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  • Aug 01 / 2014
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Projects

Summer Internship

We are very pleased to announce that we will have during the summer, two interns, Paulo Bala and Rui Trindade. Both are currently students of the master in entertainment technologies held in a collaboration between Carnegie Mellon and the University of Madeira/M-iti.

Paulo defines himself as a creative coder who loves to mix art and technology, while Rui is an artist with a creative mind who strives for innovation.

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Feel free to know more about Paulo here and more about Rui here.

 

Welcome aboard Paulo and Rui!!

 

  • Jul 07 / 2014
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Uncategorized

Residency @ Time’s Up | 25 May – 22 June , Linz Austria

Finally, I’m back to the island and still steeling down from the super combination of recent events under the Future Fabulators project.

It all started with Data Ecologies ’14 then I stayed in Linz for one month to work as a resident “artist” at Time’s Up the coordinator partner of the FFab project. Finally, I went to Porto, were all the partners gathered to attend the workshop  X Factor Futures in xCoAx 2014.

Data Ecologies was a super interesting event were we got to present the current state of our transmedia experience, also I got a good change to learn about all the partners current projects and from all the invited speakers all of them professionals in the future field. More on Data Ecologies 14 here.

After Data Ecologies most of the participants continued to Attersee in Upper Austria, where the book sprint happened (more information on this here), but I stayed in Linz and started my residency at Time’s up.

Since we are developing a location-based transmedia narrative experience, where physical objects playout an important role in the experience it was great  to get insights and learn from Time’s Up. They have a lot of experience with physical narratives.

Moreover, we decided to work together on exploring different interactions between prototyping hardware and multimedia content. Something that could be beneficial for both M-iti and Time’s up to use in their individual projects being developed under the Future Fabulators project. So over 4 weeks I worked around experimenting with integrating Arduinos, RFID readers and sensors together with Android devices in order to trigger multimedia content.

Different approaches (a lot of them!) were tried to achieved the goal. I discovered that using an Android device to control and trigger multimedia based on the Arduino input it is still not widely spread (sadly for me 🙂 ).

But!! There was a light at the end of the tunnel, one solution found was to use a native android application (written in Java) serving as a bridge between the Arduino and an HTML page to show the multimedia content (HTML + Javascript).

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So as a result of this residency we have the beginning for what can be a platform/medium between users/players and multimedia content that can be used in different experiences designed at both M-iti and at Time’s Up. This approach to develop this “tool” could be seen as an enhancer for a physical object, it could be something embed in a physical object, for example a radio with a visual interface, or a suitcase that is enhanced with a tablet that shows multimedia content. A week by week summary of the residency can be downloaded here

There was also time to get feedback  and some inputs from Time’s up on the transmedia story that M-iti is working on – The Laura Silva lost book. With my residency I think i was clear that there was a this need for the partners project to somehow relate and connect, and an idea of connecting the Laura Silva story world with the Lucid Dreaming story world was born. For now the idea is to have the Lucid Dreaming as a future story world for some the future generation of one of the characters in the Laura Silva world but  I’m sure that soon we will have more details on this soon.

Not all of my residency was hard work! I got to meet great people over there and there was the time for bike rides around Linz, enjoy delicious meals (desert included every single time…  nhammi i) with the Time’s up crew, I even went on a small boat ride in the Donau in Tim’s boat. Pippa showed me the best places to by schnapps and other Austrian goodies. And last but not least, and thanks to Tina and Gin, an awesome weekend trip to the mountains (uff my experience in Austria would not be complete without mountains).

To sum up it was a great experience!

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But the adventure was not over yet! It was time to get back to Portugal, more specifically to Porto to attend xCoAx. FFab organized a workshop lead by FoAM open to all participants of the conference.

For me it was great because I finally had the opportunity to participate in a future scenario building workshop learn and experience the whole process of building a future scenario where I could invision myself. This story world that we created and pre-enacted was called the “AnneBonnie Ark”. More on this story world here.

This adventure ended with the FFab retreat, where all the partners gathered to discuss the current state of the project and the future steps to be taken.

collageResidency

 

  • Jun 03 / 2014
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Events

Attersee Book Sprint | 26-29 May 2014, Lake Attersee, Austria

Following directly on from the success and constructive energy of Data Ecologies 2014, Time’s Up hosted a four-day ‘book sprint’ – a collaborative approach in which the aim is to write a complete book in 3-5 days – on the shores of beautiful Lake Attersee. The sprinters included Julian Hanna (M-ITI), Tina Auer, Tim Boykett, and Luis Wohlmuther (Time’s Up), Nik Gaffney, Maja Kuzmanovic, and Alkan Chipperfield (FoAM), Istvan Szakats (AltArt), as well as Trevor Haldenby, Marta Peirano, and Peter von Stackelberg. The purpose of the book was to distil and immediately record the thoughts and debates that came out of Data Ecologies 14; the eventual title of the book was Futurish.

