Digital Dances: Analysing Rhythmic Experience in Interaction Design

Wednesday April 22, 3.00pm – 4.30pm

MECO Seminar Room, S226, John Woolley Building A20, University of Sydney

RSVP via Eventbrite

There are rhythms of action and response to all human-computer interactions. As we click, swipe, tap and sway to their beats, these rhythms intersect with the rhythms of our everyday lives. Perhaps they synchronize, perhaps they disrupt each other or maybe they dance together. Whatever their impact, our experience of these rhythms will colour our experience of an interaction design. Developing an understanding of rhythmic experience within an interaction design, requires a focus on methods that foreground temporal relationships, rhythmic flow and rhythmic performance. These methods involve iterative cycles of first-person experience and third person observation. They also involve the production and analysis of representations of rhythm across multiple sensory domains. Like rhythm itself, the focus is on change and continuity, on the cyclic and the linear, and on the patterns of their movement across time.

Brigid Costello is a lecturer and researcher in media production at the School of the Arts and Media at UNSW, Sydney. She has published on playful interaction design, user experience, evaluation methods, and videogames. She also creates interactive artworks and designs. In her recent book Rhythm, Play and Interaction Design (Springer, 2018), she explores the rhythmic dimensions of interaction design, developing practical strategies for designing and analysing playful rhythmic experience.

Sharing News Online – affective capitalism and the motivation to share

Friday 13 March, 3.00pm – 4.30pm

Seminar followed by book launch

MECO Seminar Room, S226, John Woolley Building A20, University of Sydney

RSVP via Eventbrite

There is strong evidence that social media news sharing is influenced by people’s immediate feelings about an event or issue, their emotional investments in story sharing and their affective relations with their social networks.

However, it is also shaped by an industrial system of alerts, algorithms and analytics which gives visibility to content that is more likely to trigger strong participatory responses from media consumers. In this presentation, based on her new book with Associate Professor Tim Dwyer, Sharing News Online: Commendary Cultures & Social Media Ecologies, Dr Fiona Martin examines why the concept of affect is critical to understanding people’s everyday decisions to share information on social media platforms, and why Facebook’s ‘emotional contagion’ survey gives us only partial answers to how our feelings are ripe for manipulation online

Based on research conducted with Associate Professor Virginia Nightingale, she will investigate the cultural context and emotional triggers for news sharing, the news values that make stories shareworthy and the feelings that news evokes. In the talk, she’ll discuss the significant gender and age differences in the emotional states that prompt sharing behaviours, and trace clear affective trajectories in the types of stories shared and the intentions for exchanging them. Sharing News Online was the outcome of an ARC Linkage project (LP140100148) with Share Wars & Nine News.

Fiona Martin is senior lecturer in Online and Convergent Media, in the Dept. Media & Communications, at the University of Sydney. Her current ARC Discovery project is Platform Governance: Rethinking Internet Regulation as Media Policy (DP190100222), with Terry Flew, Nic Suzor, Tim Dwyer, Phil Napoli & Josef Trappel.

Tim Dwyer is Associate Professor in the Dept. Media & Communications, at the University of Sydney. He is author of Convergent Media and Privacy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) and a member of the Platform Governance team.

Virginia Nightingale was formerly Associate Professor in Media and Communication, University of Western Sydney. She retired in 2010, but came out of retirement to work on the Sharing News Online study.

Media@Sydney Seminar Series 2020, Semester 1

** Due to COVID-19 precautionary measures, we will not be hosting Media@Sydney Seminars until August. We thank you for your support and understanding and we hope to recommence later in the year. **

We are very pleased to announce our Semester 1 schedule for the 2020 Media@Sydney series. Events are usually held on Thursdays or Fridays in the John Woolley Building (A20) at the University of Sydney and are usually followed by light refreshments.

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Friday March 13: Sharing News Online: Affective Capitalism and the Motivation to Share – Fiona Martin, Tim Dwyer and Virginia Nightingale, University of Sydney

3.00pm – 4.30pm, MECO Seminar Room, S226, John Woolley Building A20, University of Sydney

Seminar followed by book launch

Wednesday April 22: Digital Dances: Analysing Rhythmic Experience in Interaction Design – Brigid Costello (UNSW) 

3.00pm – 4.30pm, MECO Seminar Room, S226, John Woolley Building A20, University of Sydney

Thursday April 30: Marie Palmer (UTS) 

3.00pm – 4.30pm, Woolley Common Room, N480, John Woolley Building A20, University of Sydney

Tuesday May 19: Internet Freedom and Human Rights. European Policy Perspectives – Josef Trappel, University of Salzburg

3.00pm – 4.30pm, MECO Seminar Room, S226, John Woolley Building A20, University of Sydney

Wednesday May 20: On the Grand Narrative of Media and Mass Communication Research – Mark Deuze (University of Amsterdam)

