The workshop participants were teamed up in four teams, all with a different imperative, some had a prior interest and some were formed ad-hoc. The teams have spent parts of day 1 and 2 working on their ideas and projects. Day 3 was fully reserved for working on the projects. Resulting in the final presentations at 17:00.Duncan Shingleton and Kostya Leonenko developed a very interesting project in which online data can only be accessed at specific physical locations.A small and relatively secret international network of users, uploads useful information for no-budget travellers, (e.g. ‘free diners there-and there 20.00 hrs on saturdays’) and makes the information accesible only through RFID tags at specific places that work as decryption keys. Users rate the value of available information and can only access information if they have contributed useful information themselves.Vincent Teeuwen and Juriaan Moolhuysen from the HKU worked on their project Yo! Opera. Ultimately they came up with a way to use RFID to turn a exhibition space into a dynamic musical instrument that can be played by multiple tagged players simulteneously.Dominiek ter Heide, Peter de Ridder and Richard Bosch from Fresh Deuce – HvA presented a digital/realworld object hunt that is happening across the whole world. All players can also contribute objects and clues about its current location. The more interesting the location the object is found at the higher the score for the one finding it. The objects all carry unique RFID tags, so that when they are found the database automatically updates the world wide highscore.Alexander Zeh, Bart Groen, Kasper Oostendorp and Ronald Lenz wanted to find out how RFID could be used to create an alternative value for objects. By tagging everyday objects with read/write RFID tags and proposing the connectivity of present mobile phones to make network connections, the possibility would arise to gain insight into the social environment of the objects, the amount of attention they recieved, and to script all kinds of behaviours in relation to occurence or absence of certain objects.Marinus de Vries was working solitary over the course of the workshop, with assistance of Klaas, Slava and Julian in order to determine what RFID might mean for his Tschumipaviljoen where he exhibits interactive art. The workshop came up with every useful way of using RFID tagged objects that can be sold all over Groningen, to trigger events in the Tschumipaviljoen.Originally posted http://www.mediamatic.net by Bart Groen
Arie Altena kicks off day two with his presentation on “How the web became social (although it already was)” on the way his blog/publishing research relates to the topic of design for RFID. Arie notes that the technology is still in a state of infancy, therefore it might turn out to be something people will start using in the same way in which they are using computers right now. He relates this to how blogging as a way of using technology is not scaring, its easy, as opposed to the creating of technology, which still is scary or at least difficult. “What used to be distributed has now become packaged” in blogging technology, user and software come together, it connects to what people want to do. But what exactly is blogging, and how do users “use” personal publishing? The activity of blogging (or reading blogs) has and will become more and more externalized, as an example of this Arie mentions technorati where people can set their preferences (search for meta- tags) so they can get the information they want without ever having to have visited a blog (the search is aggregated in an RSS feed and as such delivered in their feed reader). Another example is the way in which users can send content to their blogs through their browser (via Flock or Flickr) or even from their mobile phone.Last, but not least, is Julian Bleecker coiner of the term ‘Blogject’. Julian’s presentation has as its title “Internet of things, when 1st and 2nd life meet up”. This he sees as a joining together of 1st life (the human or physical world) and 2nd (the online or digital world). He questions what it means to create 2nd life experiences through 1st life actions. And this goes beyond the idea of the network, since it is “not about the network, its what you do with it”. Followed by “What would the social web look like when more and more network connected things start to participate?”. What is an internet (as a social web) when things start to participate and what do people do with these possibilities? With these questions posed Julian dives into a load of examples and clarifications. The ITU (International Telecommunications Union) has published a report on RFID, which they titled: The Internet of Things, which is paradigmatic for the amount of interest there is for new technologiesOriginally posted http://www.mediamatic.net by Bart Groen
The first day of the workshop started with a presentation by Melanie Rieback one of the VU scientists that shook up the RFID world by presenting the world’s first RFID virus. Her presentation entitled ‘ RFID + Security’ focused on security issues surrounding the use of RFID and the reasons why artists and designers should care about these issues.Being the technical expert on the topic (compared to the other lecturers) Melanie starts out by giving a basic introduction of RFID technology, its uses and its history. Doing so she introduces the working of the tag, the working of the reader and how it found its way to popularity.Rob van Kranenburg then continued by discussing the most important RFID related issues. He starts this out by stating that: “RFID is a strange space”. Since it’s use will lead to three results: there will be no more public space; there will be no more memory loss and there will be no more people, just dataclouds. Because everything will be tracked, traced and saved, which will be the case when readers and tags are everywhere. If this is so, people will become mere descriptions of the things they’re carrying with them, dataclouds.Our society is headed this way since “people want security, they want camera’s”. Rob then goes into some of the more technical aspects of RFID, here he mentions the ONS (as based on DNS) the Object Name Service. By which the connection to the internet of things can be made, for when all objects have a unique ONS number they are uniquely traceable throughout the world (e.g. with the data submitted to a central database you will be able to find every object everywhere). That’s why he states that: “RFID should be conceptualized from the reader or database” and not from the tag.Because RFID might turn out to be the glue that binds the digital to the physical world.After lunch its time for the final talk of the day: that of Chris O’Shea, not so much an RFID expert but rather “an interactive media artist and researcher. His focus is on creating works that encourage new methods of play and collaboration, challenging our perception of space and physical objects”. And from this perspective asks the question how RFID can be used for exploration and play, outside of social, economic and privacy issues; the artistic perspective. He begins by showing us several of examples he encountered during his research where hybrids of physical and electronic space exist. For this he refers to Peter Anders’ Cybrids, a term that signifies this merging of physical and digital space.Originally posted http://www.mediamatic.net by Bart Groen
I have applied to go on the above workshop being run at Mediamatic, in Amsterdam, from the 14th to the 16th November. It is for designers and artists wanting to learn more about RFID and its possible (cultural) effects and uses, and will provide us with an opportunity to make our own prototype using RFID tools. It has already raised some interesting questions that have formed part of my thesis, and I am hoping that attending will help to further formulate my theories regarding the subject area, provide me with practical experience in using RFID, as well as hopefully making some useful contacts. It will also be the first time I will have been to Amsterdam, and I know what your thinking, but it will be a good opportunity to visit another city and take in the sites.
Learn more about the workshop by visiting mediamatic.net