Random Blends 2018

Random Blends is 10 years old. It’s the showcase event for NUS’ Department of Communications and New Media, and will feature over 25 compelling projects by students, alumni and staff. Playing on the prefix ‘re’- commonly used in reduce, reuse and recycle– Random Blends is our re:ply to an environment desperately crying out for change. We challenge your ideas about the environment through interactive and out-of-this-world exhibits. Experience innovative applications of technology, and join us as we explore the socio-political environments that surround us. Immerse yourself in thought-provoking artifacts, stories and campaigns that are firmly anchored in urgent social issues.

Together with Zero Waste SG, PM Haze, Seastainable Co.,The Sustainability Project, Books and Beer, and Haikini, CNM invites you to a space of collective responses, thoughts, emotions and hopes for environmental sustainability. Be part of a unique eco-sustainability movement that blends modern tech with environmental awareness.

Random Blends will be at University Town on 5 – 6 April 2018. Join us!

CNM Research Talk: Defamiliarisation and Poetic Gameplay in Art Games- Presented By Assistant Professor Alex Mitchell

Abstract:

Certain video games tend to be perceived as somehow different from the mainstream, not conforming to the expectations that most players bring to games. One common feature of these art games is the way that they often defamiliarize some aspect of the game experience by undermining player expectations so as to achieve a poetic effect.

Starting from Shklovsky’s notion of defamiliarization and Utterback’s concept of the poetic interface, Alex Mitchell draw parallels between poetic language and the techniques used in games to create what he refers to as poetic gameplay: the structuring of the actions the player takes within a game, and the responses the game provides to those actions, in a way that draws attention to the form of the game, and by doing so encourages the player to reflect upon and see that structure in a new way.

In this talk, Alex will provide an overview of the work done to develop the concept of poetic gameplay, including a series of close readings of art games, empirical studies of player response to art games, and the development of a collection of “literary devices” that appear in these games. He will also discuss ongoing work to describe these literary devices in the form of design patterns, and preliminary results from a study of the use of these patterns by game designers. He will then conclude by sketching out proposed future work to explore the relationship between defamiliarization and repeat experience of interactive artworks, and to understand the relationship between poetic gameplay and aesthetic experience.

Speaker: 

Alex Mitchell teaches interactive media design in the Department of Communications and New Media at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Alex’s current research investigates various aspects of computer-based art and entertainment, focusing in particular on games and interactive stories. He has a BSc and an MSc in Computer Science from the University of Toronto, Canada, and a PhD from the NUS Graduate School for Integrative Sciences and Engineering. His recent publications include “Rereading and the SimCity Effect in Interactive Stories” in Interactive Storytelling (2015), “Making the Familiar Unfamiliar: Techniques for Creating Poetic Gameplay” in DiGRA/FDG 2016, and “Making it Unfamiliar in the Right Way: An Empirical Study of Poetic Gameplay”, in DiGRA 2017. His creative work has been shown at venues such as the Displacements exhibition (13 Wilkie Terrace, 2013); Passports: Through the Red Dot Into Other Worlds (Lorong 24A Shophouse Series, 2013); Seni Mini (Mi Casa Su Casa, 2014); Print Lab (Grey Projects, 2014); Interstitium (Lorong 24A Shophouse Series, 2015); 50 Obsessions (LaSalle College of the Arts, 2015); and Repurposing Nostalgia (42 Petain Road, 2016). His fiction has been published in Dark Tales, Balik Kampung 2, and in several issues of the Twenty-Four Flavours series, a collection of flash fiction published by Math Paper Press. He was the general chair for the International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS) 2014, and is a member of the ICIDS steering committee.

23 March 2018
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

NUS Central Library
CLB-04-04, Theatrette 1

Register at cnmn.us/gameplay.

Student Showcase: Take 3, Fight HPV- Prevent Cervical Cancer

Join CNM students at University Town, who are currently doing an Independent Study Module to outreach to female students about HPV vaccinations.

Where to find them?

Date: 15 – 16 March 2018
Venue: University Town Plaza

Other Resources:

Microsite: https://take3fighthpv.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/take3fightHPV/

Opinion: Rahul Gandhi In Singapore- The Truth Vs The Fake

Professor Mohan Dutta discusses the controversy generated by a question and answer (Q&A) session with Mr. Rahul Gandhi, leader of the opposition party, Indian National Congress, during his visit to the Lee Kwan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore. Gandhi’s style of participation in the question and answer session, the article argues, teaches the world the spirits of argumentation and dialogue that form the soul of Indian democracy.

Theoretically and empirically, I have many points of disagreement with Rahul Gandhi. I disagree with his unfettered celebration of connectivity and fiber optic cables when narrating the story of India at the cost of obfuscating the narratives of poverty, in access, and inequality.

