Vicki Smith: visual artist and founding member of Avatar Body Collision, an online performance troupe, who met online in 2001 during a research project into the meeting points of theatre, the body and the internet. From Wellington and Harihari, Aotearoa/NZ (Helen Varley Jamieson and Vicki Smith), Helsinki, Finland (Leena Saarinen), and London, England (Karla Ptacek) they have yet to meet all in the same physical space.
Avatar Body Collision with artist Douglas Bagnall built the open source software UpStage. UpStage has a user group of developers, artists, teachers, school students and individuals in academia, from all around the world. They have downloaded UpStage for their own use or interact through lists and online opportunities provided by Avatar Body Collision.
Vicki lives in a remote community in the south of Aotearoa/NZ. She facilitates two clusters of schools in their provision of professional development, delivery of distance education and in their social, cultural and educative collaboration using a variety of online tools. This includes Primary and Secondary schools, her ‘district’ is 1100 kilometres of winding roads. With the support of the Ministry of Education’s Virtual Learning Network (VLN) vicki is also collaborating with schools from the top of the north island to the bottom of the south.
The tools vicki uses include Video Conferencing, a streaming server, online conferencing [webcam, audio and Chat tools, various learning management systems and collaborative environments – that allow functions like whiteboard and desktop and file sharing as well as wiki and social media tools. Vicki also uses UpStage within her work in the compulsory education sector and with tertiary and artist groups in Aotearoa and around the globe.
Vicki will discuss the groups she intersects with, the tools they use, and she would like to introduce a group at the conference through these technologies.
- Vicki Smith, visual artist, Aotearoa/NZ