Sunday, June 12, 2005


It is a grey, rainy day. It looks like it will be an office day, picking up matters that are still on the desk. One of these items is the Scholars’ Network Conference book. It is a production in the final stage. We delivered a PDF version to the European Commission in the framework of the ACTeN project, but we will also produce also a printed version of it by the IOS Press. The title will be High Performance Multimedia.

I look at the present table of content and thought the selection of lectures , delivered in 2003 and 2004, as rather eclectic with wide ranging subjects. On of the subjects still intrigues me very much: bio-multimedia. It is a lecture of Artur Lugmayr. I think he is an Austrian lecturing in Tampere, Finland. I just give a peep of the article through the abstract.

Between user-interface design, high-quality video and audio, ubiquitous computing, pervasive designs, and advanced input devices, multimedia and its related fields transitioned from ‘integrated presentation of information’ (multimedia), to ‘computer generated simulated environments with its peripherals’ (virtual reality), ‘the surround in which the user is the interface’(ambient multimedia) to this novel and newly introduced field of Bio-Multimedia (BiMu): ‘integrated human capacity’. Multimedia and its derivatives generated a cyberspace which connects people to virtual communities and experiences in ways that not only allow them to work more efficiently but also to engage in new leisure pursuits including participation in virtual sex and role play in imaginary worlds. As the next generation of mediated engagement, bio-multimedia – the integration of human capacity in a Bio-Space – serves a similar purpose: provision for leisure engagement through biological metaphor.

The goal of this multidisciplinary scientific paper ranging from the discipline of theoretical computer science, bioinformatics and systems biology, medicine, to multimedia is a substantial factor for the development of a world-class concept for the transition between ambient multimedia and its next generation: bio-multimedia. The underlying question is simple. Its answer lays far in the future - beyond current bio-technological possibilities. Which challenges, possibilities, and facilities are provided by bio-technology to span a bio-space for the creation of leisure content? The focus of this research is the creation and introduction of bio-multimedia as new branch of multimedia.

The article has been improved from the lecture given. After the lecture a rather hefty discussion was started. One of the discussants was Gloria Davenport, the digital storyteller guru of the MIT Media Lab in Boston. She was not very happy with the lecture and pointed to the ethical implications of bio-multimedia. An intense e-mail exchange was started up between Lugmayr and Davenport, which has resulted in the present updated article.

Gloria Davenport (left) in discussion with interactive film producer Chris Hales and Sohvi, teacher at the Tampere School of Arts and Media Posted by Hello

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