12:30 pm - 1:10 pm:

"Playing the city soundscape: a game for unlearning urban space"
Milena Droumeva

At the intersection of media environments and infrastructure studies, the materiality of built public space presents an assemblage of sights, sounds, and textures that both construct, define, and reflect formats of citizenship. In the concept of the 'democratic surround' Fred Turner alludes to the fact that civic identity post-WWII is a totalizing environmental enculturation: meaning, it functions both through discourse and in terms of sensory surroundings. A question we don't often ask in communication is, how does public space function as a discourse of particular values and ideologies?

Sound studies has long attempted interventions in urban planning by positioning the soundscape as a diagnostic manifestation of ailing social relations. 20 years after writing The Tuning of the World, Schafer despaired that nothing had changed despite his developing a whole system of soundscape monitoring and qualitative evaluation tools, and training exercises for attentive listening. This was perhaps always a tall order: not much can stop the roaring advance of industrialization and urbanization. The soundscapes resulting from these complex processes are a largely fixed ecology: infrastructure produces permanent levels of noise that aren't optional. Within this ecology, local soundscapes form through ongoing negotiation between urban policy, culture, and individual actions. The gap that has always existed is a platform for imagining different sonic possibilities. Cityscape is a unique and first-of-its-kind attempt to bridge acoustic ecology with city planning in an applied, gamified format. The question this project seeks to address is how to create possibilities for a more ecological turn in city planning. Cityscape is intended to guide players to understanding exactly how the soundscape functions as a living, breathing ecology. Located across the genres of games for social change and infrastructure simulations Cityscape is a tabletop strategy game about creating a livable sonic environment. Each time a player makes a city planning decision, they will hear the change in a live soundscape mix and will be able to explore and learn about the influence that different planning decisions have not only on the soundscape but on local livability in general. 

1:10 - 1:20 pm:


1:20 pm - 2:20 pm:

"Editing Academic Book Series: A Meta-Disciplinary Practice"
Michael Filimowicz, Senior lecturer at SIAT, SFU

Editing academic book series can be considered through a variety of lenses, the combination of which may perhaps best be called ‘meta-disciplinary’ when the topics and associated expertise cuts across many academic fields. In the language of cybernetics, the meta-disciplinary can be framed as a form of third order observation—observing academic disciplines observing themselves while also observing the phenomena they investigate. I use Niklas Luhmann’s system’s theory to understand methodologies as ways of making distinctions. We can note, for example, that the very notion of an academic discipline has no disciplinary basis. I.e. it is not the case that mathematicians operate with a mathematical theory of what an academic discipline is, while biologists have a biological theory of what an academic discipline is, and so on across the academy. Disciplines, in this sense, are entirely non-disciplinary! As editor for the Routledge series Algorithms and Society (published out of the sociology and criminology area), Sound Design (published out of the audio technology area), and Reimagning Communication (a sub-series of the Communication Studies series), this talk will hypothesize about the specific form of discursive intervention that is the practice of publishing boundary transgressing book series.







About the speaker:

Michael Filimowicz is a senior lecturer at SIAT, SFU. He has a background in computer mediated communications, audiovisual production, and new media art. His research develops new multimodal display technologies based on audiovisual colocation, exploring novel form factors across different application contexts including gaming, immersive exhibitions, telepresence and simulation-based training.