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25th November 2009 body>data>space NESTA


Contents Welcome




Speakers and Presenters




Partners and Team



Our colleagues of the future? Welcome to The Robots and Avatars Forum We are moving into an era where technology is

The day is being documented by live writers, video

expanding the possibilities of representation, with

and photography and the results will be posted on the

the physical complemented by a range of virtual

website, along with extensive research links, for all to

identities for both work and play. How do we

share beyond the day. We hope you enjoy this journey

establish relationships based on trust between virtual

we have prepared and that we all go away with new

representations? What issues will we encounter when

ideas and inspiration!

working relationships are formed between avatars? How Benedict Arora (Programme Director, Education, NESTA) & Ghislaine Boddington (Creative Director, body>data>space) do we deal with these complex interlocking identities? And what do these avatars and robots teach us about ourselves? These are some of the questions this Forum will debate. Our aim is not to find definitive answers but to sketch out futures where the boundaries between the real, the virtual and the robotic are increasingly blurred.


Robots and Avatars Robots and Avatars - Context This Forum is the first event in the Robots & Avatars programme, which also includes educational events, an exhibition, a website and a book/DVD. It will investigate new relationships and skills required by the future workforce, and what forthcoming generations can expect from their jobs, careers, and recreation time. The programme, starting with this Forum, aims to provide a platform for inter-sector and inter-generational investigation of our identities in the 21st century. It examines the potential identity evolutions of today’s younger generations within the context of a world in which divisions between virtual and physical spaces are increasingly blurred. It takes new creation techniques of self-representation, evolving in the form of robots and avatars, and weaves together unique strands of activity to explore the effect of these ideas on the artistic outputs and onwards working modes. The Forum aims to envision the skill-sets, aptitudes, resources and methodologies that will be required by today‘s young people at work in 2020 onwards, given that so many of the jobs they will do have not been invented yet. We will also be exploring recreational pursuits and the relativity of ourselves to others online in virtual worlds. body>data>space collective November 2009


Morning Schedule 09.45 - Arrivals and Registration - NESTA foyer

11.30 - Coffee Break - NESTA foyer

10.15 - Welcome and Introductions - Conference Room

11.45 - Panel Discussion

With Sarah Platt (Kinura), Emmanuel Cuisinier and Celine Nannini (Centre Des Arts, Paris, France), Rick Hall (Ignite! / uk), Charlotte Moore (Sidekick Studios) and Derek Richards (Hi8us South) Chosen for their expertise and hands-on experience with innovative and topical projects, each panel member will give a short input relating to subjects ranging from:

Benedict Arora (NESTA) and Ghislaine Boddington (body>data>space)

10.40 - Robots and Avatars – virtual/physical bodies A conceptual and contextual introduction by Ghislaine Boddington How will we represent ourselves and deal with others in virtual and physical space in 10 years time? What will this do to shift our perception of identity and our definition of ourselves? What are the future potentials for relationships, collaborations and knowledge sharing across virtual and physical boundaries? How can we utilise connectivity to evolve our teleintuition, bypass distance and encourage trust within communities, often when we have not met in reality at all? Ghislaine will introduce some of the themes and questions of the Forum, give some visual examples of future potential developments and, in doing so, contextualise the upcoming speakers inputs.

11.00 – Keynote 1

by Pear Urishima, Apple Inc, California, USA

Pear Urushima is a marketing guru working for Apple, Inc. in California. She has thrived in high-technology for more than 15 years, designing and implementing marketing programmes for a diversity of F1000 companies. Currently, she specialises in marketing iPhone in the science and medical industries. Today she will examine how we will work in the future and what skills will be require to do this. She will input her own visions and share examples from the USA with us.

• • • • • •

multi-identity and self representation virtual worlds / gaming / social media future work skills and creation processes citizenship and democracy exhibition, installation and performance connectivity and communication tools

within the context of the future work environment. Following these, further commentary will be requested from Forum participants, as well as questions and additions.

13.15 – Lunch - NESTA foyer


Afternoon Schedule 13.45 - Presentations and Demonstrations Please move around between these three sessions. - Hi8us – 2 sessions x 20 minutes – 13.45 and 14.10 Peer Mentors, Youth Editors and Virtual Cast from the L8R project show their work and talk about virtual personification in the interactive drama and social media PSHE learning resource. - Everyday Avatars and Their Persistent Worlds - Michael Takeo Magruder - Artist and Researcher, King’s Visualisation Lab, King’s College London / body>data>space Associate gives us a chance to explore avatars and virtual worlds, while demonstrating the Forums debate on the redefinition of relationships between the physical and the virtual. Visit and join in. - Playing and Experimenting with Robotic Kits - Stanza, independent artist and technologist shares his love of robots and sensor systems in a hands-on session for all to move through.

