Filmtaking

In discussions with the Chief Investigator and Supervisor, Professor Katina Michael and listening in conversation with researcher and Filmmaker Dr. Magali McDuffie, the researcher struck upon where distinctions can be made between those engaged in the trust based relationship of filmmaking where the subject is aware of (and interacts with) the filmmaker in the role as an actor, versus that of the distrustful relationship with those who have ‘become-the-camera’ and are ‘film taking’.

Photo: Alexander Hayes

Photo: Alexander Hayes


Filmtaking, (opposite to filmmaking) that is ‘film’ or digital video that is ‘taking’ in a distrustful manner (not a trust based relationship) is taking away information purporting to be for the subjects best interests and even claiming that it protects the citizen rights, personal security and well being of the camera bearer, lifelogger, officer. The human (for the subject) is no longer visible and all that others then question (user known as bearer) in its absence is where then is the camera? In many cases, where it the camera oscillates from overt to covert in effect it then disappears into the human…and those around them dismiss that bearer (human wearer become camera) as simply another node in a surveillance society. The same claims that surveillance positions itself in society, a presence that engenders trust is in fact an orchestration that perpetuates distrust, with many accounts through my PhD research providing evidence of this phenomena. Likewise sousveillance which is nothing more than the inverse (yet not opposite) and despite all the claims of its power differential contribution is just another camera in the grid, a half-cocked blunderbuss staring down the barrel of a failed recalcitrance…wearing it essentially means you become it in a Heideggerian enframement.


The researcher in an effort to describe the transition as a researcher to that of the ‘filmtaker’ in the following three key positions; (1) that of the OBSERVER; (2) transitioning to that of PARTICIPANT OBSERVER; (3) and finally that of the PARTICIPANT ACTUATOR.


'“… As an OBSERVER from afar, I sat and looked in wonderment at humans who seemed to be doing something rather interesting with cameras and to achieve their goals they were strapping them onto themselves. I was looking at them from a distance and not understanding what they were doing I took a step closer. In some instances I kept my distance and whilst I attended forums and workshops or conferences or events I did not participate in the observable use of nor active engagement with the technology. Geoff Lubich was the first in 2004 and then I followed many others.”


“…As a PARTICIPANT OBSERVER I went about engaging with people who were experimenting with these body worn camera devices and secretly (privately and unknown to the others) I began testing the concept of wearing the camera to understand it in entirety. With some degree of creativity upon using it to create learning resources I was then considered to be an informant of the phenomena, an expert in knowledge of the field, a BWC contemporary across my own cohort. I was observed actively engaging with others during events and interacting directly with the technology, creating digital resources with the technology in a detached but tool oriented manner where the camera and its computations remained separate to my identity. I was disconnected with those who had already become the camera and lived their life by it, such as Cathal Gurrin, Steve Mann, Gordon Bell and countless others. I hadn’t yet become the camera although I had been avidly using handheld smartphones like a weapon for long enough, yet still able to put it down and retreat if I wished.”


 “…Then one day I received a camera that I could wear. In fact not just wear but attach to my body and forget about and it automagically transformed me into one more of itself, the framework on which it could be carried and operated no longer of any importance to its own mission. In effect the camera transformed me into a PARTICIPANT ACTUATOR, chilling my personal relationships considerably and cannibalised my thinking around data, value and community. The camera and its computations had become a large facet of my identity, now a total photoborg (as my daughter called me) and as others were referring to me as a cyborg. I had ceased to inform others of its workings and as I have described in many differing journal entries I noted a substantial shift in the way others related to me, engaged with me or 'acted' around me. I even refused to take it off and wilfully disregarded the objections by those who indicated they did not wish to be in my relational and objective field of view, not even subjects any more…just a sea of faces to feed the national security and corporation whereabouts machine with.”


So, as a participant actuator in a self confessed failed experiment from which I decided to retract (I have enough references there to defend it as a 'new' conceptual and perceptual finding) I’m considering breaking down the background chapter and renaming it OBSERVATIONS split down into two phases; (1) immersion in which I describe all the roles and events and then; (2) reflection through the 'eyes' of the journal and through the multitudes of eyes of the borg camera which is secondary evidence… hundreds of hours of film and hundreds of thousands of photos I took throughout that period.

