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with Gaynor Bagnall, Garry Crawford and Victoria Gosling, University of Salford, UK. 
! 
A Case Study of the Potentials an...
The Participatory Turn 
❖ 
The pre-Web2.0 Internet is often characterised as ‘read’ with 
the rise of Web 2.0 heralding ‘w...
Histories of Engagement with Arts and Culture 
❖ Literature on cultural omnivorousness (e.g., Peterson and Kern 1996) sugg...
On Publics and Networked Publics 
❖ Publics have many conceptions, 
purposes and uses.! 
❖ centring on common 
understandi...
On Publics and Networked Publics 
❖ Johnson (1997) Characteristics of Communications in Computer Based Networks! 
❖ in rep...
Disconnective Practice (Light 2014; Light and Cassidy 2014) 
❖ Geographies of Disconnection! 
❖ Disconnectors ! 
❖ Disconn...
Sociology of Translation - Callon 
❖ Problematisation – the rendering of a situation as a problem that involves 
the inter...
Methodology 
❖ App analysis - e.g. (Light and McGrath 2008)! 
❖ 7 Focus Groups with 18-25 year olds (81 Participants)! 
❖ ...
Making the App
Making the App 
The overall aim for the [new] 
student scheme is to remove some 
of the barriers to attendance for 
studen...
Encouraging Engagement with Digital Networks? 
❖ What I’m most excited about is that 
because the app will be the link to ...
Barriers to Digital Engagement? 
If I’m honest I think your target audience is more going to be 
people…young people who a...
Engaging with Classical Music 
FG4P1: It’s [pop music] the most inane 
bullshit [laughter]. If you want someone 
telling y...
Engaging with Classical Music 
Yeah, ‘cos you can’t sort of explain a 
symphony movement in a two minute 
sound bite…! 
I ...
Supporting Engagement in Venue 
because tonight I was seated behind this young couple 
and at the beginning of the concert...
Supporting Engagement in Venue 
FG4P1: You only make the mistake of clapping when you shouldn’t once 
[laughter].! 
FG4P2:...
Conclusions 
❖ Apps may provide a useful mechanism 
for selling discounted tickets, but 
shows little indication of being ...
References 
❖ This presentation is based on the following outputs:! 
❖ Crawford, G., Gosling, V., Bagnall, G., & Light, B....
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Presentation on digital media and classical music audiences

