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  • 1.
    Barrett, James
    Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Humlab. Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för språkstudier.
    Narratives of Creation and Space:: Pilgrimage, Aboriginal and Digital2008Inngår i: Format, ISSN 0867-2555, nr 55, 18-19 s.Artikkel i tidsskrift (Annet (populærvitenskap, debatt, mm))
    Abstract [en]

    I approach digital media via brief examinations of spatial and narrative discourse networks not often associated with the digital. This approach is meant to suggest that digital media is a product and a producer of a dynamic realignment of cultural assumptions globally, such as what is considered to be 'narrative'. The cultural fields I discuss in relation to digital media are the performance of pilgrimage and some of the story telling systems of the Australian Aboriginal nations. In relation to pilgrimage the 9th century Buddhist stupa of Borobudur on the Indonesian island of Java is examined as an example of a spatial hypermediation that immerses the pilgrim in a story manifest through interactions. The Aboriginal story systems examined move across media forms (spoken word, song, body paint, sculpture, bark painting) to present a participatory narrative grounded in culturally specific understandings of space and place.

    My use of the term 'digital' refers to media systems that rely on digital technologies. The major features of digital technologies relevant here is the effectiveness of the technology at constructing spatial relations in representations and the demand of the direct participation of the users as co-creators of what is represented.

     

  • 2.
    Barrett, James
    Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Humlab.
    Rhetoric of the Holy in the Online Virtual Environment of Second Life2010Inngår i: Changing societies – values, religions, and education: A selection of papers from a conference at Umeå University, June 2009 / [ed] Karin Sporre and Gudrun Svedberg, Umeå: Umeå School of Education , 2010, nr 7, 19-24 s.Kapittel i bok, del av antologi (Annet vitenskapelig)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper discusses three examples of rhetorical holiness from the online virtual world of Second Life. The rhetorical holiness is compared to the representation of beliefs and practices in physical settings. By examining representation of the holy in Second Life it is possible to discuss the shift from older to new media forms in established and therefore comparative contexts. How these movements reflect and affect practices and beliefs is argued as highlighting networks of power and meaning.

  • 3.
    Barrett, James
    Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för språkstudier.
    Developing your social media practice2014Annet (Annet (populærvitenskap, debatt, mm))
  • 4.
    Barrett, James
    Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för språkstudier. Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Humlab.
    Virtual worlds, machinima and cooperation over borders2013Inngår i: Sens Public: International Web Journal, ISSN 2104-3272Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    Cooperation over borders between individuals and groups is possible using online three-dimensional virtual worlds. This cooperation occurs in the production of art, research, teaching and learning, and performance as well as in building social, professional and personal contexts. The borders that are crossed can be geopolitical, generational, spatial and embodied. In order to maintain coherence for people to meet, talk, build, write, perform and exchange in virtual worlds, a sense and understanding of place is required. Such human activities as meeting are reliant on a shared space and place. This chapter integrates the idea of sharing places in examples of how virtual worlds can provide common spaces and places from a series of projects involving art, documentation, teaching and communication. By using examples of one artist’s project and several machinima – videos made using screen-capture software on computers, to film places and avatar actors in virtual worlds – I argue these virtual worlds can enable cooperation over a variety of borders through sharing.

  • 5.
    Barrett, James
    Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Humlab. Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för språkstudier.
    Frankenstein’s Monster Comes Home: The ‘Two Cultures’ in Remix2013Inngår i: Authorship, ISSN 2034-4643, Vol. 2, nr 2Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley (1818) is the starting point for this reading of remix in relation to authorship and its implications for creative work. The monster in Frankenstein has no single author, or father, and is damned by his mixed parentage as much as by his inability to recreate himself. Alone, he falls into the waste as a product of the divide between poetry and science. The ‘two cultures’ coined by C. P. Snow (1956) address this same divide and lament its dominance in mid twentieth-century intellectual life. But contemporary remix culture that relies on digital media closes this gap as poets now write code and artists are technicians. In my close reading of five remixes I show that origin is no longer relevant in the mixed material realization of processes that are performed or ‘re-authored’ in reception. In these remixes the creator reinterprets by changing the context of remixed elements in the works. The result is textual hybrids that are remixed further in reception.

