Generation Emigration?: New Media, Ageing, and Migration // Mediating Human – Robot performance through virtual environments

october, 2019

07oct3:30 pm5:00 pmGeneration Emigration?: New Media, Ageing, and Migration // Mediating Human - Robot performance through virtual environmentsLiam Burke // John McCormick

Event Details

Two of the Centre’s researchers will present on their research projects:

Generation Emigration?: New Media, Ageing, and Migration
– Liam Burke

At the height of the Global Financial Crisis more than a hundred Irish nationals emigrated from Ireland every day. This crop of Irish expatriates was dubbed “Generation Emigration” by the media, as if this was the first time the country had ever experienced a mass departure. However, from the Great Famine, through to the sustained migration of the 1950s, and the “lost” generation of the 1980s, modern Irish history has been marked by emigration. Yet, the Irish media was quick to suggest that with the immediacy, availability, and ease of new media this generation will not be ‘lost’, when they can so easily be tagged, Whats App’d and skyped. Yet the media tended to focus on new families and young professionals who emigrated in an era when this technology was widely available. This presentation will chart how Irish people who moved to Melbourne before the availability of digital technologies now make use of new media to connect with the Irish community in Australia and back in Ireland.

This presentation is based on a larger research project that examines how older migrants, who are often dismissed as falling on the other side of the digital divide, engage with social media to establish new meanings of community. Specifically, this presentation will draw on surveys with over forty older Irish people in Melbourne and more than a dozen on-camera interviews. Key topics the presentation will consider include: Long Distance Nationalism, Place Polygamy, the Ethnic Village, Continuity Theory of Normal Ageing, and Polymedia.

Liam Burke is the Cinema and Screen Studies discipline leader and a senior lecturer at Swinburne University of Technology, where he is also an investigator in the Centre for Transformative Media Technologies. His research interests include adaptation, transmedia storytelling, comic books, and new media and migration. Liam is a chief investigator of the Australian Research Council funded project Superheroes & Me.

Mediating Human – Robot performance through virtual environments
– John McCormick

In technology based performance it is not unusual for multiple mediums to contribute to the liveness of the interactions occurring on stage. Projections, soundscape and interactions between human and robot performers, which may be pre-recorded or generated in real time, are typically integrated to form complex multi-modal systems. In the case of real-time interaction and generation of movement, sound and image, the array of programs in use and coordination and synchronisation of these elements can be a great challenge. In this presentation I will reflect upon examples of the use of virtual environments as a means of collating the actions of human and robot performers, and of generating unique soundscapes, movement and 3D projections that emerge from the interactions of the performers.

The use of simulated environments to manage robot behaviour is not new. However, with the maturing of virtual and augmented environment development platforms such as Unity and Unreal Engine, real-time digital environments can be readily incorporated into live performance, extending the actions of the performers. Examples of artistic works will be used to illustrate the use of virtual environments as a mediating platform for human / robot performance.

John McCormick is a technology based artist and researcher with a major interest in human movement. John has collaborated on works worldwide, including at peak festivals ISEA, ZERO1SJ, SIGGRAPH, Melbourne Festival, Venice Biennale, Siggraph Asia, Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) London, Ars Electronica, Monaco Dance Forum and Art Science Museum Singapore.


(Monday) 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm


ATC205, Swinburne University of Technology

Burwood Road

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