In the digital age, images of violence and violent exchanges proliferate and spread with unprecedented speed across multiple platforms. Graphic and disturbing images of violence—from viral videos of rape exchanged on Whatsapp, to the live streaming of fatal shootings on Facebook and Periscope—have become a staple of our digital condition. Similarly, resurgent forms of racialized, misogynistic, and homophobic violence are now on the rise and are routinely documented, decried, or simply shrugged off as the ‘new normal’ of contemporary media culture. This research strand is dedicated to a political interrogation of how the technological and ideological affordances of networked platforms both produce and sustain cultures of violence, racism, misogyny and homophobia.
This research strand focuses on the attention and affect ecologies of 24/7 media cultures. In particular, it focuses on what Jonathan Crary has described as the ‘rhythms, speeds, and formats of accelerated and intensified consumption’ and explores how they are ‘reshaping experience and perception’ (Crary 2013: 39). The research projects in this strand include the following: an examination of how video-on-demand culture and streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu reconfigure notions of the audience and rethink the medium of television; a study of the way that boredom is constructed, managed, and controlled in the ‘attention economy’ of contemporary media; and an exploration of seriality and long-form true crime and the operations of spectatorship associated with the so-called Netflix effect.
Researchers and practitioners associated with this thematic strand focus on the exploration of contemporary and emerging digital practices. Their work explores pathways between the creative and the experimental, and spans media contexts including film, video, installations, sound, digital games, physical computing, generative art, and other new media environments. Emphasising the critical and productive connections between theory and practice, contributors to this thematic strand develop approaches that consider new directions of digital practice. Critically rethinking the contours, boundaries, and intersections of scholarship and art-making, their focus is on continuities, disruptions, and new opportunities that arise as previous, analog creative modes feed into the digital.
Through code, sculpture, sound, and performance, Thompson's work uses conceptual processes like remix, translation, and visualization to physicalize and give materiality to otherwise invisible processes. In this talk, he will discuss recent projects including a website visualizing 150,000 photographs of apartments for rent, a store that sells boutique white noise, and what we can understand about our relationship with technology through screenshots of every computer on the television program Law & Order. The presentation will be followed by an audience discussion moderated by Dr Martin Zeilinger.
Jeff Thompson (b. 1982, Minneapolis/USA) is an artist, programmer, and educator based in the NYC area. His work explores collaboration with, empathy for, and the poetics of computers and technological systems. He is currently Assistant Professor and Program Director of Visual Art & Technology at Stevens Institute of Technology, and co-founded the experimental curatorial project Drift Station. Thompson has exhibited and performed his work internationally at venues including the Museum of the Moving Image, Sheldon Museum of Art, the Taubman Museum of Art, SITE Santa Fe, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, the Jersey City Museum, and the Weisman Art Museum. Recent commissions and residencies include Bell Labs, Abandon Normal Devices, Brighton Digital Festival, Impakt, Rhizome, Turbulence, and Harvestworks. This fall, he is a Visiting Fellow at King’s College and artist-in-residence at the Computer Laboratory at University of Cambridge.
Postgraduate Research in Media and Culture
Wednesday 7 November, 3:00pm, Lord Ashcroft Building (LAB) 109
This informal research seminar provides the opportunity for postgraduate researchers working across areas of art, media, and culture to discuss their research interests in a supportive environment. In this session, three postgraduate students who are at different stages of their research will present their work in progress. The aim is to stimulate discussion around shared interests and to facilitate networking opportunities. This is a FREE event and open to all. Refreshments will be served.
Julia Chan is a doctoral candidate in Cultural Studies at Queen's University in Kingston, Canada. Her thesis examines the problem of image-based abuse in the contexts of surveillance, cinema, and visual culture. Her thesis is titled: Stolen Images: Surveillance, Cinema, and Non-consensual Sexualized Images.
Valentini Dafnouli is a doctoral candidate in Film & Media Studies at Anglia Ruskin University. Her thesis examines the TV series The Handmaid’s Tale and explores how the figure of the handmaid has been used in global protest movements. The working title for her thesis is: Televising The Handmaid’s Tale: Feminism, Digital Culture, and Global Social Protest.
Erin Frantz is an MPhil candidate in Film & Media Studies at Anglia Ruskin University. Her thesis focuses on how depression is conveyed as an aesthetic, thematic, and affective dimension of contemporary cinema. The working title for her thesis is: Depression in Contemporary Cinema: Theme, Mood, and Affect.
