in the world, with significant lessons to share globally.

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