  • 6.
    Barrett, James
    Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för språkstudier.
    The Ergodic revisited: spatiality as a governing principle of digital literature2015Doktoravhandling, monografi (Annet vitenskapelig)
    Abstract [en]

    This dissertation examines the role of the spatial in four works of digital interactive literature. These works are Dreamaphage by Jason Nelson (2003), Last Meal Requested by Sachiko Hayashi (2003), Façade by Michael Mateas and Andrew Stern (2005) and Egypt: The Book of Going Forth by Day by M. D. Coverley (2006). The study employs an original analytical method based on close reading and spatial analysis, which combines narrative, design and interaction theories. The resulting critique argues that the spatial components of the digital works define reader interaction and the narratives that result from it. This is one of very few in-depth studies grounded in the close reading of the spatial in digital interactive literature.

    Over five chapters, the dissertation analyzes the four digital works according to three common areas. Firstly, the prefaces, design and addressivity are present in each. Secondly, each of the works relies on the spatial for both interaction and the meanings that result. Thirdly, the anticipation of responses from a reader is evaluated within the interactive properties of each work. This anticipation is coordinated across the written text, moving and still images, representations of places, characters, audio and navigable spaces. The similar divisions of form, the role of the spatial and the anticipation of responses provide the basic structure for analysis. As a result, the analytical chapters open with an investigation of the prefaces, move on to the design and conclude with how the spaces of the digital works can be addressive or anticipate responses. In each chapter representations of space and representational space are described in relation to the influence they have upon the potentials for reader interaction as spatial practice. This interaction includes interpretation, as well as those elements associated with the ergodic, or the effort that defines the reception of the digital interactive texts.

    The opening chapter sets out the relevant theory related to space, interaction and narrative in digital literature. Chapter two presents the methodology for close reading the spatial components of the digital texts in relation to their role in interaction and narrative development. Chapter three assesses the prefaces as paratextual thresholds to the digital works and how they set up the spaces for reader engagement. The next chapter takes up the design of the digital works and its part in the formation of space and how this controls interaction. The fifth chapter looks at the addressivity of the spatial and how it contributes to the possibilities for interaction and narrative. The dissertation argues for the dominance of the spatial as a factor within the formation of narrative through interaction in digital literature, with implications across contemporary storytelling and narrative theory.

  • 7.
    Barrett, James
    Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för språkstudier. Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Humlab.
    Virtual worlds and indigenous narratives2013Inngår i: The immersive Internet: reflections on the entangling of the virtual with society, politics and the economy / [ed] Robin Teigland and Dominic Power, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013, First, 77-91 s.Kapittel i bok, del av antologi (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    The chapter introduces trans-cultural comparisons of narrative. The comparison is based on close readings of four Australian Aboriginal narratives for their portrayal of the body, place and identity. From the close readings a comparison is introduced concerning narrative and how embodiment, place and identity function in virtual worlds.  By paying respectful attention to the Aboriginal narratives, a sustainable model for narrative is introduced for virtual worlds. Co-creation, navigation and spatial mediation are central to both narrative systems, not as fiction but from experience and knowledge. This brief comparative study of narrative introduces sustainable practices from the ancient Australian Aboriginal traditions as relevant for understanding online virtual worlds as sites of narrative.

  • 8.
    Barrett, James
    Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för språkstudier. Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Humlab.
    Reading with the Body:: interpreting three dimensional media as narrative2011Inngår i: The projected and prophetic: humanity in cyberculture, cyberspace, and science fiction / [ed] Jordan J. Copeland, Oxford UK: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2011, 1, 21-31 s.Kapittel i bok, del av antologi (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [sv]

    This chapter argues that virtual online worlds are sites for the realization of narrative, in a form of reading that is posthuman and performative. The in-world avatar is the embodiment of an interpreting agent in the virtual world. Such devices accomplish a number of functions in terms of narrative realisation. The avatar contributes to the realisation of narrative through the navigation of the spatial attributes, the setting up of perspective in terms of Point of View (POV) in the reading, and as a character agent in the narrative architecture of the virtual world. Such characteristics are in the cybernetic relationship between the virtual world as a text, and the responses that can be made to it in reception. Architecture becomes the grammar of reading in the virtual world, with design and code, copyright and address directing narrative. The body of the avatar and the body of the person operating it are joined across the spaces of the digital and the physical in the navigation of the virtual three-dimensional.