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In just four (very long) days, with the help of facilitator and co-creator Barbara Rühling, the sprinters managed to put together a fresh and provocative book that might, for example, be used as a guide to the state of the art of futures studies. Some of the many themes and practices covered in the book include worldbuilding, transmedia storytelling, everyday futures, experience design, foresight, engagement, guerrilla futures, and uncertainty. Crossing the finish line on the evening of the 29th, the sprinters celebrated with a glass of schnapps and, in the case of our own Julian Hanna and three other participants, jumped into the freezing waters of Lake Attersee.

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On the last evening the group was joined by Adam Hyde, who has been a pioneer in the emerging practice of book sprints. While the sprinters returned to their respective bases, Barbara and Adam proceeded directly to their next sprint: a group of geographers seeking to develop an open source textbook at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. The four-day book sprint organized by Time’s Up was an extremely productive and highly recommended experience. Definitely a process we would like to see more of in the future!

Booksprint03

BookSprint01

 

More information on the book sprint from our parterns:

http://loosediary.wordpress.com/2014/06/13/attersee-booksprint/

http://loosediary.wordpress.com/2014/06/14/a-booksprint-data-ecologies-and-lucid-dreaming-all-at-once/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/times_up/sets/72157644655823050/

 https://secure.flickr.com/photos/foam/sets/72157644825294854/

 

  • May 30 / 2014
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Events

Data Ecologies 2014 | 23-24 May 2014, Linz, Austria

During the last week of May, Julian Hanna and Mara Dionisio of FFab@M-ITI were fortunate enough to participate in Data Ecologies 14, a two-day symposium on the theme of ‘languages and tools to think out loud about futures’ which was hosted by FFab partner Time’s Up in Linz, Austria.

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We presented our latest project, the transmedia story set in Madeira that we have been working on at M-ITI since early 2014. Julian started with a description of the story and the writing process, and Mara followed up with an in-depth look at the various media involved. These included location-aware mobile platforms currently being developed and adapted for use as well as interactive artefacts. Mara stayed on with Time’s Up in Linz after DE14 for a short residency to collaborate with our FFab partners on technical aspects of the transmedia story.

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Hosts Time’s Up managed to pack two days of DE14 with lively debates and vital insights by leading figures from across the futures field. Speakers at DE14 included members of M-ITI, FoAM, and Time’s Up, as well as Julian Bleecker (remotely), Trevor Haldenby, Eva Lenz, Justin Pickard, Scott Smith, and Peter von Stackelberg.

collageSpeakersDE14

It is  possible to listen to all the presentations here .

Check out our PowerPoint presentation here .

 

More information on DE14 from our partners:

https://loosediary.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/data-ecologies-14-booklet/

https://loosediary.wordpress.com/2014/05/23/data-ecologies-day01/

https://loosediary.wordpress.com/2014/05/24/data-ecologies-day02/

http://libarynth.org/future_fabulators/de14_notes

https://www.flickr.com/photos/times_up/sets/72157644989530166/

  • Mar 31 / 2014
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Projects

Research About LauraSilva StoryWorld [ XVIII / XIX ]

We decided to do some research on the story world where our story  happens.

We did a superficial research on some topics related to Madeira, then if need as our story develops we may need to research further on some and leave the others as it is.

Over the next topics, there’s a list of events, curiosities, or just something that we found  that could be inspiring to our story.

There are also images for reference and for inspiration.

 

Madeira in XVIII / XIX 

Around this time Madeira had a very busy harbor with ships from the: Mediterranean; English; American; Denmark; Swedish; Russian

It was famous for it’s Sugar initially but after the discovery of Brasil the sugar cane production transferred there, and Madeira was now more focused on the Madeira wine production.

In 1803 a big storm hit Madeira – “Aluviao” it rained 2 days without stopping; 600 dead people; 200 missing people; The city had to be partially rebuilt – Brigadeiro Reinaldo Oudinot. (There are streets and places with this name)

In 1807 Madeira was occupied by the English – Locations: Colegio dos Jesuitas; Convento da Encarnacao (?)

Due to its weather Madeira as seen as healing place for pulmonary diseases: “Natural Sanatorium”; Lots of famous people (Imperatriz; Princesses)  from Europe would come to rest.

Napoleon Bonaparte passed by Madeira taking Madeira wine with him.

Nature of Madeira

The island become an exotic destination for the Europeans to analyze the endemic species of plants and birds – it was like a big exotic garden. Plants had an economic, medicinal and ornamental value. 

1804 –  The garden of Quinta Palheiro Ferreiro started to be built –  There was a variety of Trees and Plants.

Ricardo Tomás Lowe (1826-1852) came to Madeira with his sick mother and stared studying the Madeira Flora and Fauna. Gather a significant amount of works on this. Lots of Herbariums

Joao Maria Moniz was a local who also studied plants although his work was never published. He lend his book of research to Lowe and the book was lost on the boat crash were Lowe also died.

Charles Darwin also mentions Flora/Fauna Madeira in the book The origin of species. 