Then, to finish the chapter up as Professor Teemu Leinonen and Leigh Blackall have likened it to an ‘expose of the disingenuity of an interview society’ I can examine all the differing points of reflection I now have to inform what I discovered in digital land versus my naive and often recalcitrant REFUSAL to conform to the cameras wishes...the many times I BROKE as a result of becoming that photoborg….actually being vulnerable about what failed heaven (for all of you who believe in one) forbid!!!

The authentic....and juxtapose the lot with Jean Rouch perhaps even signaling that surveillance and BWC is the death of filmmaking, positioning it rather as becoming FILM-TAKING.


(Excerpt from Magali McDuffie’s PhD thesis) - Rouch viewed film as a therapeutic device, in which people would become aware of, and then “accommodate, the psychological disjunctions caused by colonialism” (Eaton,1979, p. 6). In this sense the camera takes on a performative role, and becomes active rather than passive, an indispensable witness to lived experiences, and a catalyst for taking action – enabling people to give their own evidence of history (Hearne, 2006), and to create their own archive (Bonitzer & Toubiana, 2000).

Rouch conceived of the camera as an “accelerator”, allowing people to reveal themselves more rapidly than they would have otherwise, provided that trust be the essential founding elements of their relationship with the filmmaker. In this process the filmmaker was not only accepted by the participants, but also integrated in the action (Eaton, 1979). - Eaton, M. (Ed.). (1979). Anthropology-cinema-reality: The films of Jean Rouch. London: British Film Institute


In Place Of God

In a series of emails which relate to the completion of the PhD thesis I picked out this particular moment as for me it defines the bigger picture or the ‘leap off point’ from where the PhD finishes and where the next part of the learning journey begins.


Email correspondence to Katina Michael, cc. xxxxx, xxxxx - 28th May, 2019

“... I hope the packing goes well. So much to remember and the superhuman you are becomes the human in such tiredness. What I was pointing out is that even at this late stage we have much to discuss. Place could be God. What I was pointing out is that what we put at the centre to a diagram must represented the core to the inquiry. The external variables will always alter in context the poster I created in 2015 with xxxxx emphasised that what is missing in western society is the capacity to grasp that ethically the way we consider life is based on blind faith. Moral mass. Consumer creation in the likeness of greed, wealth and more of it. You will recall the framework figure I put together with xxxxxx which put ‘country’ as central to what guides and runs this place, world. As an engineer, without any idea of what country means the xxxxx of this world see nothing other than what they can get. They contribute nothing more than how to make lifes conveniences which are tapping us to consume more. As I’m learning, in reflection I know what I don't know and in that space I’m learning more about what I consider to be of value or not. We are nearing the end now and the framework figure may never emerge anymore than what I know at the point of departure from it all. I just hope in some way to ‘nail it’ and this historical snapshot will be worth it all.

Reply from Katina Michael, 28th May, 2019.

“...Perfect. You have nailed it. Not because you mention God who I believe is at the centre of everything, but because the camera hungry body worn instrumentation attempts to sit in place of God...in place of ‘place’.”

Reply to Katina Michael from Alexander Hayes 29th May, 2019.

“... the camera by design colonises the human form and by wearing it, we become it, then in turn we lose our human sense of place. ”








Trust Based

As we descend into an era of technology mediated insecurity, our blockchain constantly handshaking with provider, service and national security identity check point there is one thing apparent.


Engineers and information system developers have ensured our fundamental connection with each other as now compulsorily mediated, dependent on digital profiles we once dismissed playfully as inconvenient at worst. After all, who needs a password when we use the same one for all service providers except the bank. For those who seek ultimate expediency even trust has become a commodity, an embodied implant perhaps closer to an Uberveillance we once dismissed as science fiction.


We are led to believe as citizens that we have a right to question why each and every of our transactions are being monitored, retained, compared. If nothing more our right to know about ourself and the power for deletion must be maintained at all cost we claim yet where and when do we exercise such a right?

Nothing is more apparent, more important now in this Information Age than trust itself and so trust must be firmly foremost in any technological creation.

From an observation point of those less enamoured, we are lurching around now as Foucault posits, subject to a disciplinary surveillance exercised by the very institutions, corporations and services we once considered trustworthy, of moral accord or even remotely ethical by design.


If society by virtue of cultural association is largely disciplinary then what became of trust? In that regard, has digital, replicable technology eroded that trust by cannibalising control and become the very tool of oppression we sought to avoid?


My PhD at one time teetered dangerously to the hard right as I sought and fought to validate claims that head worn surveillance, human as network node, camera carrier would be of benefit to humanity. My attestations brought forward a null hypothesis that pitched technological determinism as default, a good.