  • 9.
    Barrett, James
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Humanistisk fakultet, Institutionen för språkstudier. Umeå universitet, Humanistisk fakultet, HUMlab.
    Gelfgren, Stefan
    Umeå universitet, Humanistisk fakultet, HUMlab.
    Spacing Creation: The HUMlab Second Life Project2009Inngår i: Learning and Teaching in the Virtual World of Second Life, Trondheim: Tapir Academic Press , 2009, 167-183 s.Kapittel i bok, del av antologi (Annet (populærvitenskap, debatt, mm))
    Abstract [en]

    This chapter is both a summary and a glimpse of the future regarding the twelve months of activity in Second Life by the digital humanities lab and studio HUMlab at Umeå University. Art and cooperation have been the emphasis in the early stages of the HUMlab Second Life project. In the few months prior to the authoring of this chapter things began to move quite rapidly for HUMlab in Second Life with numerous projects emerging in relation to the large HUMlab Island. Through a constructivist pedagogical model, and lots of trial and error many lessons have been learnt by all involved. Some of the more interesting learning experiences are related in this chapter.

  • 10.
    Barrett, James
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för språkstudier. Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Humlab.
    Gelfgren, Stefan
    Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Humlab.
    En görandets humaniora: skapande i virtuella världar som pedagogiskt verktyg2010Inngår i: Undervisning på tvären : student- och lärarerfarenheter: den nionde universitetspedagogiska konferensen 25-26 februari 2009 / [ed] Erik Lindenius, Umeå: Umeå Universitet , 2010, 59-77 s.Konferansepaper (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper discusses the possibilities for the creative use of virtual worlds as tools for learning. Initially it describes the starting points and motivations for this work. It goes on to report the experience of a course in which students in the museum studies program created exhibits in the virtual three-dimensional world of Second Life. The purpose was primarily to provide the students with competence in digital visualization and presentation techniques, but also to give them the tools to combine theoretical perspectives with practical work, and thereby stimulate creative thinking and practice. The experience shows that students, above the intial goals, also gained insight into themselves through community processes, group dynamics, the individual's own role in a working group, in relation to language processing, and the laws of copyright.

  • 11.
    Barrett, James
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Humlab.
    Gelfgren, Stefan
    Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Humlab.
    Learning Places: a Case Study of Collaborative Pedagogy Using Online Virtual Worlds2011Inngår i: Multi-User Virtual Environments for the Classroom: Practical Approaches to Teaching in Virtual Worlds / [ed] Giovanni Vincenti & James Braman, Hershey: IGI Global , 2011, 31-46 s.Kapittel i bok, del av antologi (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    The chapter, based on a set of developed teaching scenarios, discusses how virtual worlds, in particular Second Life, can be used in student centered pedagogy; intertwining theory and practice, emphasizing process-thinking, critical perspectives, and strengthen the confidence and independence of the student. Drawing upon experiences from traditional education, Web 2.0-tools, and problem based pedagogy grounded in project work, social media, engineering, and digital humanities, this chapter presents a pedagogy based upon the concepts of participatory culture, and co-creation on the part of students in the learning process. The authors have been involved in developing the core curriculum for a term-long (four month) course for Museum Studies. A problem based, student centered pedagogy is both integrated and contrasted with traditional classroom settings, that are also part of the planning, implementation, and assessment stages of the course. Based upon the practical experience of conducting this course, the article critically discusses ICT and problem oriented learning on a general level – including the benefits and disadvantages for the student and for the teachers. How this approach to learning, from the experiences in virtual worlds, can fit in to the established structure of learning goals, lectures, examination, and assessment is questioned in the chapter, based on the experiences gathered from teaching the course.

