Showing posts with label YouTube. Show all posts
Showing posts with label YouTube. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Talk at the International Film Festival Rotterdam on algorithms and media consumption


Studio Erasmus hosted an event at the International Film Festival in Rotterdam (IFFR) on how does Netflix affect our film tastes? Filip Vermeylen and I were interviewed about the impact of algorithms on popular culture and to what degree did we believe this new innovation was disruptive? Are platforms like YouTube and Netflix restructuring the film and television world? What does the disappearance of traditional 'gatekeepers' mean? And do we actually allow ourselves to be surprised in an age where our media use is analysed in so much detail to create new blockbusters?

This was really timely as I have been working on this for awhile now and especially with my new book, I argue that we need to start looking at the worlds majority of young people as legitimate consumers who happen to be outside the West and often in low-income settings. For too long we have had a condescending view that they are criminals and immortal as they consume pirated goods rather than delving into their taste, their desires and so on...check it out.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

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


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 study. The first type – art-oriented users – display extrinsic motivation towards art exploration and seek for videos with educational content. The second type and the most widespread on these spaces – entertainment-oriented users – are intrinsically motivated and concentrate on the entertaining content of museum videos. Users of the last type are averse to exploring art content online, unless they are defined as non-art related. Overall, this paper argues that as art becomes a cultural product to be consumed online, popular video portals such as YouTube serve as an important platform to facilitate this democratizing effect, with varied implications for the art world.

We should not be too quick to celebrate democratization though as quality comes to question and the age old issue of pandering to the popular taste lingers through this conversation. That said, this has most promise to engage the youth and folks in emerging economies who perceive museums as a predominantly white and elite institution that excludes rather than democratizes culture. For more details on this, click on the link here

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

EUR fellowship grant 2012-2014 for the research proposal, “Virtual parks: Conceptualizing leisure spaces in the digital age”

Dr. Payal Arora, a member of The Erasmus Centre of Media, Communication and Culture (ERMeCC) has received € 135,000 from the EUR fellowship grant scheme for 2012-2014 to study the conceptualizing of leisure spaces in the digital age. For the next two years, the recipient of this grant Dr Arora will be investigating how real and virtual leisure spaces can be comprehensively framed through a historical, transnational and cross-cultural lens. This project has also procured a book contract with the Studies in Science, Technology & Society Series of the Routledge/ Taylor & Francis Group. The forthcoming book will be published under the title, "Virtual and Real Leisure Spaces: A Comparative and Cross-Cultural Analysis." In essence, the early 20th century birthed a radical phenomenon across several cultures and nations- the demarcating of certain public space for primarily leisure purposes. From India to the United States, urban parks became a symbol of democracy, openness, and freedom as they emerged from a protracted struggle to shift from the hands of the State or imperial powers to that of the masses. There was much euphoria about their unregulated and public character, reflecting a new age of modernization and civilization. Yet, over time, it has been revealed how contentious the process of shaping, regulating, and sustaining of public parks can be as well as its pluralistic and transcultural nature. Interestingly, the 21st century is celebrating the birth of another leisure space that shares this rhetoric of being open, free, universal, non-utilitarian, and democratic: social network sites. As the Net shifted from the hands of the State to that of the user, its leisure spaces have been looked upon as sites where regardless of gender, age, and/or culture, people commune, browse aimlessly, socialize and share their views openly. Yet, two decades later, usage of these online spaces reveal its deeply political, commercial and socio-cultural character that opens debates of critical concern on what constitutes as openness, universality and democratic as governments and corporations are finding ways to architect and manage these virtual geographies and, users are harnessing these sites for a range of activities.
Thereby, this project draws parallels between urban parks and social network sites, and aims to highlight the historicity and plurality of public leisure spaces and provide a much needed rootedness in this highly speculative media discourse. While social network sites have a short history, the study of underlying structures, networks and its cultures have been of core preoccupation in the sociological and anthropological field for decades. Urban parks, be it the classic 19th century parks or more contemporary theme parks, corporate parks, walled and community gardens, and commercial parks serve as spatial metaphors to reveal different aspects of new media spaces. Metaphors have been used strategically in the social sciences and humanities to unpack complexity and normalize novelty by extending the meaning of content/context to which it is applied. Here, urban parks as a metaphor serve as a powerful tool to construct and comprehend virtual space by overlapping the physical onto these digital domains. This capitalizes on the now much accepted notion that the Net has spatial characteristics in common with real-world places and how we comprehend geographic space reveal insights and lines of enquiry into how we spatially comprehend Web 2.0 spaces.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The future of the past: Digital evidence or new media fabrications?

If only the dead could talk, they would tell us what really happened… and sometimes they do. Rodrigo Rosenberg, a lawyer in Guatemala was murdered on May 10th 2009 by an unknown gunman. However, he continues to talk through YouTube, channeling his blame towards President Alvara Colom and others for his death. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxZptUp9a44&feature=fvst

This digital expose of claimed corruption and conspiracy is becoming a common phenomenon. In India, the Tehelka news magazine revealed tapes implicating Gujarat minister Narendra Modi and other politicians for the mass killings of Muslims in the infamous Gujarat riots in 2002 through their taped confessionals.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0z114wnwXtQ

On a less grisly note, who could forget the Mexican Zapatista movement, an armed revolutionary group in Chiapas, Mexico that brought their movement into the international limelight through the strategic use of the Internet. Their desire for indigenous control of their local resources became an international topic of contention seemingly overnight.

Yet the proof is not necessarily in this digital pudding apparently…authenticity of these videos is being questioned and continues to be questioned by the accused. That’s not surprising really. Legally, digital evidence seems to have less impact that one might expect. We know that not all that goes into print is “truth” so why should digital media be any different? Yet it is…the feel of authenticity through allowing us to relive moments of the past, of allowing us to transport ourselves to the moment of confession, of recognizing the humble efforts of the “small” guys in this drama is no small feat. While the legal battle continues, the seeds of doubt have been planted. But is that enough really? How can new media become powerful tools of justice? What does it really take?