If technology has been good for humanity such as life expectancy for those needing a heart pacemaker, then isn't a body worn camera simply an extension of that human convenience?

However, like a drug mule substantiating a gut full of powder filled condoms, a cognitive dissonance seems to be at play here, a trust mechanism that I once believed was "user" led and bred.

It became evident to me as the Internet crept steadily towards a 4G omniscience that creatives are at great risk of contributing to an Orwellian surveillant state. Likewise educational technologists drunk on their own outcomes efficiency stupor run the same risk by virtue of their own egoic need to share such data.

The Internet is after all a United States of America based innovation according to a technology skeptic. For others a more pragmatic claim that if we have nothing to hide then we have nothing to worry about yet as we well know, through history such claims have proven that governments only serve themselves and those elite minorities that prey on the demise of others.

For all their claims of counter-cultures, decommissioning and de-schooling under an Illich [ref]  inspired utopia educational technologists and their kin fall mute in the face of their actions and inaction. Of course, despite all assertions to the contrary, these head worn camera data end up disaggregated at the very least automatically rendered visible to the very corporations seeking an insight into their 100 million or so minute by minute user base.


If humans "become" a camera have we then simply lost our ability to see? Or, as some would have is believe, has humanity evolved into an übermensch, a super human made up of nodes in an electrophorus where trust is merely one number joined to the next?


It is apparent to me that a trajectory be articulated that seeks a way forward for humanity not simply a predictive analysis touting papal control, a singular dystopia and environmental degradation unchecked. Nor are claims that trust is a blockchain, artificial intelligence an inevitable, automated food farms an answer for a flailing anthropocene.

Trust is a handshake, an eye to eye human connection that brings all senses to bear. Without trust in a state led technologically mediated hope all we do is thrash around in a virtual reality unaware we have pissed in our own pants and wiped out a community in a single keystroke.

Significance Of Instinct

Here I am sitting  bare chested in the warm glow, faint light at night in a cabin I’ve hand built from mud pile to shiny tin roof.

The night air blows in on me cooling from a thirty nine degree day to something even half human tolerable. My partner's dog lays on his deathbed struggling to breathe. My cars windscreen cracked from a flying stone. Overdue for service 12 thousand kilometres ago we ferry children vast distances praying each time the car won’t give up.

My partners car lies still, immobile needing a new gearbox. Our credit cards maxed out till we are in arrears. My shoulders aching from scrubbing the floors of the adjoining shipping containers that we lie in and call our bedrooms. Hot box by night we run fans till we can’t stand the hum any more.

We still have no shower nor hot water but in relative terms at least we have the water now connected, saving us carrying six buckets a day from a distant tap to flush the toilet, wash dishes, fill the kettle, wash etc.

My instinct tells me that despite health scares, daily money worries and hourly emotional roller coasters that it will all be ok. I trust it will be ok as it would seem that anything else would be a preferable route with which to take life.

So what of the significance of instinct?


A first thought if that of our basic instinct as humans to protect others and ourselves. Perhaps a general idea that our instinct is ours and ours alone. What essentially is ‘instinct’ you might ask? I’ve often contemplated what a life might be if we were unable to ‘feel our way forward’ or as first nation people globally attest, to dream into existence our own reality, not simply think we have no power in doing so. (ref: Paddy Roe)


Whilst we may often be not conscious to the manner in which we make decisions on a moment by moment, hourly or daily basis there is a correlation, I believe, between that which we have learned and that which we instinctively recognise as significant.

The term ‘instinct’ it seems gives rise to a key facet of my PhD which upon the outset for me was seemingly irrelevant to the key subject area I chose to research. At the beginning of the research journey I was set on an outcome that would inform changes in education sector policies to harness the use of wearable cameras in the learning environment or workplace setting. How blindly naive I must have been to think that this outcome alone would have contributed anything to the body of existing science in the world.

As I near completion of the PhD I am struck with the instinctual feelings that arose as I immersed myself at the time as an avid education technologist, perplexed as to how I had not “seen” the bigger picture and the impact of my own actions at that time.

I was guided selfishly by a mantra that change is inevitable so those not keeping up with change as being redundant and superfluous as an employee to an organisation. At various points through that journey I witnessed fellow colleagues being made redundant as the switch to technology facilitated online learning and mobile learning gathered pace. I joined and sometimes led initiatives such as the Australian Mobile Learning Network (AMLN) and on reflection this was all in response to my own myopic version of vision for a technology facilitated society.

