Last and final call for papers for the Animals and the (Playable) City
workshop at ACI 19.
Deadline: Friday 27/9/19.
For those of you who do your best work in the weekend after the deadline we
are willing to accept late submissions provided you drop us an email with
an estimated submission date
Animals and the (Playable) City: A Critical Perspective
A Workshop held as part of the Sixth International Conference on
Animal-Computer Interaction (ACI 2019 <http://www.aciconf.org/aci2019>)
12 November 2019, Haifa, Israel
Submission Deadline: 27 September 2019
*Call for Participation*
Cities by their very nature are human creations in the sense that they are
built to support human habitation and to represent the image of the
communities that build them. However, from their very beginning cities
have also served as a home to a variety of animals from the domesticated
pets and livestock that formed an integral part of many households to the
feral and wild animals who have found the urban environment with its novel
structures, infrastructures, activities and food stuffs to be rife with
opportunities that could be harnessed to their needs.
Although cities are utilitarian creations, they invite and celebrate play.
On the one hand, play can be seen in the colours and contours of the city
as its architects and residents play with form and matter to give the
streets and structures their shape, identity and meaning. On the other,
play can be seen in the various playful behaviours exhibited by the
denizens of the city from the odd pedestrian humming and skipping along the
street through the audacious practitioner of parkour jumping from one
building to the next to the multitude of games played in and around the
parks and playgrounds that dot the city. Thus, the utilitarian yet playful
nature of the city goes hand in hand with the purposeful and playful nature
of its inhabitants who go about their days seeking to fulfil both their
physical needs and their playful nature and offers a host of opportunities
for the evolution of new behaviours and sustainable co-habitation.
Recent advances in microelectronics and the connectivity offered by the
internet have led to the development of “smart cities” in which arrays of
sensors and actuators are used to monitor and control urban infrastructure
with a higher level of efficiency and “playable cities” in which these
devices are employed in the creation of novel interactions and playful
experiences within the city. These advances and the notions of the smart
and the playable city offer the means through which we can explore new
opportunities for human and animal habitation and co-existence within the
city as well as raise new challenges and concerns about privacy, control,
distraction and duplicity.
In this workshop we seek to delve into what it means to be a non-human
animal in the city and how digital technology and the notions of play can
play a part in supporting, enhancing and advancing non-human animal life in
the city. We invite researchers and practitioners to submit idea, concept,
speculative, work in progress or position papers related to theoretical,
methodological, technological or practical aspects of these questions with
the aim of furthering the discussion and setting the stage for future
collaboration. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
• Critical perspectives on non-human animals and/in the city, be they
companions, strays, pests or wild encroachers
• Supporting service animals such as guide dogs in the city
• “smart” cities and “smart” animals – sensor-based interactions with
animals in the city
• The smart and playful city as a digital playground for human and
• The Internet of Animals in the smart city
• Policing the polis – tracking and controlling animals in the city and
their access to and through it.
Papers which may be up to 10 pages long (excluding references) in the CHI
Extended Abstract format
submitted as a PDF file via easychair
<https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=apc2019>by 27th September 2019.
All submissions will undergo a double-blind peer review process and
therefore and all identifying information about authors needs to be removed
from the submitted manuscripts. Papers will be selected based on their
quality and relevance to the workshop. Accepted submissions will be
published as part of the conference proceedings. At least one author of
each accepted position paper must attend the workshop and must register for
both the workshop and for at least one day of the ACI 2019 conference
Yoram Chisik is a digital media researcher, information technology catalyst
and thinker of errant thoughts. His research explores the nature and
meaning of technological interactions in the digital age. Prior to engaging
in an academic career he worked as a Geographical Information Science (GIS)
consultant advising government agencies and corporations on the potential
and application of GIS technology and developing GIS based software
solutions. Chisik is a past chair of the Advances in Computer Entertainment
Technologies (ACE) conference that hosted the first conference on Animal
Computer Interaction in 2014 and Intetain which hosted a series of
workshops on playable cities, an associate editor of the specialty section
Human-media Interaction of Frontiers and an adjunct lecturer at the
Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences.
Mattia Thibault is a member of the Gamification Group at the University of
Tampere. He holds a PhD in Semiotics and Media from Turin University, and
has been visiting researcher at Tartu University, The Strong Museum of
Play, and Helsinki University. His research interests revolve around the
semiotics of play, toys, the cultural relevance of games and gamification.
He is currently ER of the project ReClaim (Marie Sklodowska Curie IF),
dealing with urban gamification and playable cities.
*Anton Nijholt *
Anton Nijholt has interest in human-computer interaction, entertainment
computing, affective computing, humor research and brain-computer
interfacing. He is authors of hundreds of research papers in these areas.
He has been program chair or general chair of many international
conferences and workshops devoted to these topics. Nijholt is chief-editor
of the specialty section Human-media Interaction of Frontiers in Psychology
and he is series editor of the Springer Book Series on Gaming Media and
Social Effects. Nijholt is editor of the 2016 book: Playable Cities: The
City as a Digital Playground. A second edited book on Playable Cities will
appear in 2019.
*Heli Väätäjä *
Heli Väätäjä studies animal-computer interaction, user experience, and
application of new media technologies to different contexts. She is also an
expert in animal training and welfare. She acts actively as a program chair
and member in a number of conferences and has chaired several scientific
and practical workshops. She has authored over 70 peer-reviewed
publications. She works at Tampere University as a postdoctoral researcher.
For further information or questions contact Yoram Chisik at
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