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Wednesday, October 10 • 2:00pm - 5:30pm
A Learning Expedition Through Montreal's Third Places

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Learning expeditions and collaborative knowledge research are but a few of the terms used to describe open walked event-based experimentations (OWEEs). Born out of a desire to transcend traditional practices of academic writing and conference attendance, OWEEs seek to create, through action-oriented work and collaborative methods, innovative learning times and novel sharing spaces. In short, to try to "think otherwise" by changing the way we learn. Combining ethnography with more transformative research designs, learning expeditions contribute to the understanding of knowledge production and sharing through a three-pronged conceptual approach (de Vaujany, 2018): 1) corporeal engagement and embodiment through walking and moving within a space, 2) performativity and visuality of public space-time and, 3) assemblage of narratives and engaged texts. Within this theoretical framework, learning becomes a constructed relationship, a process of "making" rather than "imparting." Learning is based on shared practices and supported through web-enabled networked productions and texts. A learning expedition brings together people of different scholarly communities through the exploration of third places (spaces and times that are separate from home and work) and creative workspaces (co-working spaces, makerspaces, fab labs). Bricolages, improvisations and guided visits coexist within a set time and are linked together through the act of walking to, discussing while and sharing online.

It is in the context of this new form of research culture and knowledge production that the Laboratory on Computer-Mediated Communication (LabCMO in French) proposes an AoIR preconference workshop. LabCMO is a research and sociotechnical experimentation space gathering scholars (students and professors) from diverse disciplines and interests (participatory culture, social computing, civic engagement, free software and citizen science…) around the broadly defined field of computer-mediated communication.

Within the AoIR 2018 theme of Transnational Materialities, LabCMO proposes an immersive half-day walked afternoon event focusing on the study of third places whose mandates intersect art, technology, and emerging digital practices. Through walking and talking, our learning expedition will cut across many of Montreal's iconic quarters, allowing the participants to follow the cultural and social evolution of the city, from the early immigrant neighborhoods to the technological and artistic centres that characterize it today. Our first stop will be Montreal's original fab lab, échoFab, located in the heart of the Innovation District of Montreal, Griffintown. échoFab is a community-based digital workshop experimenting with various digital manufacturing approaches. Our second stop will bring us to NOMAD Nation, a creative co-working production studio situated by the railroad tracks of the Mile End District. Led by Moment Factory founder Jason Rodi, NOMAD Nation houses a creative community specializing in live streaming and digital broadcasts. Our expedition will end at a makerspace, Eastern Bloc, located in the heart of Montreal's Little Italy. Eastern Bloc explores new modes of production centred on audience participation, technological democratization, and the utilization of urban space. For those who wish to stay on longer, two additional preconference workshops will be joining our group for a "synergistic happy hour" (5 pm to 7 pm) where all participants will be invited to continue the conversation by sharing, reflecting, discussing and analyzing their days learning experiences.

Learning expeditions are also meant to encourage natural knowledge production, and accordingly include an unstructured documenting feature that will flow out of the collective experience. Participants will be invited to share what they are experiencing, seeing and learning throughout the expedition. OWEE events are "happenings," therefore social media will be used to document the event in real time. Participants will create "metatexts," allowing other participants as well as viewers to share the experience in real time. These online traces will also allow all to revisit the day and the events afterward.

The core expedition team will be composed of Nina Duque and Rémi Toupin, respectively PhD candidates in Communication Studies and Science and Technology Studies at University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM), along with the two LabCMO codirectors, Florence Millerand, full professor in Communication Studies at UQAM, and Guillaume Latzko-Toth, associate professor in Communication Studies at Laval University. A team of volunteer students will accompany the group to help curate the event.

Attendance is limited to 15 participants and registration is mandatory. Please send your requests to info@labcmo.ca with the subject header: Learning Expedition Registration.

avatar for Florence Millerand

Florence Millerand

Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada

Wednesday October 10, 2018 2:00pm - 5:30pm EDT
Non-Sheraton Based Program