Tackling Image-based Abuse and “Revenge Porn”, Saturday, October 27th, 1:30-3:30pm at Anglia Ruskin University
This roundtable hosted by ARC Media (Anglia Research Centre in Media & Culture, http://arcresearch.org.uk) addresses the growing social issue of image-based abuse in the digital era. There has been a dramatic rise in digitally based crimes – from “revenge porn” to “upskirting,” and “sextortion.” Bringing together a range of experts, from the fields of education, cultural studies, law, criminology, and film and media studies, we will discuss and debate how best to tackle this complex topic. Digital abuse is an issue that effects everyone: young people, parents, educators, and the broader community. During this open forum we will discuss key issues including the responsibility of social media platforms to deal with image-based abuse; ways to protect yourself in a 24/7 digital media environment and the relationship between online and offline forms of violence.
Dr Tanya Horeck (Anglia Ruskin University), Chair
Professor Jessica Ringrose (Professor of the Sociology of Gender and Education, UCL Institute of Education, University College London)
Professor Ringrose’s talk, “Resisting rape culture through feminist survival memes,” will focus on how women and girls use images of messages (pain memes) to document sexual violence and fight back. Her research analyzes Tumblr campaigns which respond to technologically facilitated sexual violence.
Dr Kelly Johnson (Durham University, member of the Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse)
Dr Johnson’s talk, “Victim experiences and perspectives on the non-consensual taking or sharing of intimate images,” explores dimensions of the victim experience and draws from her research on responses to violence against women and girls.
Folami Prehaye, activist and founder of the website VOIC (Victims of Internet Crime),
Folami Prehaye’s talk, “Image Based Sexual Abuse – Challenging Perceptions,” questions why society feels it necessary to attach blame, stigma and additional stress to those who decide to speak out against those who have committed a crime.
Julia Chan, doctoral candidate in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada.
Julia Chan’s talk, “Surveillance and the Non-consensual Sexualized Image,” will focus on exploring some of the connections between image-based sexual abuse, surveillance culture, and capitalism.
CFP on Digital Culture and Media Manipulation by StoryLab here at ARU - Please share widely!
CALL FOR PAPERS
Media manipulation: ideologies of influence and political economies of intervention in a digital world
29 June 2018 | Cambridge, UK
The StoryLab Research Institute at Anglia Ruskin University and the ERC-funded “Risking Speech” project
at the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge, invite paper proposals for a workshop
on the topic of media manipulation. Click below for the full CFP. If you wish to attend, please register here.
Dr Samuel Lengen, StoryLab Research Institute at Anglia Ruskin University
Dr Taras Fedirko, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge
ARCMedia is pleased to announce a research talk by Dr Emma Pett from the University of East Anglia. Details below. All welcome!
Experiencing Cinema: Immersive Media & the Experience Economy in Metropolitan & Rural Contexts
Since the inception of Secret Cinema in 2007, immersive film events have become an increasingly popular form of entertainment in the UK, often attracting a diverse, intergenerational range of participants. From early-adopter urban hipsters to DIY rural communities, the growing demand for experiential media can be understood within wider discussions circulating around audience mobility, the de-centring of the film text and what has been described as a “post-moviegoing age” (Allen, 2011). However, as with studies of film audiences more broadly, recent empirical work on immersive cinema has been predominantly focused on metropolitan film-going cultures and practices. From analyses of the ambitious productions of Secret Cinema (Atkinson and Kennedy 2015, 2016; Pett, 2016) to investigations of more exclusive cult screenings at cinemas such as the Prince Charles in London (Crisp and McCulloch, 2016), these studies have explored issues such as production design, branding, and shifting forms of subcultural capital. Furthermore, audience research conducted in this area rarely offers a broader perspective on the experience economy; instead, studies tend to focus on specific productions or locations, such as those offered in Atkinson and Kennedy’s forthcoming edited collection on Live Cinema (2017). Drawing on a range of sources, including qualitative audience data, industry reports and newspaper articles, this paper investigates the expanding experience economy within the UK and maps out the diverse and often contradictory characteristics of the participants it attracts. Using original empirical data gathered across a four year period, I examine the ways in which immersive and participatory cinema has intersected with many of the distinctive characteristics more commonly associated with rural cinema-going, such as resourcefulness, co-operation and an anti-commercial sentiment (Aveyard, 2015).
When: Thursday 26 April 2018, 5:00pm
Where: Helmore Building (Hel) 251 Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge
FREE and open to all!