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Qut cyrc lso

  1. 1. with Gaynor Bagnall, Garry Crawford and Victoria Gosling, University of Salford, UK. ! A Case Study of the Potentials and Limitations of the Participatory Turn: Young People and Classical Music Audience Engagement Ben Light! Creative Industries Faculty! @doggyb
  2. 2. The Participatory Turn ❖ The pre-Web2.0 Internet is often characterised as ‘read’ with the rise of Web 2.0 heralding ‘write and contribute’ (Beer and Burrows 2007). “the essential difference between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 is that content creators were few in Web 1.0 with the vast majority of users simply acting as consumers of content, while any participant can be a content creator in Web 2.0 and numerous technological aids have been created to maximize the potential for content creation. The democratic nature of Web 2.0 is exemplified by creations of large number of niche groups (collections of friends) who can exchange content of any kind (text, audio, video) and tag, comment, and link to both intra– group and extra–group “pages.” (Cormode and Krishnamurphy,2008)
  3. 3. Histories of Engagement with Arts and Culture ❖ Literature on cultural omnivorousness (e.g., Peterson and Kern 1996) suggests that we have, over recent years, seen a softening of class-based taste distinctions. ! ❖ Research data suggests that some traditionally ‘popular’ (‘lowbrow’ and ‘middlebrow’), pastimes have seen an increase in popularity with middle and upper-class consumers (for example, football in the UK, see King 1995), there is less evidence of those lower down the social hierarchy adopting interests in, traditionally deemed, ‘high brow’ culture. ! ❖ Critics have derided what they regard as increasingly media and spectacle–dominated exhibitions in twenty–first century museums, with their adoption of digital technologies, conspicuous consumption and an emphasis on novelty (Message, 2006). ! ❖ Huyssen has pointed out, ‘entertainment and spectacle can function in tandem with complex forms of enlightenment’ (1995:32)! ❖ It has been argued that museums are increasingly popular due to the materiality of the objects not available to the consumer of television (Bagnall & Rowland, 2010)! ❖ MacCleod (2005) attention to the role that visitors play in the process of producing and re- producing museum content and space.! ❖ Kidd (2011) has argued the authority of museum professionals can be called into question by museum audiences following the introduction of social media applications. ! ❖ Classical music audiences as ageing and middle class (
  4. 4. On Publics and Networked Publics ❖ Publics have many conceptions, purposes and uses.! ❖ centring on common understandings of a particular space (Livingstone 2005); ! ❖ deliberative spaces (Habermas 1991); ! ❖ sites of domination, exclusion and regulation that can produce subaltern counterpublics (Fraser 1990).
  5. 5. On Publics and Networked Publics ❖ Johnson (1997) Characteristics of Communications in Computer Based Networks! ❖ in reproducibility – information can easily be reproduced with digital media - information can be recorded, it can observed and it is persistent;! ❖ scope – electronic networks (such as chat rooms) can offer greater reach in terms of information sharing in contrast to physical networks (such as meeting in a coffee shop); ! ❖ and anonymity – individuals can communicate with digital media by using pseudonyms.! ❖ boyd (2008) Networked Publics! ❖ replicability - expressions can be copied from one place to another verbatim; ! ❖ persistence - communications are recorded for posterity; ! ❖ invisible audiences – it can not be fully known who may engage with content in such arenas; ! ❖ and searchability – information can be easier to find due to indexing and search facilities.
  6. 6. Disconnective Practice (Light 2014; Light and Cassidy 2014) ❖ Geographies of Disconnection! ❖ Disconnectors ! ❖ Disconnection Modes! ❖ Ethics of Disconnection! ❖ Disconnective Power! ❖ Strategies - Prevention of Connection! ❖ Strategies - Suspension of Connection
  7. 7. Sociology of Translation - Callon ❖ Problematisation – the rendering of a situation as a problem that involves the interdefinition of actors in such as way that one actor becomes indespensible – an obligatory passage point.! ❖ Interessement – the actions by which something or someone attempts to stablise the definition of other actors in relation to problematisation. Attempting to you identify with the role I have set out for you in relation to my problem.! ❖ Enrolment – the process of negotiation that seeks to have actors persuaded to act out the role that is being set for them in relation to the problem.! ❖ Mobilisation – whereby actors are moved to speak on behalf of the problem.
  8. 8. Methodology ❖ App analysis - e.g. (Light and McGrath 2008)! ❖ 7 Focus Groups with 18-25 year olds (81 Participants)! ❖ 68 pre-focus group questionnaires! ❖ 3 Interviews (App developer and LSO Staff)! ❖ Attendance at LSO concerts
  9. 9. Making the App
  10. 10. Making the App The overall aim for the [new] student scheme is to remove some of the barriers to attendance for students by discounting tickets, incentivizing coming as a group of friends and increasing repeat attendance through a structured loyalty scheme… The app is aimed at university and college students aged 18 plus, to roughly 25, although we have no upper age limit, based in and around London.
  11. 11. Encouraging Engagement with Digital Networks? ❖ What I’m most excited about is that because the app will be the link to Facebook and Twitter and you can send out information by email straight away from the app so the close connection with social networks could be a huge potential. Marketing Manager! ❖ But I think the more options you have on the app the more liable it is to break down and just not work anymore. I’d rather have something that’s minimally functional, reliable than something that has tons of options… Focus Group Member
  12. 12. Barriers to Digital Engagement? If I’m honest I think your target audience is more going to be people…young people who are already interested in music I don’t think you have much chance of um’… interesting people um’ into coming to concerts who aren’t already interested in music, because I think that interest comes from a much younger age.! I'm an American and in the sixth grade we're all required to pick a musical instrument and participate in concert band and we played a lot of classical music there. I did that until last year.! Basically my parents dragged me to opera until I started to like it.
  13. 13. Engaging with Classical Music FG4P1: It’s [pop music] the most inane bullshit [laughter]. If you want someone telling you the most ridiculous things that just passes across the stream of consciousness then listen to main stream music, I really fail to see the intellectual insight that music offers, but...! FG4P3: It’s good for clubbing.! FG4P1: It’s not an intellectual type of thing. ! FG4P3: It’s got a time and a place.! FG4P1: A pretty limited one at that.!
  14. 14. Engaging with Classical Music Yeah, ‘cos you can’t sort of explain a symphony movement in a two minute sound bite…! I think also with classical music you need some kind of...you need to kind of invest intellectually, it’s not pop.! I suppose that’s a big difference compared with pop or other types of music, in that you actually need to be able to concentrate for an extended period of time, whereas I think that emphasis is completely missing in other genres.!
  15. 15. Supporting Engagement in Venue because tonight I was seated behind this young couple and at the beginning of the concert they were very lovey-dovey, and I was also right next to...this...older lady, who obviously attends classical...I mean she was dressed to the nines and everything, and when they were doing that [being ‘lovey- dovey’] within like, the first three minutes, she like tapped the girl's shoulder and she was like ‘no’ [laughter].!
  16. 16. Supporting Engagement in Venue FG4P1: You only make the mistake of clapping when you shouldn’t once [laughter].! FG4P2: And we’ve all done it as well.! FG4P3: Mine was three concerts ago, three concerts ago was my first classical concert so.! FG4P1: The experience of being the one person clapping when there’s 800 other people not clapping.! and…! I really don’t think we should be encouraging people to mess about with their phones in concerts… please…!
  17. 17. Conclusions ❖ Apps may provide a useful mechanism for selling discounted tickets, but shows little indication of being a useful means of expanding this audience beyond its traditional demographic.! ❖ Limits of the digital to translate arrangements! ❖ Networked publics as political and exclusionary and as reinforcing structural arrangements through inaction! ❖ Culture as simultaneously enabling disconnection and connection with the digital
  18. 18. References ❖ This presentation is based on the following outputs:! ❖ Crawford, G., Gosling, V., Bagnall, G., & Light, B. (2014). An orchestral audience: Classical music and continued patterns of distinction. Cultural Sociology, Online First, 1-18. doi: 10.1177/1749975514541862! ❖ Crawford, G., Gosling, V., Bagnall, G., & Light, B. (2014). Is there an app for that? A case study of the potentials and limitations of the participatory turn and networked nublics for classical music audience engagement. Information, Communication and Society, Online First, 1-14. doi: 10.1080/1369118X.2013.877953 http://eprints.qut.edu.au/68422! ❖ Crawford, G., Gosling, V., Bagnall, G., & Light, B. (2013). Pulse: The London Symphony Orchestra Students Mobile Project. AHRC, Arts Council and NESTA, UK. http://eprints.qut.edu.au/63460! ❖ Light, B. (2014) Disconnecting with Social Networking Sites, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke. http://bit.ly/1rhVXsJ! ❖ Light, B., & Cassidy, E. (2014). Strategies for the suspension and prevention of connection: Rendering disconnection as socioeconomic lubricant with Facebook. New Media and Society, Online First, 1-16. doi:10.1177/1461444814544002

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