Digital Ethnography Research Centre

Im September/Oktober ist Tristan Thielmann Fellow des Digital Ethnography Research Centre des Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Unter anderen fanden in diesem Kontext folgende Veranstaltungen statt:

Operative Images: The Pasts and Futures of Locative Media


Date: September 30th, 2:30pm – 4:00pm
Venue: Pavilion 1, Level 10, Building 100 (Design Hub) 3065

Although augmented reality navigation using smart phones or smart glasses appear at first glance to be something completely new, they are in fact based on a very old cultural technique. Virtual travel through pre-recorded spaces can look back at least to the year 1905, when the first attempt at capturing residential streets of select routes in photographs took place. The idea was to make them available as ‘photo-auto guides’, with superimposed textual and pictographic route instructions. Moreover, these guides were designed as ‘ social media’, with empty lines under each photograph allowing the preservation of photo-related memories. The navigation instructions were layered within a series of photographs, as if arrows had been drawn in the dust of the streets.
The object of this lecture is photography that is turned into layered operative imagery through inscriptions. These ‘graven images’ are operative in two ways: On the one hand, the presented photographs have been subjected to operative changes through embedding information in their surface; on the other hand, these photographs have been taken and compiled in such a way that they are part of an operative practice: the practice of autonavigation.

Mobile Media: Methodological Considerations and Explorations

Mobile media has changed the way we work and live imperceptibly, but at the same time fundamentally, and present media studies with new challenges. Research in mobile media studies requires inventive methods and practice theories as more and more epistemic, social and material things become networked and smart, as infrastructures are rendered visible, and as digital technologies increasingly become assistive, wearable and context-aware. This master class will unleash the potential for exchanges between media studies, social theory, science and technology studies, and research in mobile human-computer interaction. An interesting concept introduced within this context by some large scale studies on mobile application usage is application chains, where users switch from one application to another in a chain of activity. These “application chains” are essential for our understanding of the streamlined, linear experience of mobile web users today, as the mobile screen experience of smartphones and handhelds is designed to follow a series of visual patterns. In this master class, we will investigate to what extent browsing patterns, such as the launching of applications, the swiping of lists, the logging in and signing up via Facebook, the rotating of content, the searching for locations, and the target-orientated watching through a camera lens, are adapted from older cultural techniques, as proposed by mobile app developers. By this means, we will discuss several kinds of important historical milestones in the development of mobile media technologies in order to pave the way for a better understanding of alleged new media. To this end, the master class will explore how methods of digital ethnography, material socio-technical analysis, and software studies can be used to gain a profound understanding of contemporary media practices.