Day 3, Stream 2


Converging and diverging realities


Julian Stadon


Julian Stadon: Curtin University/Dorkbot Perth, Australia

Troy Innocent: Iconia/Monash University, Australia

Andrew Burrell: Miscellanea, Australia

Kuai Shen: University of Applied Sciences, Cologne, Germany


This panel seeks to develop new dialogues in regard to high end research methodologies, cultural inquiry and representation in the increasingly immersive and pervasive field of MARart.

The panel will scope the field of MARart, through the presentation and analysis of particular research outcomes, in order to develop criteria that can assess MARart’s production and position within the media arts. The panel will discuss strategies for hybridised research practice in an open platform that will scope current trends and exemplary models from a variety of approaches. Artistic practices in MARart will be discussed in order to locate new research paradigms that address issues including cultural absorption, post-biological identity, social codes and systems, mobile computing, commercialisation and intellectual property, with particular regard to the media art field.

The recent rise of augmented reality as a technology for information data transfer has brought about many misunderstandings of the medium in regard to furthering cultural dialogues and understandings. Much of the potential for MARart to facilitate further understanding of both identity and consciousness through art has been undermined by media industry strategies that include the creation of arbitrary systems for short-term stimulation and entertainment within audiences. For MARart researchers this raises questions regarding whether MARart is seen as merely a ‘gimmick’, or an easy avenue for sensationalism, and how this issue can be addressed. Perhaps the problem is that many artists see MARart this way also, as a ‘trick’ or a part of virtual art or pervasive media.

All art is virtual, a representation, a simulacra, and all work involving the body through tactile media can be argued to be pervasive. MARart is pervasive mixed reality by default. It is physical and virtual hypersurfaced content. This panel will discuss this with a socially orientated discourse that includes the aforementioned topics.


Julian Stadon is a mixed reality media artist/researcher and PhD candidate at Curtin University of Technology. His transdisciplinary research has included time with Interface Cultures Linz, Sylgrut Centre, Salford University, HITLabNZ, The Australian Centre for Virtual Art, The Fogscreen Centre, The Banff New Media Institute, CIA Studios, Collaborative Research in Art Science and Humanity (CRASH), The Australia Council and Graz University of Technology. He has recently exhibited at Ars Electronica, Translife: International Triennial of New Media Art, Decode/Recode and the Perth International Art Festival. Along with his research, which is regularly published and presented internationally, Stadon lectures in the School of Design and Art and the School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts at Curtin University. Previously he has lectured at The School of Interactive Digital Design, at Murdoch University and the SAE/Qantm Institute, Perth. He is also the director of <dorkbotperth>_ and has organised conferences including The Media Arts Scoping Study, Re:live: The Third International Conference on Media Art History, The Leonardo Educational Forum @ Re:live, and The First International Conference on Transdisciplinary Imaging at the Intersections of Art Science and Culture. He has also been involved as a program and panel chair for the International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality for the last 5 years. Recently Stadon has initiated the MARart Research Node, to be launched in conjunction with this panel. He is currently completing a PhD in ‘post-biological identity constructs in real time mixed reality data transfer systems art.’ His thesis explores the evolving field of mixed reality data transfer and how this relates to current research regarding post-biological identity. The research aims to develop new notions regarding post-biological identity through innovative real-time data transfer systems that incorporate biological information and mixed reality applications as artistic mediums.

Dr Troy Innocent is a world builder, iconographer and reality newbie. His artificial worlds – Iconica (SIGGRAPH 98, USA), and Semiomorph (ISEA02, Japan) – explore the dynamic between the iconic ideal and the personal specific, the real and the simulated, and also the way in which our identity is shaped by language and communication. He has received numerous awards, including Honorary Mention, LIFE 2.0: Artificial Life, Spain (1999); Foreign Title Award, MMCA Multimedia Grand Prix, Japan (1998); First Prize, National Digital Art Awards, Australia (1995); and Honorary Mention, Prix Ars Electronica (1992). Innocent co-founded the digital arts collective cyber dada and through pioneering works such as Idea-ON>! contributed to the Australian new media arts practice during the 90s. His most recent works are urban art environments: an interactive sculpture garden entitled Colony in the Melbourne Docklands and Urban Codemakers, an Alternate Reality Game that reinvents the history of Melbourne. Innocent is currently Senior Lecturer in Games and Interactivity, Faculty of Life and Social Sciences, Swinburne University, Melbourne. He is represented by Hugo Michell Gallery.

Andrew Burrell is a Sydney-based artist working in real-time 3d and interactive installation. He is currently interested in the construction of self with regard to the interrelationship of personal identity with memory and imagination, and the way in which networked virtual spaces influence the interactions that take place as part of this construction. Recent projects include Making the Green One Red (Virtual Macbeth), a mixed reality project with Kereen Ely-Harper ,and The Institute of Augmentiform Development and Release, a hybrid virtual/augmented reality project exploring the possibilities of Platonic Cosmology emerging from a data driven system, a collaboration with Warren Armstrong. His project IUXTA is being presented by dLux Media Arts and ISEA2013, and he is presenting a collaboration with Chris Rodley as part of ISEA2013′The Portals project. On this panel he will explore the notion of ‘the real’ as something that is often mistakenly taken to be the counter point of ‘the virtual’ or ‘the augmented’. He will explore the tripartite relationship of narrative, memory and imagination within this context, investigating both contemporary and speculative examples, with the aim of demonstrating that the membranes that are seen to exist between these different realities are not only flexible, but very much permeable.

[email protected]

Kuai Shen is an insect media artist born in Guayaquil, Ecuador. He holds a BA in digital arts from University San Francisco de Quito, an MA in media arts from the Academy of Media Arts Cologne, and he recently completed another MA in interdisciplinary research in Game Design and Development at the University of Applied Sciences Cologne. He has exhibited internationally at media art festivals, galleries and biennials in Germany, Belgium, England, Slovenia, Italy and Canada, and has participated in important European symposia. Kuai Shen has published his research with ants in a book entitled Biologically-Inspired Computing for the Arts from the University of Colorado and in the Leonardo MIT Journal for the Siggraph. His artistic approach to self-organisation and emergence is envisioned in audiovisual installations that reflect on interspecies artistic collaboration with ants and the metaphor of a post-human ecology, the future of which lies in communication between species and mutualism between technological media (human artifacts) and insect media (biological organisms). His current research focuses on ant mimicry in the post-biologic technology of humans
based on phenomenology, resilient networks and mimicry.