In essence I inadvertently introduced the very technologies that would lead to those redundancies. How could have I been so blind at the time to the trajectory and inevitability of implosion that my actions were likely to create?

So gradually I gained an understanding that whilst the Internet would bring about great benefits to humanity that it also had the propensity to give rise to great control, carnage and cultural genocide. Whole departments in the Australian Vocational and Education Training sector started to close as teaching switched over to learning on demand, remotely accessible via the internet.

“…instinct or innate behaviour is the inherent inclination of a living organism towards a particular complex behaviour.” - Wikipedia


I am bringing into focus within my PhD the direct correlation or relationship that arises from certain  professional entities coming into contact with others. In essence, for example, the innate behaviour of engineers as they socialise with science fiction writers.


“…the simplest example of an instinctive behaviour is a fixed action pattern (FAP) in which a very short to medium length sequence of actions, without variation, are carried out in response to a clearly defined stimulus.” - Wikipedia

If the FAP as described brings about a series of actions without variation then perhaps thats why these two cohorts frequent the same bars, laboratories, fetish establishments. Maybe, just maybe as one dreams the dreams the other follows and tries to bring these dreams to reality. Take for instance a science fiction author who pens some rancid prose, it passes through peers till it has hit a likes status befitting funding and finally ends up plugged firmly in the psyche of mid teen to late life male psyche, though film, gaming, merchandise and of course, upgrades.

I also believe that instinct as a literary term is a shallow, Anglo-celt expression which only touches on the surface of what we actually mean by ‘gut feel. Think for instance how many times today you have been guided by that ‘gut feel’, how many times you consciously made a decision or took a path to a result that was based on that instinctual feel forward feeling.

Sure, technology interrupts that by having the convenient answers when we need them but how many times today did you actually ‘feel’ and then make a decision based on your hunch, knowing, suspicion or any other term that co-joins that of instinct.

So at best, instinct is ambiguous, neatly abstract, sufficiently far enough away from our liberal selves as ‘just a feeling’. The purpose of this PhD is to dissect circumstances, reflect on learning from experiences, develop an understanding of the moments where I broke through old instinct and embraced a better way of grounding reality.

For me, at this present time, sitting in a cabin, seeing the faces of my happy sons smiling back at me from a photo frame, adjusting in my chair to better see the smoke from the Indian incense that my partner punctuates the air and ambience of this little wooden home with, my triggers take me to visualise past times and to bask in the incredible time of the present moment.

My instinct tells me that there is a time and place for it all, but the hardest and most rewarding of life journeys are grounded in a collective consciousness, a humanity that extolls the virtues of basing life breaking decisions on instinct. Even as I write free form I know that more changes are ahead as I sift the the piles of literature before me. Perhaps what I’ve discovered is not unique nor contributing yet I have a hunch (pardon the pun) that there is much to be gained by paying greater attention to the way we feel of life, acknowledging the deep divides we observe around us as our children argue with us about screen time, shaking in rage with withdrawals, exhibiting behaviours and physical manifestations akin to that of an autism, a schizophrenic and techno-bipolarity.


It begs another question. What of the significance of instinct - is it enough simply to say it sometimes guides us in our decision making or as I will argue, instinct is as ‘litany’ is to Australian Aboriginal people. Our ability to tap into that energy, that connection means we have a better way of seeing our way forward, responsibly living a life worth living, not simply a capitalist virtual dreamscape.


Intersticia


The researcher was invited to attend the INTERSTICIA ‘Brave Conversations’ event at the Australian National University on the 10th and 11th April 2017.

Given the way the researcher was treated appallingly by the ANU who believe they are a law unto themselves and who harbour some nasty self-serving vipers who claim cultural connection with country (utter hypocrisy) I chose to contribute to this important summative event with a written response as follows.

I don’t care that I’ll never be invited back to their supposedly prestige Fellows bar and fully expect to be arrested for trespass on their stolen property.