14.30 - Keynote 2 - via live VOIP/Skype link

by Doouen Choi, Art Center Nabi, Seoul, Korea Dooeun Choi is creative director of Art Center Nabi, which opened in 2000 as the first media art centre in Seoul, Korea. She is interested in new ways of mediated communication between humans, machine, and other lives. She will present an input about the state of the art use of robots and avatars for education / workplace in Korea as well as share her own future visions.

15.15 - Break Out Groups Within the themes of Robots, Avatars and future work space • Skills Sets and Resources • Attitudes and Psychologies • Imaginations and Reflections • Realities and Representations • Knowledge Economy and Exchange • Collaborations and Networks • Connectivity Processes • Plus Open Sessions (for decision on the day)

16.30 - Summaries from Break Out Groups And comments from the floor.

17.30 – Co-summation and final comments

With Benedict Arora (NESTA), Ghislaine Boddington (body>data>space) and Dan McQuillan (Make your Mark Campaign / Social Innovation Camp)

Drinks - NESTA foyer

With a special word from Noel Sharkey PhD DSc FIET FBCS FRSA FRIN. Professor of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence and Professor of Public Engagement, University of Sheffield


All day in the Foyer Two examples of the multiple uses of the avatar Orla Ray Orla Ray - interactive installation by Ivor Diosi- independent new media artist/virtual worlds / body>data>space Associate “A virtual human from the game world is freed from her bot destiny of being killed a million times over. She is given a personalised human face and soulful eyes. She stands in her world calmly idling, but when someone comes up to ogle, she’ll return the gaze intensely.” DVD- DARE WE DO IT REALTIME? and the performance avatar Orla Ray were created in 2008 as part of Post Me_New ID, a co-production between body>data>space (London, UK), CIANT (Prague, Czech Republic), TMA Hellerau (Dresden, Germany) and Kibla (Maribor, Slovenia) supported by the European Union within the Culture 2007 Programme. The DVD here shows the video and images from the interauthored group processes and the final performances at the Kinetica Art Fair in February 2009. The work involved 11 European artists specialising in performance, video, sound, virtual world and interaction plus Orla Ray, the avatar in performance mode. http://www.

Live Blogging tool ScribbleLive is available in the NESTA foyer on two kiosks and on screen – please do feel free to add in your thoughts as the day progresses. The results will feed out onto the Robot and Avatars website for people who could not attend. They will also be used into the final documentation of the day (live writing, video and photography) to be uploaded onto the site over the next few weeks. Also see the Twitter address on the last page of this pack. Additionally a selection of research images gathered for Robots and Avatars from web searches will be on show for educational sharing. The Research Links page of the Robot and Avatar site reflects these images as well as other multiple links we have used in researching this project.

“In a topical world, the performers travel through personal and public space, working with the individual and the community. In close and distant environments, they simultaneously operate locally and globally. Their habitat is an intricate virtual/physical place of body/ mind orientation. Their live bodies can mimic and perform chosen identities – morphing between avatar, cyborg, humanoid, robot, using the electronic, the bionic, the digitronic. Hyper-existence is all around them. In the interconnected, multi-nodal space of real and virtual, they need to be sharply connected and speedily responsive to “the others” - tele-intuition lessons are learnt on the move.”


Speakers and Presenters body>data>space


body>data>space is a collective of artists and designers engaged in creating unusual connections between performance, architecture, new media and virtual worlds. Using our own collaboration methodologies and networked creation processes, the group visions the future of the human body and its real-time relationship to evolving global, social and technological shifts. body>data>space utilises performance, installation and interaction techniques to comment on these changes through the creation of innovative forms of education, art and entertainment.

NESTA is the UK’s leading independent expert on innovation.Through a blend of practical programmes, investment in early-stage companies and research we test and demonstrate ingenious ways to tackle some of the country’s biggest social and economic challenges.

