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Highlights from ALIA Information Online - Siva Vaidhyanathan and Sarah Kenderdine

Over a few blog posts we will be sharing some of the highlights of the ALIA Information Online 2015 conference that was held in Sydney last week.

KEYNOTE: The Human Knowledge Project  - Siva Vaidhyanathan

The presentation by Dr Siva Vaidhyanathan, a cultural historian and media scholar, challenged us to think about the impact of Google as the operating system of our lives.  “Googlization affects three large areas of human concern and conduct: “us” (through Google’s effects on our personal information, habits, opinions, and judgments); “the world” (through the globalization of a strange kind of surveillance and what I’ll call infrastructural imperialism); and “knowledge” (through its effects on the use of the great bodies of knowledge accumulated in books, online databases, and the Web).” [from The Googlization of Everything: (And Why We Should Worry) by Siva Vaidhyanathan]

Siva advocates a collaborative and transparent effort to arrange the world’s information modelled on the Human Genome Project … which he called “The Human Knowledge Project”.  Siva argues that this global information network needs to be multilingual; networked and linked; accessible (i.e. free as in free beer); multimedia; malleable (i.e. free as in free speech); stable and preserved; dependable (reflects consensus or describes difference); protect privacy and confidentiality … which reflects the values of libraries well!

Siva highlighted the important aggregator roles played by collaborative projects like Trove Australia and the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) as examples of how this could work, but he expands the list of potential collaborators to include: UNESCO; major national libraries; major academic libraries; major municipal libraries; foundations and private firms.

Two of his books that you might like to read:

KEYNOTE: Cultural data sculpting: creating immersive experiences from digital archives - Sarah Kenderdine

In her presentation, Dr Sarah Kenderdine, the Deputy Director of NIEA and the Director of the iGLAM Lab (Laboratory for Innovation in Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums), gave us an insight into how cultural heritage is being preserved and shared through new media art practice, including interactive cinema, augmented reality and embodied narrative.   Some of her examples included:

ACIM & ALiVE’s project: ECloud from SCM, CityU of HK on Vimeo.

Sarah has a book that you may want to follow up: