DICATS update – quite long

We will have a confirmed provisional schedule hopefully available by end of next week. I am not on the submission review subcommittee because I’m not an art therapist so I don’t know what has been approved or not. It looks like we will have a mix of pre-recorded and live presentations at each hive. Due to lack of additional resources, a medical emergency and competing workloads for the organising committee we will not be able to run as many hives as originally planned. However relationships are being built / expanded and if this version of the symposium goes well, we hope to have all those hives available independently next year. We will have representations from across the therapies i.e. art, drama, dance and music therapies.

Unconfirmed provisional schedule looks like:

  • Singapore start (possibly with Australia / New Zealand presenting pre-recorded with live discussion in 2D but will be streamed in VR 360 from Singapore during the Singapore session
  • London next (with Russia – Moscow presenting pre-recorded with live discussion in 2D but will be streamed in VR 360 from London during the London session
  • US – Philadelphia (with Canada – Vancouver presenting pre-recorded with live discussion but will be streamed in VR 360 from Philadelphia during the Philadelphia session
  • US – California (prerecorded and hopefully live discussion via VR 360 streaming)

We have an hour ‘break’ with existing pre-recorded content between each hive for those who want to stay ‘plugged in’. Several of us are planning to be for the full 24 hours 🙂 There may also be options for responsive mixed reality art making across hives either during a specific hive or in the breaks.

Social & online interaction will continue throughout the 24 hours too  – we may be using AltSpace VR throughout but due to resource this may not be possible to facilitate so will leave people to experiment. It will be possible to take part – in person at a hive, online with social media, online and viewing 2D 360 video, online and viewing virtual reality 360 video, in person and viewing virtual reality 360 video. It’s been a steep but very interesting learning curve with the technologies and working out the different kind of realities we think we are presenting versus the different realities that attendees may choose to experience.

For example, traditionally camera operators are in the room streaming in 2D but they are now part of the experience with both 360 and virtual reality so whatever experience they are trying to present as important may be different for attendees who can view them operating cameras. Will post separately about technologies and getting up and running after the symposium (we will know then whether it’s worth sharing details about them for future use).

At the London hive site, our team will be:

  1. Co-organiser and senior arts therapy lecturer – Michele Wood – host
  2. Myself – role to be whatever they need in real time
  3. Roehampton AV professional team – 1 x VR 360 camera operaor, 1x 2D camera operator and others supporting the live broadcast and audio
  4. A volunteer with previous live television broadcasting technologies experience, drama and learning technology experience (we got lucky!)
  5. Student volunteers – some doing in-house stuff, others managing social media interaction, some may be supporting AV depending on what they want to do.

We are planning for sufficient connectivity but we are well aware that this could all go wrong in real time and we will run pre-recorded content during any glitches. Each hive site has real-time remote support but as with anything online, anything could happen ! Fortunately due to lack of resources we have not advertised this as widely as originally planned so this symposium will be a useful experiment with a smaller group of interested people. Will post another pre-conference update in February if not before.

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