3.00pm – 4.30pm, MECO Seminar Room, S226, John Woolley Building A20, University of Sydney

Wednesday May 27: ICA Pre-conference event: Digital Inequalities and Emerging Technologies

Co-hosted by ICA Divisions: Activism, Communication and Social Justice Interest Group; Communication and Technology Division

9.00am – 4.30pm, MECO Seminar Room, S226, John Woolley Building A20, University of Sydney

Thursday May 28: Andrea Guzman, Northern Illinois University 

3.00pm – 4.30pm, MECO Seminar Room, S226, John Woolley Building A20, University of Sydney

Friday May 29: Infrastructure, Technologies and Values in the “Digital Silk Road” – Elisa Oreglia, Kings College London 

3.00pm – 4.30pm, MECO Seminar Room, S226, John Woolley Building A20, University of Sydney

Psychodata: Disassembling social-emotional learning, edutech and policy

Ben Williamson, University of Edinburgh

Thursday, November 6, 4pm – 5.30pm

Room 351, Education Building, University of Sydney

RSVP via Eventbrite

An event cosponsored by the SSESW Education Policy Research Network and the Socio-Tech Futures (STuF) Lab.

Psychology and economics are powerful sources of contemporary governance, and are increasingly influential in education policy and practice. In this context, social and emotional learning (SEL) is becoming an educational priority in many parts of the world. Based on the measurement and assessment of students’ ‘noncognitive’ skills, SEL consists of a ‘psycho-economic’ combination of psychometrics with economic analysis, and is producing novel forms of statistical ‘psychodata’ about students. This presentation examines how psychological and economics experts are producing policy-relevant scientific knowledge and statistical psychodata to influence the direction of SEL policies, by following the development of SEL as it has travelled transnationally through the advocacy of psychologists, economists, and behavioural scientists, with support from think tank coalitions, philanthropies, edtech companies (e.g. ClassDojo), investment schemes, and international organizations (e.g. OECD). These emerging efforts to measure SEL instantiate ‘psycho-econometric governance’ within education, part of a political rationality in which society is measured effectively through scientific fact-finding and subjects are managed affectively through psychological intervention.

Ben Williamson is a Chancellor’s Fellow in the Centre for Research in Digital Education and the Edinburgh Futures Institute at the University of Edinburgh. He maintains the research blog Code Acts in Education, tweets @BenPatrickWill, and wrote Big Data in Education: The digital future of learning, policy and practice (Sage, 2017). 

Digital Intermediation: Towards transparent public automated media – Jonathon Hutchinson

‘Algorithm’ Image courtesy of Dimitris Ladopoulos 

Friday 8 November, 3.00pm – 4.30pm

MECO Seminar Room, S226, John Woolley Building A20, University of Sydney

RSVP via Eventbrite

The contemporary media ecosystem operates on digital intermediation: it is one that consists of the cultural, economic and expertise capital exchange of cultural intermediation that would otherwise be associated with traditional media, combined with social influencers and large-scale automation. That is, contemporary media is most successful in reaching its desired audience when it engages in digital intermediation that utilises the content production expertise of social influencers who engage the affordances of algorithmic calculations of social media platforms. Youtubers and Instagrammers, for example Zoella, DanTDM, Gigi Hadid or PewDiePie, have all expertly designed their content production around platform characteristics that expose their creative expertise to a large specialist and engaged audience. Bärtl (2018) notes that 85% of all consumed YouTube content is produced by 3% of the top channels, suggesting there is an increasing homogenisation of content diversity across these platforms. It is in this environment where single media producers experience high exposure and impact for their content, while public interest media are struggling to remain relevant. How then, might our public institutions engage digital intermediation to increase the exposure of public interest media?

This presentation will first highlight how successful YouTube and Instagram social influencers operate by defining the function of the Digital First Personality. It will then unpack how automation operates, namely recommender systems, on digital platforms by focussing on the YouTube algorithm through what I argue as digital intermediation. Third it will look at the current state of public institutions engaging digital first personalities and digital intermediation by focussing on the German case study of Funk. Finally this presentation will provide a number of recommendations on how our public institutions can and should be adopting strategies to remain relevant in the contemporary media ecosystem.

Dr Jonathon Hutchinson is a lecturer in Online Communication and Media at the University of Sydney. He is currently a Visiting Research Fellow on the Algorithmed Public Sphere project at the Hans Bredow Institute, Hamburg Germany. His research explores Public Service Media, cultural intermediation, everyday social media, automated media, and algorithms in media. He is the NSW Representative on the Executive Committee for the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association (ANZCA), the Secretary for the International Public Service Media Association, RIPE, and is the current Program Chair for the Association of Internet Research (AoIR). Hutchinson is an award-winning author and his latest book is Cultural Intermediaries: Audience Participation and Media Organisations (2017), published through Palgrave Macmillan.