Limits of theatricality for negotiation

My main goal of this workshop was to work out how to set up the mediating presence negotiation table between two and hopefully three locations. We found several options to set up the connection for two people, the most simple consisting of having 2 laptops / ipads per side. Others, require a bit more material, such as beamers that project from the back unto a screen, camera’s hooked up through a mirror to indirectly film the people and allow for eye contact.

The medium for the shared negotiation table varies from laptops/ipads with a shared sketchpad application, to smart boards, white boards, and real paper. We found out that the medium has to be adapted to what people have to do, e.g., to make a drawing together of a building or environment, dividing resources over the negotiators, or focussing on the physical aspects of showing what you think of a bid made by the other party (pushing the bid back to the other party, moving it aside, or pulling it towards you).
The mediated cross roads experiment helped me to understand how difficult it is to understand in a three way connection, who is looking at which party directly, or indirectly. The Droste effect is interesting, but in this setting also easily confuses the attendants.
The glass work on Thursday gave me insights on transparency and presence. Also it gave a perfect demonstration of the power of embodied vs virtual objects. It was linked nicely to the talk by Frans Willem by discussing the limits of theatricality (scaffold, podium, …) that could be attributed to the glass blower/artist and the virtual glass blower/artist.
The workshop also gave me the first insights into the importance of architecture for presence. The connection to the work of Anders for the military related so nicely to my negotiation work, and Tjerk and my work on crisis management. Many possibility for cooperation came out of that, and I also see good opportunities to connect him to work of other people at TU Delft; Heynderickx (3D TV that can be seen from different angles without goggles), Hendriks (sign language), Broekens (AffectButton).
Words that I am brooding on as a result of this workshop: presence, space and strategy (with respect to the podium, theatre, scaffold, private theatre, …) as discussed with Frans Willem, the importance of what you want to use the mediated space/presence for.

Catholijn Jonker