Source: The Citizen

CNM-CARE Research Talk: Rethinking Censorship In An Age of Authoritarian Resilience- Presented By Professor Cherian George

 

Abstract:

Most discussions on media freedom implicitly contrast it to totalitarian control. While it is intuitively appealing to think of liberty as the opposite of tyranny, this binary framework does not help us understand how today’s authoritarian regimes sustain themselves. Integrating empirical research on censorship practices, this presentation considers how media policies contribute to authoritarian resilience, with a particular focus on Asia, including Singapore. Although not ideologically opposed to spectacularly repressive methods, many states have shifted to stealthier forms of censorship. They also apply differential levels of censorship, allowing selective liberalisation to enhance their legitimacy among publics and co-opt large segments of the media and culture industries, while stifling communication that would potentially challenge their political dominance.

Speaker: 

Cherian George is professor of media studies at Hong Kong Baptist University. He researches media and politics, including freedom of expression, censorship and hate propaganda. He is currently working on a book on media and power in Southeast Asia for Cambridge University Press. His previous books include Hate Spin: The Manufacture of Religious Offense and its Threat to Democracy (MIT Press, 2016), and Freedom from the Press: Journalism and State Power in Singapore (NUS Press, 2012).

28 March 2018
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

VENUE CHANGED!

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Block AS4, #01-19

Ngee Ann Kongsi Auditorium
University Town

Register at cnmn.us/censorship.

Student Showcase- Raising Awareness On Dating Violence

Did you know that about 1/5 of spousal violence victims reported having a history of dating violence prior to marriage?

To raise awareness about this problem, we will be holding an interactive Story Trail, in collaboration with PAVE (Centre for Promoting Alternatives to Violence), where you are invited to solve the mystery behind the disappearance of a victim of dating violence – a fictional character named Cheryl. Visit us to take a glimpse of Cheryl’s life, investigate what led to her disappearance and discover her current whereabouts. At our booth, you can also pick up tips on how to intervene in dating violence, and write a message to those victims of violence.

Where to find us?

Date: 26 – 27 March 2018
Venue: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Block AS8 walkway

CNM Research Talk: Journalism and Media in the Age of Trump- Presented By Professor Lars Willnat

Abstract:

This past year, the political press in the U.S. has faced relentless assault from President Trump. Media organisations are accused of bias and for circulating fake news. At the same time, Facebook, Twitter and other digital media have disrupted mainstream media, offering users a continuous stream of news curated by proprietary algorithms. While these developments have undermined the credibility of traditional media, persistent scandals in the White House have provided the U.S. press with an opportunity to demonstrate that Journalism Matters. Professor Lars Willnat examines the current state of the media in the U.S. and abroad, and delve into issues of political polarisation and populism.

Speaker: 

Lars Willnat is the John Ben Snow Research Professor, an endowed chair, in the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York. He was previously the director of the School of Journalism and Media at the University of Kentucky, and earlier taught at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He also served as a Fulbright Distinguished Lecturer in Malaysia and South Korea and currently holds a 1000-Talent Chair Professorship at Tianjin Normal University in China. His teaching and research interests include journalism studies, media effects on political attitudes and behaviors, cross-national and comparative survey research, and international communication. He is author of more than 50 journal articles and book chapters and coeditor of five books: The American Journalist in the Digital Age (2017), Social Media, Culture and Politics (2014), The Global Journalist in the 21st Century (2012), Empirical Political Analysis: Research Methods in Political Science (2010), and Political Communication in Asia (2009).

16 March 2018
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

NUS Central Library
CLB-04-04, Theatrette 1

Register at cnmn.us/ageoftrump.

Student Videographer: Fast Fashion, What’s Your Waste Size?

With the domination and affordability of the fast fashion industry, many Singaporeans are quick to exchange their old clothes for new fashion trends. What many may not realize however, is the increasing amount of textile waste produced as a result of our ‘buy and throw’ consumption behavior. How then can we tackle the problem of textile waste in Singapore?

CNM Alumnus Ashok Kumar Scales New Heights With Charitable Cause

Now a celebrity with a unique social initiative, Ashik Ashokan is a CNM alumnus who is making waves, one charitable cause at a time.

Heart2Climb was founded by Ashik and his former Innova Junior College classmate Ashok Kumar in 2014. To date, they have raised raised a total of $200,000. They are currently embarking on a new adventure to the world’s highest volcano Ojos Del Salado in South America. They aim to be the first Singaporeans to complete the 7 volcanic summits.

The beneficiary of their present expedition is the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped (SAVH), which supports Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents with certified low vision or blindness. The motivation behind this climb is to highlight the challenges that the handicapped face on a daily basis. According to Ashik, they climb mountains every day.

Ashik currently works as a digital strategist with VML Southeast Asia & India. He specialises in target audience analysation and also client liaison.

Central to his success are the many opportunities that were available while he was a Communications and New Media student in NUS. As a hardworking sub-editor of the NUS CNM magazine Campus Eye, Ashik helped cover hot topics like the 2015 General Elections- interviewing key politicians and the public.

Working with companies such as Grab and Sony Pictures after graduation, he developed a keen sense of working closely with companies and other initiatives. In the initial stages of Heart2Climb, he had a difficult time trying to secure sponsorships. However, through sheer grit and hard work, he succeeded in convincing Starhub and RedBull to sponsor his first expedition and social initiative.

Written by Aby Tirza, CNM Student, Year 2