  • 12.
    Barrett, James
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Humlab.
    Jenna, Ng
    University of York.
    A Pedegogy of Craft: Teaching culture analysis with machinima2013Inngår i: Understanding Machinima: Essays on Filmmaking in virtual worlds / [ed] Jenna Ng, New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2013, First, 227-244 s.Kapittel i bok, del av antologi (Annet vitenskapelig)
    Abstract [en]

    Machinima films are commonly associated with various other media forms such as games, television, cinema, theatre and music videos. Sprung from gameplay, machinima originated as gaming “demos” – data logs which can be played back on a game engine to re-live past events in a game world, typically used to re-play gamers’ high jinks or record performances (Lowood 2005; Lowood 2006; Nitsche 2007) – in a process already cinematic in its Lumiére Brothers-esque recording of game reality (Burke 2012). Such “high-performance play” (Lowood 2005, 11) morphed into narrative cinema with The Rangers’s hacking of Quake (id Games 1994) to make Diary of a Camper in October 1996 (Lowood 2006), as the gamers appropriated the game’s camera perspective (from FPS to an independent viewpoint), edited disparate shots and formulated visual narrative with its sequences. As machinima evolved, other media forms drove its format, language and aesthetics. Well-known machinima such as Red vs Blue and Bill and John, for example, adapt the episodic format of comedy television and rely on theatrical comic timing and voice acting, even to a certain Brechtian absurdism (Avers), for their success. Michael Nitsche directly links machinima with live performance “acted out inside the virtual world and presented in different formats to the audience.” (Nitsche, Film Live) Other scholars see works such as The Edge of Remorse (Hancock and Ingram 362) and Rise of the Living Dead (Pigott 2011) as particularly cinematic. Elements of older media are not only integrated, but are subverted: Jeffrey Bardzell discusses a “resistance stance” in machinima that “seeks to subvert the reality of the game or subordinate it to the vision or meanings that the machinimator seeks to express” (Bardzell 2011, 208).

    There is thus already much scholarship in studying machinima with respect to screen media and performance. Yet, one aspect of machinima that has not been discussed as much so far is how machinima is also very much a made object, composed both as a technology and as a thing. In making machinima, game technologies are modified, subverted, adapted, even re-created.[i] However, that form of making is merely one part of the story – creating machinima also involves drawing up and building virtual objects, creating and dressing avatars (often with custom-made clothes, accessories and skins), designing or selecting sets, writing scripts and recording acting voices. In that respect, machinima is also a thing – an object – constructed through a series of processes and fashioned with a whole set of skills. This crafting of machinima, in the sense of it being formed as a complex digital artefact, is often overshadowed by its more dominating importance of it being a media object. We propose that prioritizing process over object not only presents an alternative perspective to understanding machinima, but also deflects attention onto the contingency of media and, by extension, new methods of making and extracting meaning. As Nicholas Thoburn argues, media is transformed as “they enter into new external relations, new ecologies – and traversed by a multiplicity of forces and struggles” (2012, 817). Shifting the theoretical focus to the making of media taps into this fluid placing of media in its flux of relations and ecologies so that we may further understand how the creating of media itself can become a space of political and social transformation.

    At first glance, the connection between machinima and craft appears tenuous. As Oliver Morton, editor-in-chief of Wired magazine (Europe), first observed in 1995, computer technologies remove the aspect of “hands-on” making in craftwork. (Dormer 1997, 137) The common notion of craft involves a tangible object – “the thing made by human hands” (Paz) – such as a pottered water jug or a handwoven basket, invoking sensuality, physicality, and the organic. Craft also implies elements of physical skill, of “cumbersome manual techniques” (Turim, 51) which gives rise to a slow, tactile and responsive process of creation. Images from Denis Diderot’s Encyclopédie, for example, depict craftsmen hunched at large tables, bent over their tools in workshop-like environments, hands busily working away at unfinished products. On the other hand, machinima, like all digital objects, is fundamentally immaterial. It may be contained in something tangible such as a DVD (indeed, the CD-ROM accompanying Machinima for Dummies contains, among others, some of the authors’ “top ten Machinima films”) or a thumb drive containing a demo file, both of which may, in different ways, provide access to the game movies they store. However, its basic ontology – as a film – is binary code, strings of zeros and ones, which as an artefact or object do not take any humanly recognizable material form. Furthermore, with so many computer processes in the making of machinima – moving avatars, recording onscreen captures, editing digitally, uploading and distributing online – there appears to be little “hands-on” making, save for perhaps the prodigious controlling of a computer mouse. How, then, might machinima be seen as craftwork?

