KCB201 Week 3 Slidecast: Convergence Culture


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Week 3 Slidecast for KCB201 Virtual Cultures in the Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology, semester 1/2008.

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KCB201 Week 3 Slidecast: Convergence Culture

  1. 1. Convergence Culture KCB201 Virtual Cultures Dr Axel Bruns [email_address]
  2. 2. <ul><li>Image from “ Bert Is Evil ” </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Image from Archive.org </li></ul>
  4. 4. Beyond Consumerism <ul><li>“ Bert Is Evil”: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>part of a DIY, participatory culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>supported by digital and new media technologies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>enables media consumers to become media producers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>repurposing, remixing, mashing up content (“Rip. Mix. Burn.”) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and to distribute their content on a world-wide scale </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>that content may be repurposed, remixed, redistributed again </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>media content (by producers or consumers) can become viral </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>consuming becomes a collective process (not individual) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(see Jenkins on Bert & Osama bin Laden images: pp. 1-2) </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Henry Jenkins: Convergence Culture <ul><li>Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide (2006): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>U.S.-centric perspective, but applies more broadly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>key concepts: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>media convergence </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>participatory culture </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>collective intelligence </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>media convergence: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ By convergence, I mean the flow of content across multiple media platforms, the cooperation between multiple media industries, and the migratory behavior of media audiences who will go almost anywhere in search of the kinds of entertainment experiences they want. Convergence is a word that manages to describe technological, industrial, cultural, and social changes depending on who's speaking and what they think they are talking about.” (pp. 2-3) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. “Bert Is Evil”: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sesame Street puppet workshop, image editing software, Web, placard printer, CNN cameras </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>TV production, DIY content creation, print production, journalistic coverage </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>syndicated network TV, online media, street demonstration, global television news channel </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(and now, academic books, Powerpoints, podcasts, Websites…) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Media Convergence <ul><li>Beyond technological determinism: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>depends on multiple factors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>especially on consumers becoming active participants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Convergence occurs within the brains of individual consumers and through their social interactions with others. Each of us constructs our own personal mythology from bits and fragments of information extracted from the media flow and transformed into resources through which we make sense of our everyday lives.” (p. 3-4) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Participatory culture: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>we , as media users, are driving convergence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>we draw the connections between the media we access </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>in turn, we make the results from those connections public again </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and the circle continues… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>this may contribute to the emergence of collective intelligence (Pierre L é vy) </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Whose Convergence? <ul><li>Contested term: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Jenkins’s media convergence as driven by participatory culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>media industry’s convergence as driven by technology, business </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>technological convergence as a ‘natural’ result of technological development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>convergence as economic policy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ithiel de Sola Pool via Jenkins (p. 10ff.): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>same content form delivered across multiple media networks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>multiple content forms delivered through same media network </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>i.e.: “medium” no longer equals “content” (obvious example: Internet) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>convergence is not inevitable! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>impact of industry structures, intellectual property legislation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Black Box Fallacy – do we want/need a universal media delivery system? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>media = technology + protocols of use (Lisa Gitelman in Jenkins p. 13ff.) </li></ul>
  8. 8. Convergence Culture <ul><li>Convergence as a kludge: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ a jerry-rigged relationship between different media technologies – rather than a fully integrated system. … How those various transitions will unfold will determine the balance of power in the next media era.” (p. 17) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>opportunities for DIY media forms to develop in the gaps </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>uncertainties about legality, sustainability, future developments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>both a top-down and a bottom-up process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>both conflict and collaboration between industry and DIYers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Convergence culture as participatory culture (pp. 18-19): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>active users, not passive consumers of media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>socially connected users, not isolated consumers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>noisy and public users, not silent and invisible consumers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>some industry strategies now address these changes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>but many users also still have to come to terms with these developments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>need for new participatory media skills, literacies, capacities on both sides </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. The Future? <ul><li>“ Welcome to convergence culture, where old and new media collide, where grassroots and corporate media intersect, where the power of the media producer and the power of the media consumer interact in unpredictable ways.” (p. 2) </li></ul>