Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Social and economic impact of introducing telecommunications throughout Vanuatu

This is the title of the report that is available at the Pacific Policy Institute website:

It is a very thorough report with many different looks at the situation. A lot of quantitative data for the number crunching addicts :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Interactive Art Installation - Camille Utterback

Nice piece of bodily interaction, by Camille Utterback, that just won a MacArthur Fellowship.

MacArthur webpage about this project:

Her page at the MacArthur foundation website:

Her homepage:

Monday, September 21, 2009

Couldn't resist...

Should not be posting stuff too far from the project. I decided that if it stays below 10% should not be a problem... any criticism will be received happily.

Anyway, since my last post was about Mike Wesch, and this was a video he just "Twitted", I guess there is a rationale for this after all...

Now seriously, watch until the end:

An anthropological introduction to YouTube

Not really new, but a must for those who have not seen this awesome video yet:

Mike Wesch is a great professor at Kansas State University. He is also the author of the famous web 2.0 video "The machine is using us":

See more of him at the mediated cultures Website.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Cell Phone: An Anthropology of Communication

For those of you who haven't read this, it's an extremely interesting book about an anthropological study on Cell Phones in Jamaica. The interest of the book is much wider than the specificity of the setting.

I've been reading it as part of the Digital Anthropology course at Stockholm University, which I also highly recommend. The author, Daniel Miller also published another interesting read on the Internet in Trinidad and Tobago.
I leave with the Amazon link then...

Vanuatu on Swedish Television

Watch here from the Swedish channel SVT.

For those who do not speak Swedish, it is still a very nice watch, just for the sheer beauty of the place :)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

And it begins

Mobile technologies have entered the lives of some of us in a way that, looking back now, might give us the impression that all along we have been following a straight road.

However, mobile technologies, as we know them today, are the product of a number of decisions, political implications, historical contingencies and a myriad of other factors, varying in degrees of intentionality, or lack of it.

Looking at it now, for someone like me who followed this process all along the way, might give the impression that the cornerstones of mobile interaction are untouchable. Hard to imagine something else than a variation of a phone book, thumbless interaction or other basic aspects of everyday mobile usage.

That is why we decided to go outside of our box. We will be conducting a series of workshops in Vanuatu, where mobile communications are relatively recent and "desktop metaphor"-style computer interaction has also met low adoption rates. Our hope is that this will result in fresh and innovative ideas for mobile interaction.

This idea was partly motivated by a lecture I heard by Alan Kay where he quotes Marshall McLuhan: “We don't know who discovered water, but we know it wasn't the fish.” I think this reflects very well our ideas and intentions. We, as the fish, have a harder time to see and rethink what we are surrounded by.

(Great lecture by the way , never gets old):

This project is part of the bigger Generalized Interaction Models project, running at the Mobile Life Centre at Stockholm University.

We will try and stay away from desktop, file/folder, point and click and all these metaphors that permeate our everyday digital interaction.

1,2,3... GO!