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Ignite10!

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Some cross-promotion here, just in case anyone reading this is interested in a postgraduate research conference being organised by QUT‘s Creative Industries faculty in late October 2010 (disclaimer: I’m on the organising committee): Ignite10! Looking for Trouble? Intended for postgraduates from Creative Industries at QUT, but open to other disciplines and universities too, Ignite aims to showcase the diversity of research across the faculty and develop connections between its postgraduates and the faculty itself. All going well I will have a poster displaying some of the various visualisations I’ve been working on this year at the conference (as seen in previous entries and on flickr), and there will be a range of presentations from across the disciplines featuring in Creative Industries, including creative writing, film, journalism, media and communication, visual arts, urban informatics, and music. Showcasing postgraduate student work from QUT Creative Industries, the conference will be a mix of student papers, posters, panels and roundtables, creative works, and performances over three days: 27-29 October, QUT Creative Industries Precinct, Kelvin Grove, Brisbane. I presented at the previous conference in October 2008, and recommend it as a venue for presenting research or work-in-progress in a supportive environment, and also as an opportunity to learn about projects in other Creative Industries disciplines or to meet fellow postgraduates.

The call for papers is out now, with submissions due next Friday 28 May. More information can be found at the conference website and questions and queries can be sent to this email address.

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Written by Tim

20 May, 2010 at 11:54 am

Posted in conference, ignite, qut

phd update

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It’s been a while between updates, but most of that is due to spending time on the next major stage of the phd candidature: confirmation. In just over a week, I’ll be one year into the great work, which means I have a 45 minute seminar to present on my research (and also prepare an accompanying 60-80 page document for the seminar panel). The presentation itself is on 31 March, more details forthcoming. Once that’s out of the way, there will be more work-in-progress type posts; I’ve put in abstracts for a few conferences later in the year, and chosen to focus on particular sets of data being collected from the Australian and French political blogospheres, so there’ll be some information coming out of that hopefully.

One more immediate bit of news regards the paper I presented last year at the Ignite conference for QUT Creative Industries postgrads – ‘Which way up? Reading and drawing maps of the blogosphere’. I posted the slides and discussion of the conference here at the time, but not the paper itself. Soon after the conference, I received an email asking if I wanted to submit the paper for the proceedings journal, and it is now online at ejournalist along with several other papers from Ignite on a variety of Creative Industries theoretical and practice-based studies.

Written by Tim

8 March, 2009 at 12:09 pm

Posted in articles, ignite, phd, qut

which way up? drawing and reading maps of the blogosphere

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My presentation at Ignite was about maps of the blogosphere, the kind of approaches used, and the information provided by different formats. Rather than being specifically related to my current research, I wanted to investigate this topic as it may form part of my phd later on, and also because it involved maps and I wanted a break from all the theory I’d been reading and writing about for my proposal.

The presentation went okay, I think, although through my nervous state at the time I don’t remember what I said. There were a lot of questions, though, and some excellent feedback and positive comments about what I’d presented, with several people being similarly inspired by maps. I’ve written up some notes from the questions as part of my new writing routine, which I’ll try and use in follow-up work. The paper itself, I haven’t decided what to do with it, whether it’ll be submitted for the proceedings journal or not (I’ll make my mind up over the next few days), but it’ll either be linked to or uploaded here later.

Powerpoint, with pictures and slideshare’s wonderful “mucking up the text formatting” abilities:

Written by Tim

6 October, 2008 at 1:58 pm

Ignite – Round-up

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I was going to liveblog Ignite, but time during the sessions eluded me, and then being away for most of the weekend for the Gold Coast Half Ironman (and its associated heat and sun-related headaches) have meant the delay of the round-up until now.

Rather than post the liveblogging notes, then, this post will be about a conference that was particularly exciting and rewarding, well run by Sue Carson and the postgrad committee, and full of pleasantly intriguing presentations from across the Creative Industries faculty.

Part of my stress last week when I was preparing my presentation was the knowledge that the presenters and attendees of the conference were from the various Creative Industries schools – such as visual arts, music, film, fashion, dance, journalism, and creative writing – and, from my experience last semester, most of the postgrads would probably be undertaking practice-led research. Not coming from that background, I was a little worried about how my presentation might go, particularly when in the same session as particularly creative projects. However, it all seemed to go okay (I’ll cover my presentation in a separate post).

