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Showing posts from 2014

New Paper out on 'YouTube as the art commons' in the Digital Culture & Education Journal

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I am so proud of my recently graduated master students Jessica Verboom and Daria Gladysheva for successfully working together on this paper and getting it published in the Digital Culture and Education Journal. So far, in the last 5 years, I have co-published 4 articles with my students and I hope many more to come. Its good to see their work reaching the public as we are mainly targeting open access journals for wider readership.

So this paper is about the phenomenon of museum communication through online video hostings, either by using YouTube or a customized platform. The videos uploaded by museums present a combination of educational and entertaining content depending on their objectives, attracting users to watch art content online. While the literature on uses and gratification is highly represented in media studies, few studies exist about the specific user motivations and gratifications of new media platforms in a museum context.Three types of users were identified in this st…

Digital Labor talk on the 'Googlization of Workspace' at New School

Fascinating conference with artists, activists, neo-marxists, anarchists and oh yes, academics congregating to pontificate, demonstrate, and debate the relation between labor and leisure, the neoliberal agenda of the so called sharing economies, pleasure and compensation and more. Definitely worth going next year! Here's a short video on my argument on what I coin as the Googlization of Workspace. 

Romance with "self-directed" and "autonomous" learning as a design gaming solution for universal education

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Educational gaming is becoming big business and definitely seen as a solution to the chronic issues of poor/ absentee teachers in schools in poor and disadvantaged contexts, particularly in the developing world. Sugata Mitra and his Hole-in-the-Wall project inspired the director of SlumDog Millionaire and resulted in him winning the TED prize for innovation

The Global XPrize for Education also holds a similar perspective of emphasizing how the youth need to be empowered by gaming with the assumption that they will teach themselves and don’t need to rely on others, especially bad teachers. But is there such a thing as 'self-directed' learning? Does this imply no intervention at all and that these gaming platforms fill the human gap? Do children make the best decisions for their own personal growth? When we talk about autonomous learning, are we talking about being independent of schooling as we know it? Are we saying its an institution that has failed our children and thereby…

Special Guest Editorial on 'ICTs for Leisure in Development' is out now!

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Nimmi Rangaswamy and I served as Guest editors for the Information Technologies and International Development Journal on the theme of 'ICTs for Leisure in Development.' This is a nice step towards our book  Poor@Play that is expected to come out with Harvard University Press in mid 2016.

So why this Special Issue? Well, contrary to the peripheral connotation of leisure, this Special Issue makes the case of it being central to technology adoption and use in the development context. In this issue, we put together various original research studies that reconceptualize ICT mobilization and serviceability to extend beyond a conservative understanding of developmental value. We strive to drive home the following points, namely:

•Leisure is a critical area of technology infusion that leads to discovery and magnification of digital literacies. Moreover, leisure offers an experimental space to informally diffuse learnings and impart social impacts that bind people and technologies.

•As …

New Podcast out on my book 'The Leisure Commons' by New Books in Technology

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New Book out! The Leisure Commons: A Spatial History of Web 2.0 (Routledge)

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My book, 'The Leisure Commons: A Spatial History of Web 2.0' has just been published by the Routledge Science, Technology & Society Series. 
About the book: There is much excitement about Web 2.0 as an unprecedented, novel, community-building space for experiencing, producing, and consuming leisure, particularly through social network sites. What is needed is a perspective that is invested in neither a utopian or dystopian posture but sees historical continuity to this cyberleisure geography. This book investigates the digital public sphere by drawing parallels to another leisure space that shares its rhetoric of being open, democratic, and free for all: the urban park. It makes the case that the history and politics of public parks as an urban commons provides fresh insight into contemporary debates on corporatization, democratization and privatization of the digital commons. This book takes the reader on a metaphorical journey through multiple forms of public parks such …

NIAS Grant -Exploring the Democratization and Globalization of the art world in the Digital Era

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My colleague Filip Vermeylen and I have been working for a number of years on the extent to which the internet serves as a game changer in the art world. We have already published quite a bit on this, including our article on 'the end of the art connoisseur?' and 'digital art markets.

It has been an exciting journey so far working with someone from a completely different discipline -cultural economics and art history. Perhaps because of this unusual mix of bringing Media Studies with Art Economics, we have had quite an adventure in our invited lectures, be it at 'Sotheby'sDuke's Visual Studies Initiative to the Swiss Institute for Art Research.

We keep hearing how academia pays only lip-service to interdisciplinary work, especially in grant acquisition. Yet, we persisted as we believe that it is essential if we are to find some original answers to these hyped and revolutionizing notions on how the art world is transforming with the onset of new media technol…

New publication out in the Space and Culture Journal on digital activism

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My publication in the Space and Culture journal is finally out!


This paper draws parallels between the use of public leisure spaces in the city such as parks and squares, and the use of certain forms of digital networks. Similarities between these two sorts of social contexts are worth considering, particularly their political dimension. This efforts ituates the current conversation about social media as sites of political mobilization into dialogue with the historical analysis of public parks as spaces that, in a similar fashion, were designed for leisure and consumption but was appropriated as sites of resistance. It brings together the literature on urban parks as centers of democracy and the literature on new media spaces as portals of cyber-protest, extending the spatial history of digital politics.

Video talk: Search across borders by Institute of Network Cultures: Society of the Query#2

I was invited to speak at the Society of the Query#2 on 'The making of art knowledge via Google Images in rural India'. It was one of the more exciting venues I have been to in 2013 and much credit goes to the Institute of Network Cultures -a vibrant space for innovation and learning in Amsterdam.