Formed in 2005, and emerging from previous digital ground-breaking organisations shinkansen and Future Physical, we have over 20 years work experience in the international cultural and creative industries and in the digital sector. The body>data>space collective contains mature professionals and those with fresh, topical and younger thinking – an inter-generational grouping from those in our 20s to our 50s. Forums, cluster projects, workshops, research groups, journeys, immersion environments and responsive spaces are all core elements of our creation outputs. We engage the public in the creative side of the work, in majority, enabling equal authorship through the participation of others. We move forward with expanded ideas for event telematics and creative participation through virtual/physical gaming. Future projects explore digital mobility on a European scale, interauthorship, future work and play environments and social engagement through crowd sourced initiatives and media facades.

But we don’t do it alone. We work with public, private and third sector partners bringing together powerful combinations of people, resources and bright ideas.

Benedict Arora, Programme Director, Education, NESTA Benedict joined NESTA in September 2008. He has a background in innovation in the children’s services and education sectors. Before joining NESTA, he worked for the Department for Children, Schools and Families, where he set up a programme to support the development of Children’s Trusts and to commission effective services for children and young people. His previous projects and strategy work include developing a digital media strategy for the Department for Education and Skills; taking Teachers’ TV from proof of concept to launch; setting up the TeacherNet website; and working on the Children in Care Green Paper. He has also worked at the European Parliament.

Ghislaine Boddington, Creative Director, body>data>space Ghislaine Boddington is an artist, researcher, director and curator specialising in the integration of performing arts, body responsive technologies and interactive interfaces. An expert in virtual-physical environments she holds in depth knowledge of the way the human user perceives, participates and moves, communicates and behaves within “intelligent” digital space. Ghislaine develops visions and solutions based on twenty years work within the collectives shinkansen, Future Physical and body>data>space. In 2005,


Speakers and Presenters fifteen years of their work was acquisitioned by the British Library, named the shinkansen Collection and archived at

Festival in Uijeongbu, Korea and also as co-curator of media arts exhibition and workshop called Intermediae_Minbak, for ARCO 2007 in Madrid, Spain.

She has directed and curated numerous events, workshops and symposia throughout east and west Europe, US, China and Japan. She is respected internationally for her long term work on identity politics and intercultural relations, and on her use of Interauthorship in collaborative team work and creation processes.

Emmanuel Cuisinier, Visual Arts Officer, Centre des Arts

She holds an Artist Research Associateship at ResCen, Middlesex University, which supports her long term obsession with remote space/body connectivity through realtime telematics. Her fascination is with tele-kinetics, tele-presence and the evolution of tele-intuitive interfaces, both in work and play. She regularly moderates complex live events, using her interauthorship methodology and writes/collates collections of topical thoughts on the body at the centre of digital interaction from artists worldwide.

Dooeun Choi, Creative Director, Art Center Nabi Dooeun Choi is creative director of Art Center Nabi, which opened in 2000 as the first media art center in Seoul, Korea. She is interested in new ways of mediated communication between humans, machine, and other lives. In 2002, she produced a wireless art project called Watch Out!, which was proposed by Maurice Benayoun using mobile SMS and public screens. She also organized the Wireless Art Competition in 2003 with Resfest Digital Film Festival, Korea. Since 2003 she has run a mobile gallery called ?gallery on the SK Telecom’s mobile service and launched an art blog-zine project called love virus in 2004. She has been curating public art programs on COMO which is an urban screen platform launched in Dec. 2004. She is also extending COMO to other cities in Korea including Tomorrow City in Incheon and linking it to international cities such as New York and Melbourne towards a networked open theater.

Emmanuel is based in Paris and was born in Papeete (Tahiti), French Polynesia. Following a Fine Arts Masters degree and a Post-Graduate degree in Cultural Project Engineering in Paris, Emmanuel has worked as artistic programmer, exhibition curator, lecturer, guide and educator in various contemporary art centres, museums and galleries in France and Canada. Since 2004, he works in the Centre des Arts, Enghien-les-Bains, near Paris as the officer for visual arts and publications. He also works as an adjunct Faculty member at University Paris VIII and as a freelance writer for various French institutions and newspapers.

Ivor Diosi, body>data>space Associate and New Media Artist Ivor is an artist and technology alchemist. His main obsessions are identity, the existence of space-time, of organic life and of consciousness. He works in fields of virtual reality, augmented reality, human-computer interfaces, game-engine modifications and artificial life. He is the founder of international art movement Humane After People and principal artistic partner of Archilla Vimmi. Major exhibitions and festival participation – Kinetica Ar Fair London 2009 and Virtual Physical Bodies exhibition, Paris 2009 (with body>data>space), ISEA Artcamp Singapore 2008, Viper 2006, ZKM International Media Art Award 2003, New York Digitalsalon 2001, ACA Media Arts Festival Japan 2001, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Telefonica Life 4.0, Telecom 99 Palexpo Geneva, Slovak National Gallery – Hundred Years of Slovak Photography. Ivor currently lives in Prague.

