Hacking Reality at the Academy of the Impossible

Metaviews settled into its new home at the Academy of the Impossible on January 1. Since then, the space has been the setting for regular events in the Hacking Reality series, along with headquarters for our regular Wednesday teleseminars and other professional activities.

“The Future of Health” has been at the top of the agenda in 2012, as we have moved into detailed discussion about existing and future devices designed for medical professionals to diagnose patients, along with apps being produced with the hopes of letting each individual take preventative and therapeutic measures into their own hands.

Some of the other topics we have touched on so far this year include:

Here comes the Academy of the Impossible!? is currently setting up a new project: The Academy of the Impossible, located at 231 Wallace Ave. in the Junction Triangle neighbourhood of Toronto’s downtown west end. It will partly serve as a location for our salons and seminars along with all facets of our daily operations.

The setup for the Academy is a relatively novel one. As an open source social enterprise, it will integrate both for-profit and non-profit enterprises, along with providing a physical touchpoint for our clients and broader community. This will include bringing to life many online ideas that often end up remaining hypothetical — we want to make them feel possible.

An exercise in Cyberpunk Surrealism

When the calendar year comes to a close people get into the habit of reflection and forward thinking regarding where they've come from and where they want to go. New Year Resolutions are one way to articulate this kind of thinking, and while I tend to avoid such arbitrary expressions, I decided to put upon myself a worthy challenge that could fuse a bunch of my interests while also making me exercise in an intellectual and creative way that I've not done for some time.

I've always wanted to produce my own internet show, but I'm never able to make the time or find the right configuration or playing partner. Lately however I'm spending a fair bit of time researching YouTube and video on the net in general. That gave me a rather ludicrous and intimidating idea.

I'm going to try and produce a YouTube video for every day of 2011. They will be available via my Openflows YouTube channel.

3D Dialogue: Ursula Franklin and Pacifism

Near the end of 2007 I had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Ursula Franklin regarding her political and religious beliefs, as well as her lifelong activism and social criticism. I first heard her speak in 1995 at a conference around community access to the information highway (oh what weird words we used back then). At the time I was just starting to look at critical perspectives on technology, and Ursula's work influenced me quite a bit. Her definition of technology as being "how we do things around here" helped me understand the cultural impact of technology where others tend to miss this crucial influence.

Course Syllabus on Interactivity and Networking

I taught a course at Ryerson University here in Toronto in 1998. Here's a quote:

"The course runs for 13 weeks, and is intendend to operate as a cross-disciplinary, 'hands-on' seminar, exploring the archetypes of 'Interactivity and Networking'. The course seeks to embody the subject matter, while adapting to the current cultural environment. Emphasis is placed on the social appropriation of technology and participation through interaction and networking."

Check out the full Course Syllabus. I often think I should update this course and find somewhere else to teach it.