Sussex Humanities Lab Open Thursdays

SHL Open Lab Thursdays are an informal opportunity for co-working, experimentation, collaboration, and dialogue (also in the garden when the weather allows) facilitated by SHL Research Technician Alex Peverett.

We invite people to come and use the space and meet others engaged with: Technology, Creative Practice, Hacking, Making, Experimental Technology, Critical Making, Techno Feminism, Gaming, Media Archaeology, Music, Digital Art, Practice as Research, and more.

These informal sessions are following on from the ECT maker meetups for experimental & creative technology last term where Sussex students and researchers met, co-worked and skill swapped. 

Drop in, no booking required. All welcome!

Sussex Humanities Lab, Silverstone, SB211

SHL Welcomes Two Research Fellows

Sissell Marie Tonn is working on foundational research and media experimentation for a new artwork The Sentinel Self – an immersive interactive narrative built in the game engine Unity, which will creatively explore the shared threat of microplastics to living organisms and their environments.

Ian Winters is working on the Domestic Light project, a timely work, conceived in and for a COVID and post-COVID world, which explores the nature of our relationship to the character of light, home, and the passage of time – through the spectral footprint of light in homes worldwide. The project will result in a series of new installation light-sound works in San Francisco and Richmond; a live online work showing the color of light/dark around the planet during the year; and a broad Bay Area community engagement program that includes a series of panel discussions, work-in-progress presentations, a LASER lecture and a special print/online publication in the Leonardo Journal.  

PhD Community Advocates

From the SHL newsletter:

We’re a group of PGRs who want to connect people and build a community of doctoral researchers and makers through activities based in fun, creativity and researcher skills development. We will be organising several ongoing events over the next few months including:

WALKSHOPS
The walk shop is a peer-led meetup group for researchers to walk out and share any research woes, plan the week, celebrate successes and stomp through procrastination blocks. Each Monday at 10 am, we will set off and walk out the week ahead. More info & registration

NEURODIVERGENT ART JAM
A series of art-making and creative writing workshops for PGRs who identify as neurodivergent, culminating in an exhibition to share creative work and raise the profile of neurodivergent experience at the University of Sussex.

Attendees can sign up for 3 two-hour long workshops, which will be limited to 10 participants and neurodivergent focused/friendly More info & registration (Funded by the Researcher-led Initiative Fund)

ARCHIVING AND DIGITAL SKILLS WORKSHOPS (coming soon)
This series of workshops act as an introduction to creative archiving and digital skills/methods, and will be held online and in person in the lab. Our workshops aim to be welcoming, interactive and a space for participants to think about and discuss their own research.

COLLABORATIVE PLAYLISTING (coming soon)
For when you want to get involved but don’t have much time to spare, we will also be running an ongoing series of collaborative playlists. For these playlists you will be able to suggest music you’d like to be included.

Applied Hope Game Jam

The Applied Hope: Solarpunk & Utopias Game Jam was an open games jam run in summer 2021, inviting game designers to create all manner of things related to envisioning positive futures. Entries were mostly storytelling and tabletop roleplaying games, although we also got prototype video games, zines, a Twitter bot, and more.

After poring through almost sixty submissions, some prizes have just been awarded:

1) Best RPG Under Five Pages: subconscious_Routine by poorstudents

2) Best Solarpunk DIY Game: Scraps by Cezar Capacle

3) The Lustrous Effervescing Fontanelle of Luminous Mutable Futures Award: It’s About the Yearning by Lonely Cryptid Media

4) Mx Congeniality: Moon Elves by Maik

5) The Applied Hope Fruiting Bodies Award: Roots & Flowers by The Gift of Gabes

6) The Best Adaptation Award: The Transition Year by Affinity Games

7) Best Game About Something Pretty Specific: Marvelous Mutations & Merry Musicians! by Wendi Yu

Special Prize: Big Buzz Award: The Nurture by hannah j. gray

Some remarks on the winners can be found here.

Communicating Climate Risk

Save the date: 1 October, 12:30-17:00

Register here.

Communicating Climate Risk workshop

If the goal of climate communication is to compel decision-makers to act, then for too long our methods haven’t worked. Many desperately want to tackle the risks posed by climate change, but are confounded by mountains of complex, technical data. 

So how can academics present climate risk in ways that are meaningful and effective for this audience?  How can they ensure communication is part of their thinking from the outset, not just at the end of a research project? Who exactly are the end-users of climate risk research, and what are their needs? 

