Call for proposals 3: Working digitally in the arts field

Snow Crash 2.0: creating a collaborative, playful, political experience!

Which challenges for working digitally in the arts carry your interest?

I would like to interconnect the powers of games, virtual reality and robots (and maybe more) to create a shared space for education, and for forming awareness of political and cultural aspects of digital literacy. For an engaging narrative frame, I would love to connect this project philosophically with the science-fiction novel "Snow Crash" by Neal Stephenson from 1992.

Why do you want to participate in this call?

I like the experimental, collaborate vibe of Kunstenpunt and would love to collaborate across art and design schools and disciplines. I am working in the e-learning section and also the game design specialization at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). I believe that it's a great time to bring VR experiences to a new, multi-player & gamified level and would love to test and learn different social and aesthetic art forms. Also, of course still not everyone has access to VR even though it's much more accessible today than ever before. Therefore, I would love to see if and how digital spaces can interconnect, maybe also with the help of robots, such as a telepresence robot. How can we facilitate learning in bodily embedded environments such as VR? What aesthetic adventures can we create through play and robots? How can we enable artistic participation across multiple metaverses and alternate realities? What political, emotional and creative insights can we gain by adapting the dystopian novel "Snow Crash" in experimental scenarios?

How could your work on these challenges have an impact towards fairness and sustainability in the arts of Flanders and Brussels?

Zurich University of the Arts is a big and vibrant educational hub with many exciting art- and design-based projects and practises. I would love to see the international ZHdK network extend to Flanders and Brussels, so that we can learn from each other and interconnect ideas and cultures. Also, I would love to work on this yet very open project idea about collaborating in the realms of game, VR and robots. The dystopian novel of "Snow Crash" is extremely inviting artistic research and practise, especially today, even though it was written 30 years ago: It discusses the structures and the effect of viruses and makes analogies between viruses in computers, languages and religions. How can we use system failures initiated by virus in a creative and cooperative way? With our e-learning model PHEW (play - hybrid - education - walkabout) we have been starting to think in this direction.

Contact details

Dr. Mela Kocher, Zurich University of the Arts, mela.kocher@zhdk.ch | +41 78 876 22 73 | https://www.zhdk.ch/learning/e-learning | https://gamedesign.zhdk.ch/