She was invited as art director for 2003 Uijeongbu International Digital Art


Speakers and Presenters Rick Hall, Director of programmes Ignite! and Founder of Rick is a writer and consultant in the arts, young people and creativity in education. Until July 2006, Rick was Project Leader of Ignite! at NESTA. Ignite! continues as an independent organisation dedicated to promoting creativity in learning; and Rick is engaged by Ignite! as Director of Programmes and leads on developing new partnerships. Rick is the founder of Because we all have a capacity to learn from not getting it right first time, rehearsal is a space for experiment and risktaking, improvisation and collaboration, creativity and imagination. A former teacher, actor, writer and director of theatre for young people, Rick was Director of Artswork, the youth arts development organisation from 1991 to 1995; and prior to that director of theatre in education at Nottingham Playhouse. Rick has also worked for a number of funding bodies including the Arts Council, the Big Lottery and the Millennium Festival. Rick is now Chair of Artswork, and also of Theatre Writing Partnership, a new agency for writing in the East Midlands. In May 2008 Rick was appointed to an Honorary Fellowship at Nottingham University in the School of Education. He is also a Fellow of the RSA.

Michael Takeo Magruder, Artist and Researcher, King’s Visualisation Lab, King’s College London and body>data>space Associate Michael is an artist and researcher in King’s Visualisation Lab, King’s College London. His work uses emerging technologies, including high-performance computing, mobile devices and virtual environments, blending Information Age technologies with modernist aesthetics to explore the networked, digital world. His work has been showcased in over 200 exhibitions in 30 countries, including the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, EAST International 2005, Georges

Pompidou Center, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography and TransMedia-Akademie Hellerau. His work also regularly appears in international New Media festivals such as Cybersonica, CYNETart, FILE, Filmwinter, Rencontres Internationales, SeNef, Siggraph, Split, VAD and WRO. His artistic practice has been funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Arts Council England, The National Endowment for the Arts, USA and public galleries in the UK and abroad. Michael has worked with the body>data>space collective since 2007, on the Virtual Physical Bodies project, Robots and Avatars and several other new projects for 2009/2010.

Dan McQuillan, Head of Digital for Make Your Mark Campaign, Co-founder Social Innovation Camp After a Ph.D in Experimental Particle Physics, Dan worked with people with learning disabilities and as a mental health advocate. He founded Multikulti, a community-led multilingual site for asylum seekers & refugees which won a Global Ideas Bank Social Innovations Award, and SocialSource, a collective advocating for open source in the voluntary sector. After some personal experiences of human rights abuses, Dan joined Amnesty International as Director of Ecommunications where he introduced blogging and social networks. He headed Amnesty’s first delegation to the UN’s Internet Governance Forum. Dan is a former Director of The Open Rights Group and a consultant for NGOs in Central & Eastern Europe who are using crowdsourcing and mashups to promote anti-corruption. His current post is Head of Digital for Make Your Mark which campaigns for an entrepreneurial culture in the UK. In 2007 he co-founded Social Innovation Camp which brings together geeks and social innovators to create social startups in 48 hours. He blogs at and you can find him on Twitter @danmcquillan

Charlotte Moore, Producer, Sidekick Studios Charlotte graduated with a degree in Fashion, Media & Culture from the London College of Fashion in 2001. It was around about this time she realised that people were much more interesting than clothes. One of the first employees


Speakers and Presenters at the then newly formed trend forecasting and consumer insight consultancy, The Future Laboratory, she was involved in ethnographic research and worked on the bi-annual trends monitor Viewpoint. Seduced by childhood dreams of working for MTV she went on to work at Viacom Brand Solutions International as their Youth Trends Expert and Editor of MTV Sticky, the youth trends magazine. Realising that making a difference was much more interesting than making money for a media juggernaut, she then took up a planning position at v, the National Young Volunteers Service to help them reach a UK youth audience. During her time there she commissioned v’s youth insight project that was to become Voicebox. After meeting Adil Abrar, the brain behind the Voicebox concept, she realized that social innovation is that thing she’d been looking for, and so left v to get involved in other projects for social good at Sidekick Studios. It was around about this time they decided to put an industrial robot into Houses of Parliament.

