The International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition (ICMPC) takes place every two years, and the 15th event in the series took place on 23-28 July 2018. Continuing a traditional 6-year cycle, the conference was combined with the 10th triennial conference of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music (ESCOM).
ICMPC15-ESCOM10 (please find the link to the homepage here) was distributed across hubs on different continents, communicating via an internet cloud. We striked a new balance between face-to-face and virtual communication and between activities on different continents to create a truly global conference.
Every hub presented a regular local keynote and regular parallel sessions. In addition, there were virtual parallel sessions from the other hubs, mostly in real time (as unlisted, password-protected YouTube streams) followed by international discussions (using Zoom). In this way, each hub presented most or all of the global program.
The daily program was divided into a morning and an evening session to maximize real-time international communication. Symposium organizers presented their own research and then led a discussion of 2-3 thematically related videos from other hubs.
For the first time,
- every talk was both live and virtual, that is, presented to a live local audience and viewed elsewhere in real time (and possibly at other places, with a time delay);
- all discussions included real-time virtual participants at one or more remote locations;
- all presentations and all discussions were documented as videos plus comment feeds;
- a limited number of colleagues who are unable to travel due to disability, caring commitments, visa/travel problems or severe financial limitations had the opportunity to present a prerecorded, reviewed video;
- abstract reviews were considered when selecting keynotes, of which there was one at each hub, streamed to one or two other hubs in real time with no competition from other events.
Participants were free to attend any hub, regardless of their location. We recommended travelling to the closest hub, which reduced both travel costs and greenhouse gas emissions. Flying across the world to a conference is comparable with driving a car in a regular way for a year.
The hubs werde:
- Montréal, Québec: Department of Music, Concordia University
- Sydney, Australia: School of the Arts and Media, University of New South Wales
- La Plata, Argentina: Faculty of Fine Arts, National University of La Plata
- Graz, Austria: Centre for Systematic Musicology, University of Graz
Graz carried out the review procedure and wrote the program in collaboration with other hub organizers. Registration fees were paid directly to hubs. The technology had been tested a year in advance in April 2017 in a small international pilot event (Global Arts and Psychology Seminar GAPS2017).
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