eTech & Art & More

Cultural Mediation in New Media Spaces

Wednesday,15 August
10:30 am - 12:15 pm
 Petree Hall C
 Jennifer Recknagel

The 'Cultural Mediation in New Media Spaces' panel was brought together to discuss the creation of dynamic information mapping systems. Experts from several media institutions including Steve Deitz of the Walker Art Center and Gabriele Blome of GMD National Research Center, presented research which challenged current understanding of networked culture. Among the main concerns were the development of archival systems for new media works, and the creation of intuitive GUI's for high volume databases. 

Warren Sack of the University of California at Berkley spoke about the importance of generating dynamic relationships between information mapping and networked culture. His research connects urban planning and traditional studies in architecture with the monitoring Internet traffic. As he pointed out, if we ever hope to learn from the wealth of knowledge being shared over the Internet, we need to start developing systems that can analyze traffic and generate meaningful data about to the type of communication taking place. 

This investigation into information architecture was inevitably connected to the study of intuitive GUI’s. As many of the panelists explained, in order to design systems that can facilitate dynamic understanding of data, our focus as information architects needs to shift from backend coding to an appreciation of digital aesthetics. What does it mean to have interstanding between ideas, instead of understanding of a singular concept? How does the interpretation of data and quality of information change in a digital environment? In other words, how much does the design of information space determine the type of communication taking place? As Steve Dietz pointed out, even in displaying web based work in physical spaces, we need to get away from the traditional model of beige boxes with keyboards on top of desks. 

The importance of this research is manifold. Creating archives that chart our advances through networked space will only help us navigate through future possibilities more intelligently. And by designing information spaces with these values in mind, we might actually be able to put the democratic possibilities of the Internet to use.




A page describing all panels from the SIGGRAPH 2001 site




This page is maintained by YON - Jan C. Hardenbergh All photos you see in the 2001 reports are due to a generous loan of Cybershot digital cameras from SONY