DMRC Fridays Seminar Series 2019 – September 13

Photo by Tracy Thomas on Unsplash

We are pleased to provide details about the DMRC Fridays Seminar Series, Event 3. This is the third in our regular series of seminars in which DMRC researchers, HDR students and longer-term visitors may share their work with the DMRC community. These events are complemented by other ‘DMRC Fridays’ events including one-off seminar events, visitor presentations and so on.

In addition, we are very pleased to be ‘launching’ three news books from DMRC members, as outlined below.

Please come along on September 13 to share in the wealth of knowledge being generated within the Centre.

The book launches will be followed by afternoon tea.

Register at Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/dmrc-fridays-seminar-series-2019-september-13-tickets-69993519501

Technological Ethics and Virtual Humans

This analysis of digital imaging and cinematic imagining of virtual actors and synthetic humans examines the ethical implications of digital embodiment technologies and cybernetics. I argue that it is necessary to bring together science and the arts to advance understandings of embodiment and technology. In doing so, I explore commonalities between ethical concerns about technobiological bodies in cultural and scientific discourse and developments such as the creation of virtual humans and deepfake digital doubles in screen media.

Jane Stadler is Professor of Film and Media Studies and Head of the School of Communication at Queensland University of Technology. She is author of Pulling Focus: Intersubjective Experience, Narrative Film and Ethics (2008) and co-author of Screen Media (2009), Imagined Landscapes: Geovisualizing Australian Spatial Narratives (2016), and Media and Society (2016).

Reclaiming Policy in the Myanmar Popular Music Industry

This presentation considers music policy developments in the Myanmar popular music industry following rapid technological and political transformations from 2010-2015. Previous research has identified cultural policies designed to promote the former military government’s nationalistic cultural ideals, while repressing popular music. The military’s abdication of power in 2011, the liberalisation of the telecom sector, and the democratic elections in 2015 have created a policy void that is being filled by piecemeal policy that only indirectly impacts popular music. Using qualitative interview data with music stakeholders, this article argues for the inclusion of marginalized voices in the Myanmar popular music industry in developing de novo cultural policy.

Bondy Valdovinos Kaye is a PhD student in the DMRC, editorial assistant for Media Industries Journal, and an avid musician.

Zin Mar Myint is a PhD student at QUT and president of the QUT Myanmar Student Society.

Museum Management, Digital Business Model Migration and Internationalization

Museums need to find new ways to earn revenue and boost their sustainability in the age of the digital economy. Globalized tourism has pushed museum visitors to record highs in the last 15 years, according to the world tourism organization. However, museums work with the perception of economic uncertainty, also affected by the progressive reduction in state funding, forcing them to diversify their sources of revenue on the one hand and on the other to adopt more effective management and marketing practices oriented to a market logic. This context means that museum business models must adapt to the new age of the digital economy, leading to a new commercial involvement with museum visitors. This requires identifying and developing new models of digital economy in museums: for example, dynamic prices for exhibition ticket sales; rent spaces, use of monthly subscriptions similar to streaming services; rethink the value proposition of free entries, among other services that can be leveraged using digital platforms. In this sense, this communication, which is the result of a pilot research work integrated in the European Museum Sector Alliance / MUSA project, aims to analyse some of the best practices in museum management and business models, based on case studies in Europe and other geographies with strategies that can prove exemplary in their ability to reconcile business models based on the traditional and digital approach to museum economic activity.

Professor Paulo Faustino has joint appointments at Porto University and the Polytechnic University of Lisbon. His teaching and research have been focused upon Cultural Marketing, Tourism Marketing, Media and Creative Industries Marketing, Management and Business Models in Creative Industries, and Media and Creative Industries Studies generally, including Ownership Concentration, Public Policies, Economics, Entrepreneurships, Management and Marketing in Creative Industries and Media Business. He is Chair of of the International Media Management Academic Association

Book launches:

Are Filter Bubbles Real (Polity Press) – Axel Bruns

There has been much concern over the impact of partisan echo chambers and filter bubbles on public debate. Is this concern justified, or is it distracting us from more serious issues? Axel Bruns argues that the influence of echo chambers and filter bubbles has been severely overstated, and results from a broader moral panic about the role of online and social media in society. Our focus on these concepts, and the widespread tendency to blame platforms and their algorithms for political disruptions, obscure far more serious issues pertaining to the rise of populism and hyperpolarisation in democracies. Evaluating the evidence for and against echo chambers and filter bubbles, Bruns offers a persuasive argument for why we should shift our focus to more important problems.

Reviews:

‘Flaws in popular conceptions of echo chambers and filter bubbles are exposed by Axel Bruns’s analytical perspective on the actual uses and impact of the Internet in politics, which raises new and even more troubling questions.’ William H. Dutton, University of Southern California and University of Oxford

‘This is precisely the wake-up call we need: a book that blows up myths about “filter bubbles” and “echo chambers”, showing how misleading these concepts have become. Bruns offers smarter ways of thinking about the issues and explains the real concerns that need our attention at a critical moment for media, politics, and public life.’ Seth C. Lewis, University of Oregon

 

Minor Platforms in Videogame History (Amsterdam University Press) – Benjamin Nicoll

In Minor Platforms in Videogame History, Benjamin Nicoll argues that ‘minor’ videogame histories are anything but insignificant. Through an analysis of transitional, decolonial, imaginary, residual, and minor videogame platforms, Nicoll highlights moments of difference and discontinuity in videogame history. From the domestication of vector graphics in the early years of videogame consoles to the ‘cloning’ of Japanese computer games in South Korea in the 1980s, this book explores case studies that challenge taken-for-granted approaches to videogames, platforms, and their histories.

Review:

Benjamin Nicoll sets up his epistemic (work)shop for an inspiring minor game history that aims to make game studies strange again. From cultural studies to media analysis, the book’s contribution is not only about past game platforms but it also offers strong methodological insights. The result is a magnificent contribution both to game studies and media archaeology. Professor Jussi Parikka, University of Southampton, author of What is Media Archaeology?

 

Lawless: The Secret Rules That Govern our Digital Lives (Cambridge University Press) – Nic Suzor

Rampant abuse, hate speech, censorship, bias, and disinformation – our Internet has problems. It is governed by technology companies – search engines, social media platforms, and infrastructure providers – whose hidden rules influence what we are allowed to see and say. In Lawless, Nicolas P. Suzor presents gripping examples of exactly how tech companies govern our digital environment and how they bend to pressure from governments and other powerful actors to censor and control the flow of information online. We are at a constitutional moment – an opportunity to rethink the basic rules of how the Internet is governed. Suzor offers a vision of a vibrant, diverse, and flourishing internet that can protect our fundamental rights from the lawless rule of tech. The culmination of more than ten years of original research, this groundbreaking work should be read by anyone who cares about the internet and the future of our shared social spaces.

Reviews:

‘In Lawless, Nicolas P. Suzor doesn’t just raise questions about the power tech companies wield, he sets out to answer them, with urgency and care. He offers a lucid, ambitious, wide-ranging, and cautiously hopeful analysis of how platforms govern – and how they should – that comes at just the right moment.’ Tarleton Gillespie, Microsoft Research New England and author of Custodians of the Internet.

‘Suzor’s book is a truly thorough look at one of today’s most pressing issues and provides real guidance on how we can move forward, together.’ Jillian York, Director for International Freedom of Expression, Electronic Frontier Foundation

 

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