On March 10th The Hmm and Hackers & Designers teamed up to host a hybrid workshop as part of the In-Between Media Conference: Hybrid Tactics in The Crisis Era that explored the possibilities of live networking technologies in hybrid cultural events.
A recording of the livestream segment of this workshop can be found here: https://live.thehmm.karls.computer/emoji-proxies-boo-2
As an online visitor to cultural events, you can often do little more than ask a question in chat, and chat with other online visitors. How can online visitors feel seen, become more involved in, or even have agency over what happens on-site? This is what members from The Hmm and Hackers & Designers explored during the workshop.
Over the span of the 3 hour workshop participants worked on physical devices that could be activated by commands written in the chat by online visitors. During the last hour of the workshop the online segment began, the in person participants presented their devices while those online were then able to activate them through the chat. They saw how devices such as a vibrating talking stick, a LED strip activated by the command /disco, ringing bells, the ability to pan the webcam and a wiggly straw man can bridge the gap between online and offline participants by giving online visitors agency over what happens on-site. Participants turned inventors had a fun time showing off their inventions and those controlling them online were able to make their presence known in the physical space. It will be interesting to see how these live networking technologies can make hybrid cultural events more dynamic in the future outside of a workshop setting.