Full Seminar Details

Al Selvin

 Al Selvin
Aesthetic Mediation Using Participatory Hypermedia
This event took place on Thursday 12 February 2004 at 12:30

This talk looks at research aimed at extending the tradition of hypermedia support for decision-making, as in argumentation systems, and sense-making, as in spatial hypertext and concept mapping, by building on recent work in the conflict resolution and mediation fields.

In these fields, the problems groups face are primarily with each other, as opposed to with subject matter. Facilitators must expressly address the emotional as well as more cognitive dimensions of a dispute situation. Mediation of such disputes often takes place in a highly charged environment, requiring great care and skill on the part of the facilitator.

Traditional conflict resolution and mediation methods focused on rationalist approaches to surfacing issues and forging solutions. Recently, techniques such as transformative mediation (shifting the emphasis away from solution-finding toward individual empowerment and mutual recognition) and aesthetic intervention (using the creation and consideration of art objects as the means for articulation of nuance and emotional expressiveness in dialogue) have expanded the range of options that mediators and facilitators have to bring about reconciliation. Practitioners of such methods must draw on their own aesthetic and empathic skills in order to guide participants through sessions effectively. Self-reflection on these issues and experiences appears to be key in the ongoing improvement and effectiveness of such practices.

In the first four months of my doctoral research at KMi, I have focused on three related questions: What could participatory hypermedia contribute to aesthetic intervention and transformative mediation practices? What is the role of the practitioner/facilitator of such efforts, in particular the required ethical and aesthetic competencies, especially in terms of the creation and shaping of hypermedia artifacts? What are the existing and needed affordances of Compendium for such work?

I will describe the results of my initial literature review and experiments.

Related Links:
Al Selvin's Notes from Talk

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