Intersticia
Web Science Down Under

“Brave Conversations”

Australian National University
10th and 11th April 2017


1.  Introduce yourself to the group 

Greetings. Please is a better way to start your prompt. My name is Alexander Malkay Hayes. I am in a very tenuous position at present between completing a PhD, working with an Aboriginal community on a cultural database and renovating a house with five children to attend to. It will be quicker and more relevant to read all about me here - http://www.alexanderhayes.com/journey/malkay 

2.  What you would like to get out of attending our “conversations”?

I doubt I will get very much out of them as there is little impetus here to connect with those who cant attend in person. Given the day and age we are in you could have well have setup ‘virtual presenters’ as any other professional symposium would endeavour to do. I'm at that last critical point where everything is just a bloody distraction from the writeup of the thesis and I'm sure those of you have either been there or are in the middle of it then know exactly what I am talking about.

2.  What are you focusing on in your research?

I am focussed on the social and ethical implications of wearable technology as we descend into a dystopia of implantable, insertable technology and this disaster called the Singularity that corporations would have us believe is the answer for the anthropocene. I am working closely with Aboriginal and other first nation communities who believe that it’s about the law of the land, not the law of man and that this tech led discussion is simply another genocide. In short my focus is on what is taking our "instinct" away, where has our "liyan" gone and if we have lost our moral compass and even the ability to grasp at an ethical framework as individuals then what hope do our communities have ?

3. How would you like to connect your research areas to “business / real world” problems that we can unpack and focus on on Day One and then link to the broader conference conversation on Day Two?

Drive north from Sydney and into any mineral rich area of Australia and witness the rampant destruction of pristine ecologies which Aboriginal communities have protected and used purposefully without destruction for tens of thousands of years. Bear witness to the genocide, apartheid and rampant exploitation of the communities whose lands have been colonised, carved up and exploited with technologies playing a bigger and bigger role in their marginalisation from society. As far as big data is concerned have a look at the Australian Welfare Card and the disaster it is proving for Aboriginal communities, kinship, traditional law and couple this all with the current rhetoric for the Australian government who barbarically and constantly change Native Title policy to suit itself while facilitating and outright directly supporting mining magnates who are as fat as toads and as ugly as toads. Where "business" and "real world" sits amongst this is likely to be framed in conversations that are 99% western world development - "...oh look...a resource...get rid of the occupants and lets mine it to create every known capitalist looking good that we can fill our empty lives up with". It's obvious, I'm not there over three days to pay platitudes to socio-technical fanfare. Unpack, focus? I'm there in a waste management role and hopefully someone else will be awake in the audience. 

Inside The Machine

Photo: Alexander Hayes

Photo: Alexander Hayes

So it’s early April 2015.

I’m beginning the thesis writeup. 

Some say that it’s supposed to have started a long time prior but for me  it’s taken a huge amount of thinking, reading, researching and generally “doing” out in the field and living life to get to this point. 

It would appear that yet again that Scrivener is the place for this to be. 

It proves time and time again to be the best place to compose, construct and in general navigate around inside the data like a crazed ball in a pinball machine, composing offline and online and across all devices always searching for that seamlessness. Therein lies the crux to this PhD in general. 

I’ve been inside the machine and now pulling out and hovering over the surface. In my dreams and away from the machine, the computer and it’s various screen points I see deeper into it’s allure, its flickering attraction. 

Its at that point that I know that in order for this PhD to be real to and to contribute to humanity that I need to provide evidence that I have thoroughly considered the null hypothesis written it seems only yesterday but in reality almost two years ago. 

Hardly seems possible that time has slipped away that fast. To the outsider, I’ve spent it seems a disproportionate amount of time looking at, testing, crashing and exploring systems that interconnect daily activity, research methodology and fieldwork. 

Without all of that over the last five years I think I would have produced a cookie cutter PhD with little substance but now I’ll have published my data openly, have titrated what is of the essence, have examined whats inclusive or exclusive and then have started to prepare draft 2 of the thesis which will be entirely “inside” - one long document, much like what I did when I produced #realstory, my personal story. 

Then there is the many many publications I’ve written that are already out there on the web, from blog and journal entries, forum posts, papers I’ve written and book chapters. Then there is the data that exists in its form as it’s own entity like photos which each speak a thousand words. 

If that is the case then I have a diatribe of a billion words already spoken yet to be written. So here begins the writing part, daily and in earnest….again.

Indigenous Wearable Technology Assembly

On the 24th June 2014 Mikaela Jade (Griffiths) flew out from Canberra to meet with Bruce Hammond, Director of Envirologix and Khatija Thomas, Commissioner for Aboriginal Engagement, South Australia Government as well as Minister Zoe Bettison and Herb Mack, Manager of Country Health, South Australia.