ARCMedia's Research Seminar Series will kick off in Semester 2 with a talk by Dr Sarah Atkinson from Kings College London. Details below:
‘From Film Practice to Data Process: The Transitional People, Tools and Labour of Digital Film Production’
2012 was a key transitional moment in the history of filmmaking, where both the film industry and film production practices were poised between the two distinct medium polarities of film and digital. In this talk I draw on a wealth of first hand research materials including visual and aural records of interviews with professionals across the entire spectrum of feature film production which were gathered through an intensive period of embedded engagement and privileged access. Through a close examination of the production of Sally Potter’s Ginger & Rosa during 2012, I reveal how film and analogue motifs and nomenclature were inscribed and sustained throughout the entire production process. Through the examination of embodied practices, onset processes and protocols, including hardware design, software and interface aesthetics, I trace the origins of the often-perplexing skeuomorphic vestiges of traditional film and celluloid materials and practices. I consider the reasons for their persistence which at once appear to seek to mask the use of the digital medium whilst simultaneously attempting to erase all traces of the analogue. Dr Sarah Atkinson is Senior Lecturer in Digital Cultures at King's College London and coeditor of Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies. Sarah has published three books and numerous articles on the impacts of digital and networked technologies on film & cinema audiences and film production practices. These include her recently published monograph ‘From Film Practice to Data Process: Production Aesthetics and Representational Practices of a Film Industry in Transition’ (Edinburgh University Press 2018) from which this presentation draws its material.
When: Friday 2 February 2018, 4:00pm
Where: Lord Ashcroft Building (LAB) 027 Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge
A huge thank you to today's speaker, Dr Eylem Atakav, who joined us today from the University of East Anglia to talk about her Documentary film, Growing Up Married: A Documentary about Forced Marriages in Turkey.
In collaboration with the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) at the University of Cambridge, ARCMedia is pleased to announce a new seminar series on Digital Art and Financialization. Talks are open to all, and take place from 5-7pm in the Alison Richard Building at the University of Cambridge. The next talk, on Tuesday 10 October, will be by Professor Julian Stallabrass.
Full details can be downloaded here: Digital Art Michaelmas.
Registration is now OPEN for the Digital Violence Symposium
Professor Caetlin Benson-Allott, 'Whose Horror? Digital Violence and White Spectatorship'
Dr Debbie Ging & Dr Eugenia Siapera, 'The Politics of Digital Violence: Conceptual Paradoxes and Material Realities'
The full programme can be downloaded here: Digital Violence Symposium Programme
To Register, please visit the online store.
ARCMedia Seminar Series 2017-18
ARCMedia is pleased to announce its forthcoming seminar series for 2017-18, featuring talks by Dr Eylem Atakav (University of East Anglia); Dr Sarah Atkinson (Kings College London); and Dr Emma Pett (University of East Anglia).
Please download and share the full Seminar Programme here: ARCMedia Seminar Series (one sheet)_1
Ditigal Violence Symposium - 4 November 2017
ARCMedia will be hosting a symposium on Digital Violence at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, on Saturday 4 November 2017. Our confirmed Keynote Speakers are Caetlin Benson-Allott (Georgetown University) and Eugenia Siapera & Debbie Ging (Dublin City University).
Please download and share our CFP here: Digital Violence Symposium 2017 ARU
ARCMedia presents Dr Kaitlynn Mendes' (University of Leicester) research talk:
“It takes a lot of energy, it really does”: Feminist Organisers’ Experiences of Activism
In response to the current ‘feminist zeitgeist’ (Valenti 2014) in which feminism is more popular than perhaps it has ever been, and with the proliferation of digital feminist campaigns against harassment, misogyny and rape culture such as #yesallwomen and #bringbackourgirls, there is a growing body of research interested in digital feminist activism (Dimond et al. 2013; Horeck 2014; Puente 2011; Rapp et al. 2010; Rentschler 2014; Shaw 2011, 2012a, 2012b, 2012c; Thrift 2014). While this research undoubtedly sheds new light on digital feminist practices, few scholars have explored girls’ and women’s experiences engaging with digital platforms to challenge on and offline misogynistic practices. In response, this paper will provide key findings from a 21-month study funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council UK, which sheds insights into various experiences of 17 feminist ‘organisers’ from the Everyday Sexism Project, Hollaback! and Who Needs Feminism? This research not only documents the highs and lows of feminist activism, but brings to light the personal toll and affective weight of this labour.
Where: Anglia Ruskin University, Rm 251 Helmore
When: 5-7pm, 26 April 2017
Dr Mendes' talk will be followed by a wine reception. All welcome!