The promise and problematic of pervasive media - MeCCSA 2011
Thursday, January 13, 2011 - 16:00
The Lowry, Salford Quays
There is an ongoing struggle to describe and explain the growing mobility and spread of media technologies and their associated practices in contemporary ('developed') society. This is not necessarily a novel situation, various formulations of the ubiquity of media have been articulated in the last century of technology development. What is, perhaps, new is the speed of development and the sheer volume of applications, devices and systems for the delivery and engagement with media. The purpose of this panel is, therefore, to present a particular means of articulating these developments in the emerging discourse of 'pervasive media'. Based on an ongoing situated engagement with and within the Pervasive Media Studio, this panel presents various elements of a methodology for addressing, describing and designing for emerging media technologies. This work emerges from a knowledge transfer partnership between the Pervasive Media Studio and the Digital Cultures Research Centre. Across the three papers, this panel offers conceptual techniques, descriptive vocabularies and pragmatic design tools for addressing what we have come to call 'pervasive media'.
Developing a shared language for Pervasive Media - Constance Fleuriot
Languages and vocabularies emerge from and situate fields of research and development, binding together communities of practice. This paper concerns the development of a shared vocabulary for ‘Pervasive Media’ that has formed a central question in an ongoing Knowledge Transfer Fellowship (KTF). The KTF at the DCRC was set up in response to a perceived need to research new models of value creation in digital media businesses. As collaborative partners in the Pervasive Media Studio in Bristol we have access to creative businesses working in this evolving field, building trusted relationships and projects that open out the accumulated experience of pervasive media practitioners. The quid-pro-quo for practitioners is that the research programme gives them time to reflect on their own practice, methods and ‘audience’ response to their work, as well as identify how business models for pervasive media might develop in current and future markets. This paper addresses three key parts of the KTF working model. First, the workshop model employed for the KTF project involves academics and developers meeting to experience and discuss applications, allowing reflection, definition and exploration of terms. Second, joint exploration with studio residents and their wider network has generated useful descriptive language for pervasive media and a shared understanding of values ascribed to pervasive media. Finally, this language, based on observation and analysis of existing production practices, will support the development of the sector by enabling its articulation to general publics, clients, commissioning bodies, and developer/design communities.
Futures of Pervasive Media in the making - Sam Kinsley
The development of media technologies is underpinned by a perpetual appeal to the future. This paper argues that the proactive thinking of futurity is a crucial analytical frame for understanding technology that comes to an influential fruition in the development of ‘pervasive media’. Futures are apparently made present through reference to a variety of pragmatic and imaginative framings. Building on recent, and ongoing, work with the Pervasive Media Studio in Bristol, this paper offers some conceptual tools for analyzing and describing the range of emergent media technologies that have come to be called ‘pervasive media’. The discussion proceeds in three parts: In the first part of this paper I chart the network of constituent actors that make up our understanding of ‘pervasive media’. Second, I discuss the twin concepts of ‘assemblage’ and ‘event’ as a means for describing complex socio-technical fields of study, such as Pervasive Media. Building on this, and third, I theorise a discourse of anticipation as a means of unpicking how the idea of the future is used as a means of naming and making claims about media technologies.
Value Systems in emergent Pervasive Media - Jonathan Dovey
As media systems become integrated with wireless and sensor triggered delivery they start to become constitutive of urban space. The ‘Pervasive Media’ slogan promises the ‘right media in the right place at the right time’ delivered to phone screens, headphones, projections large and small in a burgeoning variety of interactive genres. For CBS advertising they are simply ‘outdoor media’, an extension of billboards offering the potential to intensify advertising’s command of our engagement in the terminal competition of the digital attention economy. What other models of value network could Pervasive Media support? This paper is based on work undertaken in a Knowledge Transfer Fellowship based at the Pervasive Media Studio in Bristol in which we have been working with digital start-ups to analyse the ways in which value, economies and media ecosystems interact. Using a number of recent examples of Pervasive Media practice the presentation will offer an analysis of the value produced by the media ecosystems which they inhabit and co create.