The locals would be seen farming while the english would go exploring Madeira’s hidden places. 

All this scientific interest in Madeira fauna and flora created a vast number of documents, paintings that are of a very important historical value.  

On the other side, a lot of trees were cut, to open space for agriculture, to sell wood and also to make charcoal. Moreover, the soils were becoming barren.

There’s a contrast between the south and the north. In the north the forest remains more preserved. There are some reports of some plant species being in danger. 

Some say that the big storm was a sign from nature “being tired”. 

In Madeira there where also find a variety of plants from outside. Cotton from india and New Orleans: peanuts, mandioca, pineapple, orange trees, ….

People in Madeira use plants with a medicinal purpose. There is documentation on which plants can be used for medicine, moreover the sugar cane honey also has medicinal properties.

Madeira –  the “Island of Wine”

Sugar wasn’t anymore the main exportation product of Madeira, Brasil was now a better place for this. Although there was still production of sugar in Madeira.

Madeira Wine became Madeira’s main source of income.  It was discovered that the wine is even better after long journeys, so ships would stop in Madeira before going to their destinations.

The wine business brought agitation not only to the harbour but also to the countryside. Farmers and merchant would both be involved in the business. 

The secret of the wine is also in the barrel; Its very important! All the barrels where hand made in Madeira.

The wine became well established in the American market.  Many famous people appreciated this ( American Presidents)

It was famous in England as well; Shakespeare also mentions Madeira Wine in his works.

The wine at the time was believed to have therapeutical properties: in the treatment of fevers and also as antidote to diseases like “Escorbuto”, a very common disease among sailors.

In XVIII the Madeira wine exportations were related to a Lady called: Dona Guiomar, she was responsible for 3/4 of the Madeira Wine exportations, she also owned a lot of buildings in Madeira

In Quinta da Vigia ( how is the official house of the president of Madeira and back then it served as a Point of reference in the harbor entry) she build a “Mirante” so that she could watch her works in the harbor

D. Guiomar had a brother who was a musician who composed one of the first music pieces where in Madeira at the Sé Cathedral.

Old house of commerce own by Dona Guiomar (1770). It was tare down in XIX in the revamp constructions around Sé ; After it was a prison and now the only thing that remains is a “brasao de armas”that is in Museu Quinta das Cruzes

 

  • Mar 17 / 2014
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Projects

LauraSilva Story Development

We have been developing our story based on the initial storyline created by Valentina.

Each of us was responsible from developing different aspects of the story and different characters.

In a recent workgroup session we decided that the Madeira Island story world should have a bigger emphasis in our story. This was decided in order to adapt the story into a transmedia experience that takes advantage of location based applications. Moreover, Madeira Island story world is one that we are more familiar with rather than the Brazilian tribes story world.

Currently the story is still under construction once we have a more refined we will upload it to the Resources page.

  • Feb 25 / 2014
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Projects

Transmedia Projects background research

In our last meeting we discussed and compiled a list of interesting and inspirational transmedia projects, location-based projects, books, and websites.

That list is coming soon – stay tuned!

  • Feb 25 / 2014
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Projects

Transmedia story Brainstorm session

On 6 February the FF team at M-ITI – Julian, Mara and Valentina – had our first meeting together. Below are some notes on what was discussed in the meeting.

The meeting started with an analysis and recollection of FF scenarios that were developed in the recent workshop led by our partners FoAM.

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The idea of designing a transmedia experience was approached, and the team discussed the elements that make up a transmedia story project, what efforts are involved, and concerns we had about the final outcome.

Transmedia

Valentina told us about a story that she had started to develop in a creative writing workshop last year. The plot concerned a 19th-century wine merchant trading between Portugal and Brazil. We discussed the story as a potential transmedia project for FF.

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The team agreed that the story should be developed as a transmedia experience and began an informal brainstorming session where some important ideas emerged.

The story could be told using a cross-platform approach: e.g. short story, Twitter feed, live blog, etc. It should definitely include a physical, location-based component in Madeira such as Funchal’s Old Town or dockside area, inside a wine lodge, or even on board a replica pirate ship. We also discussed how it might be interesting to tell parts of the story using physical objects, e.g. a telescope, old documents, a ship’s log book, and diaries. We agreed that the experience should allow users to make their own discoveries and fill in details from their own imaginations. For example, the audience could discover that something more sinister (e.g. slave trading) was being hidden beneath the wine trade storyline. Or by looking through old census lists, users could have the excitement of discovering vital names and connections.

Another idea was that since the story follows characters in different centuries, we could design the experience to take advantage of this: the audience could take an active role in the present by helping a future character uncover facts about the past. This could lead to a branching story with several different outcomes.

After this informal brainstorming session a need for further research on transmedia projects was identified, along with a need to further develop the characters and plot. Therefore, the next step will be to explore successful examples of transmedia experiences in order to gain inspiration and a deeper knowledge of up-to-the-minute transmedia storytelling techniques in a rapidly changing field.

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