DMRC Research Seminar: Times and Spaces of the Digital

Date: Tuesday 15 November 2022

Time: 10:00am – 11:30am


In person: Room 607, Building Z9, QUT Kelvin Grove campus

Online: via Zoom (email to request Zoom details)

Seminar details:

The Urban Media and Digital Geographies Research Group is pleased to present visiting guest speakers Dr Tim Highfield and A/Prof Rowan Wilken for an exciting double-header seminar on the Times and Spaces of the Digital.

On (digital) time: The everyday temporal interventions of digital platforms

Dr Tim Highfield, University of Sheffield

This paper considers the temporal as it is framed by digital platforms, understanding time as both a critical motivator for user engagement and a construction of specific conditions for working with these platforms. Drawing on examples from across social media, function-specific apps, and the broader digital media ecosystem, this paper asks what time is created – or imposed – by digital technologies, and how is this realised? Whose time is privileged in the process, and how do users engage with – and resist – digital temporalities? In the process, the paper reflects on what time can tell us about the evolution of digital platforms and the datafication of everyday life, and on the methodological challenges of studying digital time.

Speaker Bio:

Tim Highfield is Lecturer in Digital Media and Society at the University of Sheffield, where he is also the Director of the Digital Society Network within the Faculty of Social Sciences. His research explores critical everyday interventions and implications of digital media. He is the author of Social Media and Everyday Politics (Polity, 2016) and co-author of Instagram: Visual Social Media Cultures (with Tama Leaver and Crystal Abidin; Polity, 2020). For more information, see

Platform integration of geo-visual technologies
A/Prof Rowan Wilken, RMIT University

Advanced geo-visual technologies are increasingly automated and integrated into hardware and digital platforms. Yet, the implications of these systems are not well understood.

This paper draws on my recent research and looks at two sets of developments in the platformisation of geo-visual technologies. First, I will explore recent technological innovations in individual smartphone hardware and software development, including use of precision dual-frequency GPS and LIDAR. Second, I examine the integration of high-end geo-visual technologies such as photogrammetry into large-scale digital platforms.

The complexities of these technologies, and the speed at which they are rolled out, presents new challenges for media and platform studies. They require new conceptual approaches, as well as renewed engagement with platform political economies. New methods and tools are also needed to understand what happens with the data generated by these technologies, and as well as consideration of possible policy impacts and regulatory responses to these emergent technologies.

Speaker Bio:

Rowan Wilken is Associate Professor in Media & Communication and Associate Investigator in the Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society at RMIT University, Melbourne. He has published extensively on mobile and location-based services and digital platforms.