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Blog

Settling In

Early morning, 5:30am, cup of strong PG Tips in hand I step outside Middlebrook D and snap a picture of the landscape, writ-large, with my i-phone. The moon full, or almost full, up above the marine layer covering the pacific, pushing against the green-gold hills. But enough of that -- I start reading an interview between the nature artist Alfio Bonanno and John Grande (JG) for my project on the natural and synthetic in chemistry, underlining and jotting marginalia as I read: traces in the landscape, artifice, nostalgia, estrangement.

The art of doing nothing

The art of doing nothing   On arriving at Djerassi, I welcomed leaving productivity behind. I’d worked hard to jettison my usual obligations: teaching medical students, supervising residents, seeing patients and hardest of all to throw off, the editing tasks I normally do on a daily basis for our academy’s medical journal. So I was much reassured that I needed, while I was here for a delicious, unencumbered month, to do nothing.  

WELCOME to SDM 2.0

I am grateful to be able to add to Patricia Bentson’s welcome to Scientific Delirium Madness 2.0. If you don’t know me, I am the Executive Director of Djerassi Resident Artists Program. With each new group of residents that arrives fresh-faced on our perch of the Santa Cruz Mountains, I feel a rush of excitement. The rush is particularly sweet for the new crop on the hill–the scientists and artists who will live in harmony and intellectual discourse for the next 30 days. It is like Christmas for me–with 13 brainy intellectual packages to unwrap.

SCIENTIFIC DELIRIUM MADNESS #2 HAS LAUNCHED!

I'm having trouble fathoming that a whole year has gone by since the launch and first edition of Scientific Delirium Madness (SDM#1), the month-long artist/scientist residency hosted by the Djerassi Resident Artists Program in partnership with Leonardo/ISAST. Nevertheless, here we are!  I am thrilled to report that SDM#2 is indeed starting off with a bang -- and the excitement will continue, if the myriad all-over-the-map conversations among the participants during dinner last night are an indication of the energy and ideas we can expect to hear about over the coming weeks.

Interview: Games in the Classroom and Society

I had the opportunity to sit down with a guest and discuss the ways in which games affect both the behaviors of students, traditional teaching methods, and the ways in which games affect culture and society. Dr. Adam Brackin received his bachelors in English and Art from Hardin-Simmons University, a master’s of education in Gifted and Talented Studies, and his PhD in Humanities: Aesthetic Studies.

MMO Ethnography: The Customs and Cultures of Online Gamers

Ethnography is the field that turned my interest towards games in academia. As a lifelong veteran of MMORPGs, the concept of being a participant-researcher in this space was something I could really appreciate. One of the tenets of ethnography, as stated by Paul Dourish in Ways of Knowing in HCI, is that “ethnography directs our attention towards the importance of participation not just as a natural and unavoidable consequence of going somewhere, but as the fundamental point.”

Game Studies: The Psychology of the "Player"

Recently, I have been introducing myself to the variety of fields that are often included in the interdisciplinary area and related subjects of game studies. Of all these assembled disciplines, psychology has shown itself to be rather pervasive and useful, joining ethnography and human-computer interaction in a trio of methods with which I intend to study player behavior and social capital as I move into my PhD work.

Leonardo Fellow in Game Studies

Greetings, Leonardo readers! My name is Richard Wirth; I'm a master's student at the University of Texas at Dallas, and Leonardo's first graduate student fellow. My primary area of research is in games and simulation, which I have recently been approaching through the lenses of behavioral studies and ethnography. Currently this is taking the form of a study on the communities and social structures of Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs).

Incubation

sternberg2014-07-18Take this image: a string seems to be unraveling from her body.  It is like a skein of silk looping out, unfurling as if her being was made of cloth and she sees that the fabric is made of a billion tiny dancers – each one of them now pirouetting, moving, leaping, tumbling – out of sync with each other – the central timing, c