Between 2010 and 2012 Professor Jonathan Dovey received AHRC funding as a Knowledge Transfer Fellow with the Pervasive Media Studio. Constance Fleuriot was appointed to the post of Research Associate working on the Fellowship. The Fellowship brought academic research methods to the Studio network in order to build a long term, cumulative and sustainable knowledge base into its work. This research makes a number of focussed interventions by using existing academic research to address two key research questions. The Fellowship asked two questions:
First: What are Pervasive Media?
As the rhetoric of new technologies promise us ever more connected worlds, an ‘internet of things’, the established channels of media production, dissemination and reception promise to be radically reformulated. These claims need critical attention; the method here will be to look at a number of case studies in self defined Pervasive Media applications to establish what the common core of practices, aesthetics and experiences is. This work is intended to support producers and creatives define their work for new markets.
Second: What is value in Pervasive Media?
Digital media has created an age of media plenty from the era of analogue scarcity the existing patterns of political economy are being gradually destabilised. This project again brings academic research methods to bear on cultural industry case studies to produce knowledge about how the new generation of web native creatives will create sustainable value networks.
New start-ups in digital media are developing new business models ranging from targeted advertising, sponsorship, product placement, subscription, retail, and ‘pay per play’ application markets. These models cross commercial and public sectors; some continue existing patterns of media economy, some are distinctively new. However the new conditions of the digital market characterized by plenty as opposed to analogue scarcity require new ways of developing sustainable businesses. This expertise is as yet very underdeveloped especially within the creative communities that hold the keys to successful applications and compelling content.
Pervasive Media can be thought of as a new field; commissioners, brands, clients, funding bodies often have difficulty grasping its potential. Very few media professionals, let alone members of the public, understand what Pervasive Media is, or could become. We are at a new frontier. The work of the Pervasive Media Studio is underpinned by the work of definition and taxonomy through a series of experimental productions that begin to determine what this new form of media delivery can be. At this period of development practitioners from art, design, and technology find little time or common ground to reflect on their practice. Academic expertise in a knowledge exchange context can facilitate this reflection outside of the day to day constraints of the market.
The Knowledge Transfer Fellowship is based on a body of work in New Media studies published by a leading researcher in the field which will be developed and applied in a creative industry context. This research will ‘capture’ the initial steps of the emergence of this new media form with the aim of codifying user experiences to produce a coherent vocabulary for pervasive media ethics, aesthetics, and design approaches. The Studio researches and develops media computing and communication applications. The evolution of the internet with ‘smart’ devices will unlock media from computers, phones, TVs and cinema screens and make them an integral and portable part of our daily lives. Media services will be delivered through context aware devices; the right media, in the right place, at the right time. Users will increasingly be able to configure their own media environment linked only through social networks that link wirelessly the formerly public and private domains of everyday life.
The Fellowship will be holding a number of open research events, workshops, and seminars through 2010 & 2011. Check out the events pages for past and future events. Case studies produced throgh the Fellowship will appear in the Publications section as they appear.