    Yet, we see this linkage as an important one. The connection between making and understanding is a close and well-known one, whereby it is acknowledged that we often understand something best by actually making it. Machinima as craft thus formulates also a means to the learning of knowledge and skills. As we will argue, the process of making imparts valuable skills and places learning in different frameworks, re-formulating concepts and ideas so as to make them more memorable and allowing for more effective analysis. In a wider scale, machinima thus also offers pedagogy the possibility of making – and learning – in numerous media contexts, such as film, music video, theatre, design, architecture and performance, and in relatively cheap and efficient ways, without the need for costly equipment, such as physical cameras, or complicated logistics of onset filming and recording.

    This chapter proceeds as follows. We first discuss how machinima may be deemed to be craft through canvassing its definition, before examining the characteristics of making machinima and comparing them to those for traditional craftwork. The next section explicates the connection between craft and teaching, primarily as it is used in HUMlab, Umeå University. We then describe a case study from the lab which uses precisely those qualities of craft in machinima as a teaching method for a second-year media and culture course, Cultural Analysis. In the process, we also examine these questions: what were the motivations of using the aspect of “making” in machinima as part of the course? How was it done? What did it achieve?

    [i] Although this is being increasingly qualified with machinima-specific software such as The Movies and Moviestorm, and with embedded machinima software in games such as Halo.

  • 13. Hossein Abbasi, Mohammad
    et al.
    Barrett, James
    Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Humlab. Royal College of Art, Stockholm.
    Dzokic, Ana
    Grahamsdaughter, Antonie
    Gunnar, Barbro
    Jones, Heather
    Lang, Peter
    Hedenström Ljung, Martin
    Lundberg, Adam
    Neelen, Marc
    Robertson, Ing-Gerd
    Saltas, Emelie
    Schmitz, Helene
    Zhang, Gary
    Zyto, Adela
    Gunnar, Barbro ()
    Lundberg, Adam ()
    Saltas, Emelie ()
    Schmitz, Helene ()
    Hedenström Ljung, Martin ()
    Grahamsdaughter, Antonie Maria ()
    Zhang, Gary ()
    Hossein Abbasi, Mohammad ()
    Haunted by shadows of the future: ARTEFACTS2014Annet (Annet (populærvitenskap, debatt, mm))
    Abstract [sv]

    Haunted by Shadows of the Future: ARTEFACTS identifierar föremål från slutet av1960-talet till slutet av 1970-talet som har ett personligt eller familjärt samband medmänniskorna och samhället under denna tid, och som innefattar en särskild känslaav tillhörighet, en önskan att vara en del av det moderna svenska samhälle som togform vid den tiden. Resultatet av detta kollektiva sökande är en samling artefakter,företeelser och föremål i hemmet, sammanflätade med rika personliga berättelser ochupptäckter. Dessa inbegriper en försäkringsförsäljares portfölj, en rullbandspelaresom fångade ett populärt radioprogram med en pratshow, en inspelning med enlandsflyktig somalisk författare, tidiga exemplar av plastleksaker, diabilder frånsemestrar, vykortssamlingar och super 8 filmer, textiltryck med popmönster ochmönster för klädesplagg, lokala grönplanteringar, en affärskedjas lansering av ettanti-varumärke, den revolutionerande ”du”-reformen, och andra samtida referenser,som ett svenskt kvinnomanifest och en populär oljevärmare från Iran. Stadsmuseetsvisningslägenhet i Tensta på Kämpingebacken 13, tjänar här som en tidskapsel somöppnar en hel värld bakom dessa YTTERST vardagliga föremål.

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