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11th International Conference Information Visualization (IV '07)
Visualising Australian Indigenous Knowledge Practices Using The Game Engine
Zurich, Switzerland
July 04-July 06
ISBN: 0-7695-2900-3
Theodor G Wyeld, adelaide.edu.au
Traditional perceptions about how to represent cultural knowledge differ from region to region: India has its isometric representation for which a convention exists within a regional practice for its interpretation; China adopts a similar technique in the form of a scroll, which is as much about describing a story with visual clues as it is about depicting a real scene; Japan extends the Chinese scroll by adapting it to an unfolding screen. In so doing, it gains both literal and metaphorical depth; the Mesoamerican (Aztec, Mayan, and Incan) communicates space of cosmic scale in the form of elaborate two-dimensional chartings or mappings completely filling the surface they are applied to; the ritualistic art of indigenous Africans and Oceania communicates their cultural narratives through carvings, weavings, assemblages, ceremonies, song, dance, and so on; and, in a similar manner, Australian Aborigines hold memories in a virtual space described through abstract sand paintings, dance and song. With few material possessions and no written language, Australia?s Aborigines impart their subconscious ethereal landscapes by projecting them onto the physical world. Despite being far from an exhaustive overview, and an over generalisation of culturally alternate knowledge representation, what could we (in the West) learn from these diverse methods? Few are offered by the literature on knowledge representation. Most discussion is primarily from a narrow ontological point of view which tends to facilitate the perpetuation of popular understandings of the universality of visual media in the West. Today, the sheer ubiquity of mainstream (technologically processed) imagery threatens to homogenise global visual communication. A brief survey of contemporary versions of traditional indigenous tangible knowledge representational forms suggests there has been a subtle shift from three-dimensional, tactile, haptic, representations - carving, impressions in sand, elaborate weavings, assemblages, castings, masks - to twodimensional or flattened, printed, photographed, dyedon- cloth versions more easily sold to collectors, tourists, museums, researchers and so on. This reflects the West?s inherent reliance on two-dimensional recording media TV, print, film and so on.
Citation:
Theodor G Wyeld, "Visualising Australian Indigenous Knowledge Practices Using The Game Engine," iv, pp.395-396, 11th International Conference Information Visualization (IV '07), 2007
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