The purpose of the trip was for the Paramodic Pty Ltd Directors and Advisors including myself to consult with Aboriginal community groups across the South Australian region including Vince Coulthard from Umeewarra Media in Port Augusta, South Australia.


The meetings identified many different perspectives as to the usefulness of the technology but also as the researcher observed an avid endorsement of the product with claims of economic opportunities for Aboriginal communities surpassing the ‘detriments’. Both government representatives voiced their concerns regarding Google Glass including the lack of consultation with the Google corporation, the continued assault of international technologies taking data offshore via the Internet.


Vince Coulthard, an Adnyamathanha man who grew up in Nepabunna Community, South Australia hosted a meeting with Bruce Hammond, Tagnekeld Elder and Mikaela Jade to discuss the formation of the Indigenous Wearable Technology Assembly (IWTA)

A short video was recorded during the meeting within which Coulthard openly invited the Google corporation to meet with himself and other traditional custodians at the Wilpena Resort which is an Aboriginal managed accommodation and cultural tours enterprise in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia.


"... My name is Vince Coulthard, I'm the Chairperson of the Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association. ATLA is a prescribed body corporate Native Title determined land area, area of Adnyamathanha Lands. I would like to, I've had a look at this technology, and I would like to have some frank discussions with the developers, and I would really like to invite you, Google. I would really like to invite Google to Adnyamathanha Country to meet with my people so we can actually talk and get further information about this particular product." (Griffiths & Mirams 2014)


As a result of a trip Jade reported breaches of privacy involving the technology as well as technical issues that resulted in information being posted to the ‘Deadly Glass’ G+ social media group (Hayes 2014j) without Griffith’s permission nor subsequent awareness.  


“... Deadly means 'awesome' in Australian Aboriginal communities. This forum is about giving voice, raising awareness.” (Jade et al. 2015)



Dr. Ruth Mirams then engaged with the researcher exploring the role of skeptic and that of ‘positive scientist’ engaging in robust discussions, authoring a short paper titled ‘Glass Interview(Hayes & Mirams 2014) and exploring the ethical ramifications of wearing Google Glass.


“... Alexander Hayes (Senior Advisor) chooses not to wear Glass at all, for reasons of objectivity and research ethics”. (Mirams 2014a)


During this period the researcher collaborated also through an action research process known as ‘2014 Yirrabana - This Way Collaboration’ (Mirams et al. 2014)  and learned of the concepts of ‘place’ based learning, also of ‘Country’ and ‘dadirri’, (Ungunmerr 1988) a deep listening that is inner, quiet, still awareness, and waiting that Indigenous scholar Judy Atkinson (2002) used as a research methodology (The Lowitja Institute 2012) in Trauma Trails, ‘Recreating Song Lines: The Transgenerational Effects of Trauma’ in Indigenous Australia.

These interactions had a profound effect on the researcher at the time and shifted the researchers focus further as to the cultural ramifications of the socio-ethical implications of technology which provides a ‘where-to’ for the research inquiry

It also marked the beginning of collaborations with the researcher that resulted in the ‘2014 Consilience Workflow Framework’ (Hayes et al. 2015) a model or guide for wearable technology project cycles of prototyping, development, marketing and service based on the scientific concepts of consilience and stigmergic development.

Miram's also authored several further posts with the researchers input regarding Paramodic’s involvement in the wearable technology domain including;

  • Paramodic, ethics and wearable technology (Mirams 2014a);

  • Digital glass technologies as a tool (Mirams 2014b);

  • Reflecting on what wearable digital glass technologies might mean for Indigenous Peoples (Mirams 2014c)

Deadly Glass

On the 12th June 2014 the Directors of Paramodic Pty and the researcher met with Cultural Advisor, Tagnekeld Elder Bruce Hammond online via Google Hangouts to discuss the ramifications of Google Glass on Aboriginal communities, triggering the formation of the ‘Deadly Glass’ Google Plus Online (G+) Community to discuss and investigate why these technologies were appearing on Australian shores and in communities without proper consultation with Traditional Owners across Australia.


“... We had word that a Google Glass Explorer from the United States of America had already met with a number of communities scoping projects utilising this emergent technology. To counteract claims that no one was in the development space and dutifully engaged in the socio-ethical interrogation and responsible data management emanating from the use of this technology”. (Paramodic 2014)


Google Glass Interviews

Introductions by Cecilia Abedie over a 4 month period from 27th February 2014 through to the 12th June 2014 enabled the researcher to conduct 47 short interviews through the online Google Hangouts application with forty-seven (47) Google Glass Explorer team members.

