<videovortex> Internet Attractions: online video and user-generated ephemera

Seth Keen sethkeen at internode.on.net
Thu Nov 27 00:44:12 CET 2008

> Internet Attractions: online video and user-generated ephemera
> AHRC workshop on ephemeral media, University of Nottingham, 23-24  
> June 2009
> http://www.ephemeralmedia.co.uk/
> key speakers: Professor Nick Couldry (Goldsmiths), Professor Barbara
> Klinger (Indiana), Hugh Hancock (Strange Company), Emily Renshaw-Smith
> (Current TV - to be confirmed)
> The emergence of new media technologies in the 1990s and 2000s,
> specifically the rise of digital and Internet technology, has been
> linked to fundamental changes in the media environment, shaping newly
> emerging circuits of production and consumption and propagating a
> cultural landscape where media seem available everywhere and all the
> time. This AHRC-sponsored workshop examines a particular feature of
> our accelerated media world - the growth of the brief or 'ephemeral'
> texts that exist beyond and between the films, television programmes,
> and radio broadcasts more commonly isolated for analysis.
> What does ephemeral mean? In the context of the workshop it connotes
> short-form media (i.e. texts that are no more than a few minutes long)
> but also media which are fleeting in the way they circulate, or that
> are often overlooked within mainstream academic study. 'Ephemeral
> media' offers a rubric to designate and explore some of the key
> strategies, forms and practices that are helping producers and publics
> alike to negotiate today's fast-changing mediascape. More generally,
> it invites historical and theoretical reflection on the significance
> of screen ephemera - on those forms of screen culture that, whilst
> momentary, remain active components of media experience.
> The first workshop in the series focuses on user-generated ephemera,
> in particular the proliferation of online video. The emerging digital
> media environment has created new opportunities for user-generated
> content to achieve broad distribution and so create a public of users.
> This has been typified, and enabled, by recent phenomena such as
> YouTube. The fleeting and competing nature of user-generated content
> has placed particular emphasis on the role of media performance - what
> can be understood broadly as a display of communicative competence for
> assessment by an audience. The workshop will examine the status and
> significance of user-generated ephemera (in particular online video)
> and the kinds of performance inscribed herein.
> Questions under discussion might include: How is performance framed in
> user-generated ephemera? How is user-generated ephemera assessed and
> discussed by audiences? How does the temporality of circulation on the
> Internet shape the kind of publics that are convened around
> user-generated ephemera? How do ephemeral media performances represent
> national, regional, ethnic identity? How are questions of authorship
> understood in forms that frequently involve the reworking of existing
> material? What role do "gatekeepers" play in filtering the
> user-generated performances that are distributed to online audiences?
> The workshop is interested in, but not limited to, the following media
> forms and issues:
> Production and genre – creative amateur practices, technologies,
> genres involved in making online video; the relation between amateur
> and professional media production
> Performance and address – styles of online acting, dance, musical
> performance; projections of gesture and voice within online video and
> other user-generated ephemera (e.g. webcams, online pornography,
> blogging)
> Sensory communication – the use of sound and image: audiovisual
> methods and strategies
> media environments - the relation of user-generated ephemera to
> continuities/changes in the media landscape; historical precursors to
> online video and user-generated ephemera
> Audiences – online communities and the construction of user
> hierarchies; questions of authorship and negotiation in "bottom up"
> forms of ephemeral media; dynamics of cultural borrowing and
> authorship in online remakes, mashups, and machinima
> Distribution and Intellectual Property - the role of gate keepers and
> cultural intermediaries; questions of censorship, policy and
> legislation relating to ephemeral media production, distribution and
> consumption
> critical methodologies – the means and possibilities of studying
> user-generated ephemera
> The ephemeral media workshop is part of the AHRC's 'Beyond Text'
> research programme and is designed to facilitate discussion in a small
> group environment. It can provide travel (up to £100), accommodation,
> and subsistence costs to all accepted participants. To apply for the
> workshop, please send a 250 word paper proposal and a short biography
> highlighting relevant research interests or publications to
> generalenquiries at ephemeralmedia.co.uk by 10th December 2008.
> This message has been checked for viruses but the contents of an
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> communications with the University of Nottingham may be monitored as
> permitted by UK legislation.
> -- 
> Nate Tkacz
> School of Culture and Communication
> University of Melbourne
> Contact:
> nathanieltkacz at gmail.com

Seth Keen
seth.keen at rmit.edu.au

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