Sunday, April 16, 2006

On My Way to Campus

5th street with a Tech Trolley
5th street with a Tech Trolley,
originally uploaded by miawb.
Friday morning. The Tech Trolley is carrying students to the Georgia Tech campus, but I've decided to walk. It's already warm outside. The forecast promises 28° C or 82,4° F. I know I won't experience that much of it though, since I'm leaving Atlanta later this day.

The last few days have been amazing. I've met so many people who are involved in very interesting things. On Monday afternoon I went with Jay to David Jimison's class on mobile technology where the students had worked to come up with new uses for their mobile phones. Afterwards Jay took me to dinner at Doc Green's Gourmet Salads just outside the town centre, near the corner of Ponce and Bonaventure ave. The food was so good! On Tuesday, after spending the morning at the High Museum of Arts, I attended Eugene Thacker's class, where Ron Broglio and Fred Young were invited to talk about animals and technology, which was very interesting.

On Wednesday Michael Joyce and Don Foresta stopped by at Georgia Tech on their way to a conference in Savannah. I first met Michael at a summer school at Blekinge Institute of Technology in Karlskrona three years ago, but I've never met Don before. They talked about their current projects, Michael about his collaboration with the visual artist Alexandra A. Grant and Don about the Marcel Network, but also about their ideas around art, literature and technology in general. Afterwards we met the Brittain fellows at Manuel's Tavern on the corner of North Ave and N. Highland Ave. Lively discussions...

On Thursday I met Linda Yaszek who writes about women and technology. Lately she has been focussing on women and technology in literature from the mid 20th century. For me it was absolutely amazing to talk to her, since her area of research is so closely related to my own. Together with Clara Fernandez, a fellow PhD candidate, I then attended a lunch seminar where Amy Bruckman talked about, among other things, the concept of community in a digital environment. In the afternoon I went to Ian Bogost's class about technology and design, especially of mobile technology and handheld applications. Why does a mobile phone look the way it does? Does a certain design lead to certain types of uses? What happens when the design changes? etc.

On Thursday night Ron took me to dinner at the Italian restaurant Fritti's. The pizza was superb and we talked for hours. Ron is another one of the people I met in Karlskrona three years ago and it was really good to see him again - and actually have time to talk to him too. He has just finished a book on British landscape paintings from the 18th and 19th century and their connection to technology, the industrial revolution and the British Empire. Right now he is focussing on the imagery around animals and technology, the idea of the natural vs. the created, which in this case often means "tampered with by humans."

All in all it has been a wonderful week. I'd really like to go back to Atlanta for a longer period of time if I can. We'll see...

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