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Co-creation and Participation as a Means of Innovation in New Media: An Analysis of Creativity in the Photographic Field

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This presentation endeavours to shed some light on the notion of co-creation in the global context of new media user participation and its relationship with innovation. A non-directed case study focused on digital photography is presented, enabling an analysis of co-creation through the lens of the theories of creativity. Consequently, through connecting creativity with this fieldwork, the authors (Gemma San Cornelio and Edgar Gómez Cruz) suggest that the transformation of a cultural field by means of co-creation can lead to innovations that affect the entire field.

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Co-creation and Participation as a Means of Innovation in New Media: An Analysis of Creativity in the Photographic Field

  1. 1. Co-creation and Participation as a Means of Innovation in New Media: An Analysis of Creativity in the Photographic Field 1 Co-creation and participation as a means of innovation in new media Gemma San Cornelio (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya), Edgar Gómez Cruz (University of Leeds) http://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/view/1902/1046 International Journal of Communication (8) 2014
  2. 2. 1. Context and origin of the paper 2. Theoretical ‘encounters’ • Co-creation • Csikszentmihalyi meets Bourdieu 3. Fieldwork findings • Changes and innovations in the photographic field 4. Conclusions Schedule 2 Co-creation and participation as a means of innovation in new media
  3. 3. 1. Context and origin of the paper 1) Theorizing the notion of co-creation in the field of new media (project CREATIVE on Creative Practices and pariticipation in new media) 2) Taking a case study on a collective of photographers in this context (PhD project) 3) Analysing innovation, through the lens of the theories of creativity 3 Co-creation and participation as a means of innovation in new media
  4. 4. 4 Co-creation •“The phenomenon of consumers that are increasingly participative in the process of making and circulating media content and experiences” (Banks & Deuze, 2009). • Relevance of users contribution to media. ‘non trivial component’ of media developed by consumers. • Oriented to innovation, ‘co-evolutionary model’ (Banks and Potts, 2010) • ‘situated creativity’ (Potts and Cunningham, 2008), “Degrees of participation” (Bauwens, 2009, Carpentier, 2008). “Relating (implicitly or explicitly) industries with external agents that include audiences, fans, amateurs, or independent artists” (San Cornelio et al, 2013, 2014) • Industry-oriented initiatives versus ‘emergent’ or ‘non directive’ initiatives. • Photography communities could be a non directive approach to co-creation. Which is the role of industries in social network sites? 2. Theoretical “encounters” Co-creation and participation as a means of innovation in new media
  5. 5. 5 Csikszentmihalyi meets Bourdieu • Analyse co-creation as ‘creativity’, not only as a collective phenomenon. •Theories of creativity: Boden, Marina and Csikszentmihalyi (non individual attribute) • Cultural Theory: Bourdieu. The notion of field (photography) “as a setting in which agents and their social positions are located. The position of each particular agent in the field is a result of the interaction between the specific rules of the field, the agent’s habitus, and the agent’s capital (social, economic, and cultural)” (Bourdieu, 1984, 1996). (interactions between professionals or not, etc.) Csikszentmihalyi (1996) describes creativity as “the result of the interaction of a system composed of three subsystems that are necessary so that an idea, product, or creative discovery can take place. For him, creativity is the result of the interaction between the domain, the field, and the person. (implicitly collective)” 2. Theoretical “encounters” Co-creation and participation as a means of innovation in new media
  6. 6. 6 Csikszentmihalyi meets Bourdieu • There are some connections between the notion of field and the notion of ‘domain’ • Connection of creativity with innovation: You need to know the rules of a domain in order to innovate. • For Csikszentmihalyi the more structured is a domain the more difficult to introduce innovations. • The role of the ‘field’ (gatekeepers) is fundamental. • Let’s see what happens in the photographic field… (domain) 2. Theoretical “encounters” Co-creation and participation as a means of innovation in new media
  7. 7. 7 Changes and innovations in the photographic field •Co-creation could be regarded as a set of non-directed creative practices, produced collectively,fostering alternative circuits of interchange (symbols, knowledge, tools) and eventually introducing innovation and changes within a field. •Are due to: the emergence of new actors that possess different capitals and meanings; change in tools and devices needed to produce images; new actors that had no previous participation in the field gained presence and capital. •Practitioners of photography could transform, with their practices, some of the formal and stable arrangements within the field, and these subtle changes are capable of transforming the entire field. Innovation and creativity could be seen not only as the result of the direct collaboration between industries and users but as an output of different changes and struggles within the field. 3. Fieldwork findings Co-creation and participation as a means of innovation in new media
  8. 8. 8 Changes and innovations in the photographic field • Professionals versus amateurs. Blurring the limits. • Emergence of new markets (semi-professional). • Learning communities • New actors (technological companies, stick memories, print services) enter the field • New circuits for sharing and exhibiting photos (Flickr, Instagram), new objects (the banal, everyday life), and new photographic identities (Iphoneographer, artist). Gatekeepers failed to recognize the importance of the changes that were taking place; Kodak. They did not produced digital cameras until much later. Instead, they focused on digitization services and sharing platforms that never took off. The role of gatekeepers is not only to verify creativity as experts but also to identify potential or actual innovations in their respective fields. This way, the failing of Kodak is related to the fact of not recognizing the intimate relation of other actors interacting with digital photography, (for instance flikr) 3. Fieldwork findings Co-creation and participation as a means of innovation in new media
  9. 9. 9 • Innovation can have a larger scope if we introduce a systemic look, which is suggested by the notion of field. • Co-creation and the transformations of different fields can be regarded through the lens of creativity theories in order to identify the key elements that come into play in a creative process that could result in innovation. • Industries (but maybe not the original actors in the field) have collateral benefits of these transformations. • Co-creation practices would be an exponent of creativity in new media and a challenge in terms of introducing different ways of thinking and analyzing creative practices. • Introducing creativity theories involves a change in the current discourses on co- creation regarding both the theoretical framework and the focus of the research, thus displacing the focus from the creative subjects and the resulting objects to the processes and the creative practices. 4 . Conclusions Co-creation and participation as a means of innovation in new media

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