This online afternoon workshop will be jointly delivered by UCL’s Climate Action Unit and the Analysis under Uncertainty for Decision-Makers network (AU4DM). We will draw on interdisciplinary expertise to equip participants with the critical skills to communicate on climate risk. 

Speakers will share insights across three broad topics: why risk communication is difficult, what decision-makers want (and need), and how to present climate risk information. A final, fourth session will invite participants to co-design communication tools for the future. 

We need the big stories, the stories that engage and inspire. 

At the same time, we also need tools to present more niche information. 

And throughout, we also need to be always conscious of the politics of climate chance communication: the ways our communications shape whose voices are heard, and whose decisions count.

Speakers and facilitators:

  • Martine Barons (Warwick)
  • Mark Workman (Imperial)
  • Polina Levontin (Imperial)
  • Jo Lindsay Walton (Sussex)
  • Freya Roberts (UCL)
  • Kris de Meyer (UCL)
  • Lucy Hubble Rose (UCL)

This is an open workshop that will be especially relevant to climate and environmental scientists, and others whose work involves communicating or relying on scientific knowledge about climate and the environment. It is part of the COP26 Universities Network’s climate risk conference.

Climate Crisis and the Digital Humanities

To coincide with COP26 in Glasgow this year, SHL is jointly running two special events with the Edinburgh Centre for Data, Culture & Society, the University of Southampton DH, and the Humanities & Data Science Turing interest group. This is just a “save the dates” announcement: more info and registration will be coming soon.

November 3rd, Digital Materialities, Digital Imaginaries

16:00-17:30 GMT Online

More information and registration here. Our speakers will explore the materiality of the digital, and ask what can be done at all levels to make our digital world more sustainable.

Speakers:

  • Heba Amin
  • Nathan Ensmenger
  • Wilko Hardenberg
  • Helen Pritchard

What emerging digital technologies may also play a role in mitigating and adapting to climate change, and where do the perils and pitfalls lie? How might digital technologies even change the way we think about ‘the human’ and our place within the planetary ecology? And what are the biggest questions we should be asking ourselves about digital technologies today?

This event forms part of the Sussex Humanities Lab’s Open Workshop Series and CDCS’s Autumn Seminar Series. It is open to all.


Greening the Digital Humanities

November 10th, 16:00 – 17:30 GMT  Online

While the first joint event (Nov 3rd) focuses on theories, perspectives, principles, and inspirations, the second event shifts to thinking about practice, collaboration, and community-building. In it we will discuss the issues we have encountered, the problems our community can solve, and assemble actions we will take together.

The core participants will be DH researchers, along with other key stakeholders. Together we will explore: How do we, as individuals and as organisations, address the environmental dimension of the digital technologies we use? Where should we turn to for best practice? Where is research and innovation most urgently needed, and who should be doing it? What are the politics and ethics of greening the digital, and where do the biggest controversies lie? What challenges, risks and trade-offs might we face?  As Margaret Atwood has suggested, “climate change” might be better termed “everything change.” How might the transition to a zero carbon economy transform what we do, and how we define our own expertise and responsibilities? In a world where so much is digitally entwined, and ecologically interconnected, how can knowledge and responsibility be justly distributed?

The 10th November workshop is invite only. If you are interested in participating, please contact j.c.walton@sussex.ac.uk and briefly outline your interest.

The Chain

The Chain has just launched as a series of interlinked reflections from theorists, artists, activists, and others of the Intersections: Feminism, Technology and Digital Humanities (IFTe) network and beyond. Each link in the chain responds in some way to the previous entry, and offers suggestions for entries to follow. Are algorithmic voices gendered? Are algorithmic voices friendly? Who does the work? Can the subaltern do a TED talk? How can we reimagine ourselves in a zoomified world? Start exploring these questions, and others.

We’re launching the Chain as a 3-month writing project that responds to contemporary circumstances where we can’t meet easily, where we are zoom-swamped, and zoombified, where glancing interactions are rarely possible. We are missing times and moments when ‘breaking out’ isn’t a zoom function, when serendipity doesn’t have to be programmed, when ‘walk throughs’ are in physical space, and where interventions follow on. We are missing the kinds of entangled modes of thinking and doing this kind of flow more easily enabled; writing about media art, coding that speaks to theory, practice that finds articulation in words.

This Chain was funded by UKRI-AHRC and the Irish Research Council under the ‘UK-Ireland Collaboration in the Digital Humanities Networking Call’(grant numbers AH/V00199X/1 and IRC/V00199X/1).