These conversations were on average 30 minutes in duration and focussed on the applied use of the Google Glass Explorer Edition device over a wide range of settings, locations and many differing use cases. Each individual was encouraged to detail their experience with the whole Google Glass phenomenon and most participants provided candid responses to questions as to the benefits and detriments of these head worn digital displays.


“...This series of recorded Google Hangouts is a record of my interaction with the Google Glass Explorers Community and other related contacts from industry, research and affiliated organisations. The intent of this research activity is to gain an understanding of the key motivations, experiences and understandings that these individuals gain from engaging with this emergent wearable technology.” (Hayes 2014b)


Glass Zombie

On the 26th May 2014 Tom Worthington, an independent computer professional, educational design consultant and an Honorary Senior Lecturer in the Research School of Computer Science at the Australian National University published an article titled “First Impressions of Wearing Google Glass” after attending a followup event that after #glassmeetup.


“... A new term associated with the device is "Glass Zombie", for someone who is staring strangely as they are concentrating on reading the Glass' screen (...) Overall the unit worked much better than I was expecting, but is still a solution looking for a problem and very much a prototype.” (Worthington 2014)



Transnational Communications COP

On the 22nd May 2014, the researcher as a web developer and participant assisted with the launch of the ‘UOW Transnational Communications - Community of Practice’ (TCCOP)


“... with the aim of raising international exposure for researchers and their projects in the fields of engineering, ICT, the mathematical and physical sciences. We hope you will join us in our journey” - Katina Michael (IEEE Senior Member - Society for the Social Implications of Technology) (Michael 2014)


Community of Practice Values Within our Community of Practice (TCCP) we practice the values:

  • To support and engage responsibly to the practice of Engineering and Information Sciences while encouraging diversity of research areas and expertise;

  • To remain passionate and well-rounded specialists in our respective fields while coming together for the broader nature of Engineering and Information Sciences;

To represent and engage online within this Community of Practice in a professional, timely and well articulated manner.

Interview - Stephen Downes

On the 1st May 2014 the researcher conducted an interview with Stephen Downes, Researcher and Connectivist Learning advocate who provided the researcher with pertinent food for thought regarding ‘natural surveillance’ and ‘community connections’ analogies which gave critical credence to analogue practice.


“... Stephen remarks through the interview that POV or BWC technologies simply join a plethora of other tools which may or may not have pedagogical application, neither enamoured by nor unduly worried by their popularity.” (Downes Streamed live on 1 May 2014)


Interview - Cecilia Abedie

During a period of making preliminary contacts with the Google Glass Explorer Community the researcher conducted an insightful short interview with Cecilia Abedie from San Francisco regarding Google Glass, technology and the broader impacts on society of wearable technology. (Hayes & Abadie 2014)


Drones For Schools

Upon return to Australia the researcher began collaborating with Leo Gaggl from Brightcookie Pty Ltd )in conjunction with the INSPIRE Centre, University of Canberra examining the role of wearable augmented reality in conjunction with unmanned aerial systems in the ‘The Drones For Schools’ STEAM initiative.

AWE Eyewear Showcase

On arrival via the ‘red-eye’ flight into Toronto the researcher made a bee-line for the ‘AWE 2013 Eyewear Showcase’ sponsored by META .

Photo: Steve Mann: Flickr

Photo: Steve Mann: Flickr

In a lengthy discussion with Ori Inbar, CEO of Augmentedreality.org the researcher learned that the historical underpinnings for wearable computing now assembled in this ‘digital eyewear’ travelling exhibition;


“…also appeared at the AWE conference a couple of weeks ago and now its here, so it adds to use this as an opportunity to create awareness to the fact that you know, Google Glass is not coming from nowhere”. {Inbar, O. P.2}


The ‘digital eyewear’ travelling exhibition {Inbar, O. P.2} stated ;


“… was initially contributed to by a group of pioneers in this space being Steven Feiner, Dan Qui, Peter Travers from Vusix and Steve Mann and when you hear their stories about each one of those devices, it brings them to life and it gives a great understanding of how this whole industry has evolved and also a sense of where it is going as well.…What we see here at Steve Mann’s studio started in New York about a month ago where it was the first time ever that we put together this collection of digital eyewear and Augmented Reality and glasses from thirty five years ago up until today.” {Inbar, O. P.2}


