Friday, April 20, 2007

Off for (partially) unknown territories

Well, I'm crossing the ocean again this weekend because of a generous invitation to give the opening keynote at the ENTER_Unknown Territories Conference in Cambridge next week. Here's the short abstract for my talk:

"Where I come from, this is how we do things" and other ethics of collaboration.

Anne Galloway prepares the ground for the conference panels by critically assessing the relations between people’s ethics, aesthetics, world-views and expectations – and the challenges and opportunities posed by cultural difference in collaborative practice. How do we make sense of our actions and the worlds in which we live? What happens when we encounter difference or opposition? What would collaboration without consensus involve? Where do we locate accountability, and to whom and what are we responsible? How can we evaluate the ethics of collaborative work and play?

While the entire conference line-up looks great, I'm particularly looking forward to the following sessions: Toolshift / Mindshift and Uncommon Ground-Creative Encounters Across Disciplines and Sectors, which builds on a new book called Uncommon Ground. I wrote a short essay on seams and scars for the collection and the book launch takes place the night before the conference.

BBC journalist Bill Thompson will also be chairing a session called Control Technology: Knowing Me, Knowing You – Ah ha! that I really want to catch because he said in a recent article that he'll "be making some of the people there feel pretty uncomfortable about their attitude to personal privacy ... [because] there is a danger that the art, like other aspects of control technology, will only serve to dull our senses and dampen our indignation, leading us to feel that the unobserved life is not really worth fighting for." Wow.

As if that's not enough, there are some great sounding workshops too, including the Proboscis Public Authoring Zone and Bricolabs, and a cool 'Local/Food' Picnic Performance at the end. If you're there please come say hello - and if you can't make it, you can always keep up on blogspot, flickr and myspace.

I'll also be in London visiting friends and doing a bit of work a few days before and after the conference, so if you'd like to get together or know of something I shouldn't miss, please just drop me a note.

**UPDATE 1.05.07**
I enjoyed the event and met some really good people, but until I get some breathing room to write up my reflections I'd just note that I was particularly impressed by CRUMB's Bliss Out Centre, which I think should be part of every conference, and Mongrel's MediaShed project. Check them out! And with one unforgettable exception, I received much positive interest in my presentation. I focussed on the anthropological concept of ethos, which means I purposely avoided telling people what they should and should not do. I think this is really important, and I'll post some more thoughts on the topic as soon as I can. Thanks again to the organisers and to everyone for coming out.

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Anonymous Phil said...

Agh - can't really do flying visits to London these days. But do drop me a line any time you're in the Manchester area.

The conference sounds like fun. I've never been a big fan of Bill T., but I was very pleasantly surprised by that article - I hope the session lives up to it. Will await reports with interest.

Anonymous anne said...

As a matter of fact, I'll be in Manchester next month for the Futuresonic Social Technologies Summit...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey Anne,

I will be in England for the beginning of May. Any interesting conferences going on? I always wanted to fall asleep in a lecture hall at Cambridge.


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Anonymous Phil said...

Aargh - it's that time already. OK, next time...

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