The conference itself was opened on Wednesday evening with a series of displays, screenings, and performances, including the Robobongo All Stars (a live band accompanied by Robobongo, described as a “musical percussion robot”), HarmonyGrid (live interactive music, involving a projected grid which influences the music being played), Crash Paper Music for Robots (stop-motion animation, screencaps from games, and music), and Edge of Colour (live electronic music). I didn’t get to see all of these in action (I was co-opted to stand behind the bar) but there was a lot of interesting, dedicated work on show.

The keynote address on Thursday morning was provided by Hugh Kearns from Flinders University. Although the subject of the talk was the discussion that every postgrad hears many times, that being how to get the work done and manage time efficiently, it was handled with realistic expectations and understanding of what postgrads generally do (such as avoid work). There were some useful tips and strategies, though, and I think that is a large part of what I got out of the conference: different approaches and perspectives to work and projects that I probably wouldn’t have thought of myself.

The bulk of the next two days of conference were taken up with papers from across the faculty, divided into streams that were sometimes more related than others. The talks obviously reflect vastly different projects and approaches, but they were all fascinating and well-prepared, and just to have the opportunity to see what other postgrads are doing and the wealth of research happening in other fields is incredible.

However, despite seeing many presentations, performances, and a few games of boules, my highlights were the panel discussions as the last sessions of both Thursday and Friday. On Friday, several postgrads, again from different fields, talked about working across the borders, or ignoring them altogether, between disciplines, combining visual arts, film, music, photography, fashion, and beyond that into science, IT, and other subjects, the ability to study what they want to be doing without having to fit into one particular area, and the benefits and problems that can come about from it. Thursday, on the other hand, saw six creative writing postgrads read a brief excerpt of their own writing and talk about both it and what they read for their research or inspiration. As to be expected from what else happened at the conference, the six writers were covering very different approaches and themes in their writing, and to be able see and hear the work being created here, and its quality, is constantly astonishing. I wasn’t sure what to expect from Ignite, even after submitting an abstract and working on a paper, other than a lot of panic, but to be exposed to the work of other postgrads, and the practices and methods being used, was more rewarding than I would have even thought possible. There were some fascinating discussions generated after presentations, and the chance to speak to people I’d seen in the corridors but never spoken to, and to see what kind of work they were doing. Ultimately, it didn’t matter that my work wasn’t entirely related to the other presentations in the same session; instead, everything is different but welcome, and sitting through session after session on the same topics wouldn’t have had the same effect as watching and listening to a bit of everything.

Written by Tim

6 October, 2008 at 1:45 pm

Posted in conference, ignite, qut

Ignite 08

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This evening Ignite 08, the QUT Creative Industries postgrad conference, kicks off with several screenings and performances, before two days of presentations, performances, and discussions here at the Creative Industries Precinct. Although the conference is meant to be relaxed and a way for postgrads to talk about their work with each other in a supportive setting, preparing my presentation has still been rather stressful! I’m still getting back into the giving talks mindset, having somehow gone three years without having to present, so there are a few nerves about discussing my research in a conference environment, even if it is mostly amongst postgrads.

My presentation is in the first post-lunch session tomorrow afternoon, in a ‘new media/performance’ stream, which could be interesting – certainly the other talks look very exciting, from the abstracts. Depending on time and other work, I’ll try posting some comments from other talks during the conference, as well as my slides after my presentation. I’m not sure about whether I’ll be able to put the paper itself up, but if I get the chance it’ll be uploaded here too (and I’d imagine to eprints).

The paper I’m presenting is Which way up? Drawing and reading maps of the blogosphere, chosen partly because I wanted a break from the theories that had been driving my proposal and felt like having a look at mapping research instead. I’m not sure how much of what I’ve written on the slides is that important, but there are certainly some nice pictures! Researching this paper has also given me a chance to see some more approaches to mapping spaces such as the blogosphere, which may be useful later in the phd.
Having been in Perth for the last couple of weeks too, I’ve been able to spend some time in the Reid Library at UWA, in particular perusing the well-read pages (mostly by me over the last year and a bit) of Else/where, sadly out of print but heartily recommended, even if, being two years old now, some of it is not quite as relevant as it was when I first found it…

Written by Tim

1 October, 2008 at 2:56 pm

Posted in conference, ignite, qut