29 April 2020, 20:00
The Hmm IN Quarantine
In this time of quarantine we’re Zoom’ing with our colleagues, FaceTiming with friends and family, and binge-watching all the Netflix series’. Our entire social life has become virtual. It seems like the internet is dragging us through the difficult period of self isolation. With The Hmm, we’re always reflecting on our online behaviour, but how has this changed over the last weeks? What is the role of the internet in the time of quarantine?
Because we’re no longer able to organise physical events until June, we’re forced to move our activities to the virtual world. But how? Many of the platforms we’re using now are meant for virtual meetings and video calls with colleagues, but not for live streaming events. And certainly not for streaming cultural events. How can we hack some of the existing platforms to use them for a virtual The Hmm event? How do the platforms and tools we use determine and reshape the experience? We’ll be investigating these questions, and many more, during an experimental online version of The Hmm: a livestream experiment.
How does it work?
We’ve invited 5 speakers who will each do 5-minute talks about the role of the internet during the coronavirus pandemic. Each speaker will be presenting on a different video conferencing platform, so as a visitor you jump from platform to platform to view all the presentations. You can watch for free, but registration is needed to receive the final schedule and streaming links.
Cas van de Ven
With so much (mis)information spreading about the coronavirus, it can be tough to separate reliable news from false reports. Cas is a political science student who is part of the admin board for the subreddit r/coronavirus, which has been set up to find trustworthy news about the coronavirus. With over 1.8 million followers and 20 million views per day, a lot of moderation needs to be done. Cas will be joining us for The Hmm to talk about how he, and his team, try to keep the platform reliable and their battle against the spread of fake news. Link
Sjef van Beers
The video sharing platform TikTok is brimming with updates from doctors and nurses, coronavirus safety dances gone viral, and tone-deaf celebrities quarantined in their mansions. TikTok was designed to let users make creative videos at home without any professional equipment, relying on using household objects as metaphors or decoration. Now, with millions of people stuck at home in self-isolation, what content arises on the platform? Sjef is an artist whose work focuses on technology and the internet and he’ll be joining us to explore this question. Link
Wouter de Boer
We’re extremely online. We have work meetings via Google Hangouts, join Instagram-live videos from friends and binge-watch new series on Netflix. This is all possible thanks to the enormous cable power in the Amsterdam based data centers of Equinix. Sales engineer Wouter de Boer will tell us how the pandemic has affected their work. Link
Ester van Brakel and Joran Backx
Have you been longing for a “use your house as your gym”-emoji , a “become a famous home hairdresser”-emoji or a “feeling sexy at 2m distance”-emoji over the last few weeks? Well the wait is over because graphic designers Ester van Brakel and Joran Backx have created an emoji-pack dedicated to our new lives, and our new rules, under the corona virus. They’ll be joining us to talk about why the language of emojis helped them to run a successful corona virus awareness campaign with no budget. Link
Performance art and theater often rely on the relationship between the audience and the performers, and the space they are in. So what happens when we can no longer be together physically? Fariborz Karimi is a Tehran based theater maker and the founder of “Theatricultural Exchange Residency”, the first international independent theater residency in Iran. He will be joining us for The Hmm to talk about his latest project, “Reconnect” festival, which is an online performance festival that happens on Instagram live. Link
After-talk with Bits of Freedom
For this experiment we’re testing which platforms work best for a cultural event like The Hmm. In addition to thinking about user-friendliness, bandwidth, and the possibilities for audience interaction, it is of course also important to think about how the platforms are arranged at the backend. What data do we give away when we sit in front of our webcam? How are the platforms structured privacy-wise? After our 5 presentations we will delve into some of these questions with Esther Crabbendam from Bits of Freedom, a foundation for privacy and digital rights. Link