Scott O’Brien, Chief Marketing Officer with ‘Explore Engage’, Sydney, Australia conjoined with {Inbar, O. P.2} attributing respect to the research of pioneers like Steve Mann who enabled his company to engage with large corporations such as Fairfax Media, McDonalds and other large retailers in using augmented reality as a means for marketing. (O’Brien 2012, p.1)


“…We had also forecasted a movement towards wearable computing and our business plan was accelerated by a major project in the middle of 2010 related to wearable computing so we felt I guess, luckily enough in our first six months validated to be targeting augmented reality and wearable computing.” (O’Brien 2012, p.1)


Simon Randall, Content Intelligence Officer with Oxford Medical Group, London, United Kingdom joined (O’Brien 2012, p.1); (Inbar 2013, p.2); (Manson 2013, p.3); (Brown 2013, p.7) in confirming with the Researcher at ISTAS’13 the contribution of Steve Mann and Gordon Bell, Microsoft Research in the domain of wearable computing, remarked;


“…The Autographer life-logging camera (Randall 2013, p.4) remarks “…it bubbled out so we didn’t...we were not lying in the bath and suddenly went ah-ha.” (Randall 2013, p.4)



The SenseCam (Hodges et al. 2006) ‘…then that bubbled into this’ stated (Randall 2013, p.4) pointing to the Autographer device he was wearing like a pendant around his neck at the IEEE 2013 ISTAS’13 Conference at Toronto University, Canada.

IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology

In late November 2012 I was contracted to develop for the IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT) Piscataway, NJ, USA in the role as a Web Designer and Web Developer, project management services as consultant to scope and implement website development, manage a team of international contributors including content creation, social media integration, select appropriate host services, web design and content migration.


“… The site required a revamp and new ways to aggregate publications, news of conferences. social media groups, blogs, and local events with forums “...provide forums for us to interact, and address the challenges and opportunities the application of technology can have for our world.” This project involved substantial consultation with key stakeholders and served as the principal website for the IEEE ISTAS13 event in Toronto, Canada with integrations across Squarespace, WorkETC, gApps, Twitter and Flickr.”

HCC And Friends

The CHELT event at ANU led to discussions with the Australian National University (ANU) School of Computer Science HCI team, culminating in a subsequent invitation to present at the within their ‘HCC & Friends Series’ Faculty Forum.

The researcher learned from this event of the educational significance and related socio-ethical implications of these networked technologies from the perspectives of engineers, human computing researchers and technical staff of their associations with leading workforce development practitioners, innovators and suppliers, as well as their perceptions of Google Glass impact on society, privacy and alternative technologies they believed would have a greater impact on society.

eResearch Australasia Conference

The ramifications of data management practices, data repositories and international agencies vying to lock down access by service profiles including data derivative of citizen engagement with government agencies ie. wearable technologies was a hot topic at the ‘eResearch Australasia 2012 Conference’, held at the SMC Centre, Sydney from 28th October to 1st November 2012.

The researcher was inspired to share the connections and engagements at the ‘eResearch Australasia 2012 Conference’ which was held at the SMC Centre, 66 Goulburn Street, Sydney, Australia, however was stonewalled into listening and learning about identity awareness of research data which later occurred as a joint publication including Professor Steve Mann.


“… This large event was attended by colleagues of the Australian National Data Services (ANDS) and as a result the researcher gained a better understanding of the ramifications of data management practices, data repositories and international agencies vying to lock down access by service profiles including data derivative of citizen engagement with government agencies.”


PhD Ethics Application

The researcher was directed at this point by the Chief Investigator to access and complete an ‘Application For Approval To Undertake Research Involving Human Participants’ through the University of Wollongong/ Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) and after meeting with the UOW Statistics Team in May 2012 the submission was tendered by the Chief Investigator.

Whilst awaiting approval of the HREC application, on a visit to the University of Wollongong campus in late July 2012 the researcher met with the Chief Investigator to discuss the selection of ten (10) interview questions from an amassed draft of ninety-six (96) to guide conversations with potential research participants.


After much deliberation it was determined that strategically an event which brought all of the key protagonists together being ‘international industry leaders, academics and representatives from the wearable computing domain for the purpose of interviews’ would be a powerful additional outcome for the research project, potentially providing opportunities for additional primary stakeholder data collection, all pending approval of the project Ethics application.