Celine Naninni, Project Co-ordinator, Centre des Arts Celine completed her post-graduate degree in political sciences from Sciences Po - Toulouse and cultural sciences french university diploma in “cultural mediation” at Paris III. She has worked as European project coordinator within the frame of the Youth programme (founded by the European Commission) for the Pépinières européennes for young artists / artists residencies network as part of the ‘artists in context’ programme. Celine also worked as Exhibitions coordinator in collaboration with the Louvre Museum for museums in Singapore and Hong Kong. Since 2008, Celine is project coordinator at the Centre des Arts, Enghien-les-Bains, near Paris and is in charge of the professional meetings for the Bains Numériques festival.

Sarah Platt, UK Director, Kinura Sarah Platt is a digital media creative and business owner, specialising in web video projects, interactive online events and live webcasting.

the NSPCC, Greenpeace, Merrill Lynch, Churchill Insurance and Amnesty International to name just a few. Current clients include the DCMS, Haymarket Publishing, Tate, the bfi, bTWEEN, St George’s University Hospital, Southwark Council and bmi. Specialties: digital content production, managing live webcasting projects, producing interactive video for events, advising on webTV marketing, crossplatform content production, video archives, digital asset management.

Derek Richards, Director, Hi8us South Derek is a multimedia producer in every sense. As an artist he has exhibited installation work around the world often in collaboration with other artists, including Keith Piper and Rita Keegan and pioneered trans-Atlantic live collaborative performances between remote venues in the 90s. He has worked as a musician with the likes of Courtney Pine, scored for film and TV and has composed music for and directed theatre. He has won a total of 11 awards for his digital and new media work with clients/partners including the BBC, Channel 4, the Science Museum, the Virgin Group, and the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music for whom he produced the major online interactive learning resource, SoundJunction funded by the government’s Department of Culture Media & Sport through Culture Online programme. Most recently Derek has been working extensively in participatory arts and media contexts internationally and has consulted to the government on the ‘Creative Economy Programme’. Derek is the Director of Hi8us South. Hi8us South is an award winning participatory media production company which works collaboratively with young people and partner organisations to reflect young people’s needs and give them a voice. Hi8us’ BAFTA award winning cross platform interactive drama, L8R, is used across the UK in over 400 sites.

She has have managed web video projects for clients such as BP, Astra Zeneca,


Partners and Team body>data>space Produced collaboratively by the body>data>space collective: Ghislaine Boddington Creative Director, body>data>space Forum - Research/Moderation/ Co-summator

Sasha Spasic body>data>space Associate Forum - Co-ordination/FOH And extra skills input from: Baskerville Design Forum - Logo Design and Branding

Alex Eisenberg body>data>space Forum - Documenter/Design Production

Steve Boxer Freelance Journalist/Live Writer Forum - Live Writer/Documenter

Leanne Hammacott Creative Producer, body>data>space Forum - Producer

Jim Horsefield Film maker and VJ- asdescribed Forum - Video

Coralie Hyde Website Manager, body>data>space Forum - Website Design

Dr. Dan McQuillan Head of Digital Make Your Mark campaign & Co-Founder Social Innovation Camp Forum - Co-summator

Hannah Kerr body>data>space Forum - Marketing/Artist Liaison Nat Mortimer body>data>space Forum - Research/Production With inputs from body>data>space members: Ivor Diosi body>data>space Associate Forum- Presenter Michael Takeo Magruder body>data>space Associate Forum - Presenter Armand Terruli Creative Director, body>data>space Forum - Research

Contact body>data>space First Floor, 1-5 Vyner Street, London, E2 9DG T: +44 (0) 20 8880 6768 E: W: W:

WiFi Log on at NESTA Access Point Name: NESTA Guest Password: flourish01 Authentication Type: WPA2 Follow Robots & Avatars on Twitter

The Robots & Avatars Forum is co-conceived and co-produced by body>data>space and NESTA. Robots & Avatars is a programme of work across 2009 and onwards conceived and produced by body>data>space with partners NESTA, / Ignite!, King’s College Visualisation Lab, Hi8us, ResCen (Middlesex University), Soda, b.TWEEN festival, Kinura, Kinetica and RAN (Digital Art Network). Šbody>data>space (2009)

Vipul Sangoi Communication Designer- Raindesign Forum - Photographer

NESTA Benedict Arora Programme Director, Education Forum - Research/Moderation/ Co-summator Ross McDonald IT Support Lucie Osborn Events Manager Dora Peppan Project Manager


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