October 16, 2012 - 9:05am

Everyone is welcome to a free interactive presentation called "Lo-fi & Wi-fi: Conjuring Creativity and Performance," Friday, Oct. 19 at Vancouver Island University, 10 am to 11:30 am in the Malaspina Theatre.

It's the second event in the popular Arts and Humanities Colloquium series.

"This presentation is a highly interactive exploration of how today's media technologies can shape our creative practice," explains Digital Media instructor Marian van der Zon.

Humans have always told and performed stories and drawn images. But with new lo-fi and hi-fi technologies, engaged storytelling and theatrical performance have changed.

Building on traditional spoken voice delivery, this presentation will explore graffiti, audio art, wireless video techniques, live web coding, and crowd sourcing over social networks.

"Everyone is invited to participate in this exploration," said van der Zon.

"Bring your cell or smartphone, your iPad or laptop, or simply bring yourself. It will be exciting, fun and a highly interactive experiment opening the door for audience participation."

van der Zon and fellow Media Studies instructor Robin Davies, will create a framework, or protocols, for everyone to work with.

"We don't know ourselves how the presentation is going to turn out," she said. "It can go in dramatically different directions. We hope it will be a thought-provoking presentation exploring how we use technology and how we are influenced by it."

van der Zon explained that "Lo-fi" refers to anything from the spoken voice to playing an acoustic instrument. "Wi-fi" includes the Internet and connections that happen through technology when many people cooperate.

van der Zon is a media activist, sound artist, and musician with her own band and years of experience in live performance and radio, including pirate radio; as a scholar, she publishes in print and on line.

Davies is a musician (double bass) and expert in sound technology with a long list of recordings to his name; he specializes in software development for musical performance.

van der Zon and Davies will be joined by a group of six fellow participants with an impressive range of artistic interests and experience.

Well known to the VIU community is Honorary Research Associate Dr. Marshall Soules, former Chair of the Media Studies Department, who currently works on two books on persuasion, propaganda, and media.

Five students will collaborate with the three faculty members: certified chef and Graphic Design Major Darrell Bell, who has a special interest in web design and packaging design; photographer and Digital Media student Denisa Krausova, with a background in documentary photography and live-television streaming for not-for profit organizations in the Czech Republic; multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Zoe Lauckner, who is in her final year in Creative Writing and Digital Media and already an award-winning journalist; videographer, musician, and Digital Media Major Brent Pretty, whose main interest is the interface between media technology and politics; and Digital Media student Niel Scobie, whose years of experience as a radio, club DJ and music producer have earned him several artistic and scholarly awards, including two nominations for a Juno.

Through the collaboration of this group of eight, content will begin to flow through the media technologies the group members provide. Then it is the audience`s turn to play.

"Audience members can join us on stage or use their iPads and smart phones to anonymously tweet from the audience. These participatory comments will be sent to the large main screen where everyone can see them and respond. We'll have multiple visual streams coming in simultaneously," said van der Zon.

"As with the internet, all of us can break the performer/audience divide, become involved in the presentation itself, and create innovative and unanticipated results.

"We hope to inspire and invigorate audience members and get them thinking about the divide between performer and audience. It can be easy to be passive or become overwhelmed in today's world. We hope to motivate people so they feel involved and engaged. I believe that's part of being a good citizen of the world - to be someone who is willing to take risks, state opinions and put your voice forward. It leads to a much fuller life," van der Zon said.

On Friday, October 19, "Lo-fi & Wi-fi: Conjuring Creativity and Performance," will take place from 10 am to 11:30 am in the Malaspina Theatre on VIU`s Nanaimo Campus (Building 310).

Everyone is welcome. Refreshments will be provided.

The presentation will live streamed on the following link: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/media-studies-viu

For information: http://mediastudies.viu.ca/lofiwifi/

The Fall 2012 Arts and Humanities Colloquium series will continue on November 16, when historian Dr. Stephen Davies, Director of the Canadian Letters and Images Project, will speak on "Voices Through Time: Letters of the Great War." For details, contact Dr. Daniel Burgoyne at 250 753-3245, local 2126 or Daniel.Burgoyne@viu.ca

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