New Publication: Gothic Remixed

We are pleased to announce the imminent publication of Gothic Remixed: Monster Mashups and Frankenfictions in 21st-Century Culture, by ‘Transforming Creativity’ researcher Megen de Bruin-Molé.

The book explores the boundaries and connections between contemporary remix and related modes, including adaptation, parody, the Gothic, Romanticism, and postmodernism. De Bruin-Molé argues that popular remix creations are the ‘monsters’ of our age, lurking at the limits of responsible consumption and acceptable appropriation. Taking a multimedia approach, case studies range from novels like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club series, to television programmes such as Penny Dreadful, to popular visual artworks like Kevin J. Weir’s Flux Machine GIFs.

Gothic Remixed will be published by Bloomsbury Academic on Halloween 2019. Join us for launch events at Winchester School of Art on Thursday, 31st October (5pm in LTA; booking via Eventbrite), and on 14th November at The Second Shelf bookshop in London.

Office for Postdigital Research: launch event

Tuesday January 22nd

The research groups AMT and Transforming Creativity invite Arts and Humanities staff and research students to The Office for Postdigital Research – a research collection and a space for experimental digital media research.

As a research space the Office houses contemporary gaming and VR hardware and software. It is used for small-scale and experimental research on digital gameplay and for testing interactive art installations. At present it is equipped with a PC and Vive VR and games, a PS4 Pro – also with VR headset and software. It also holds a growing collection of visual, playful and smart media technologies from pre-electronic immersive media such as stereoscopes to mobile game devices, camera-drones, digital toys, and interactive art. These two aspects share a concern with alternative and experimental trajectories in digital media art, design, and play, with the theory-practice continuum, and with the material and embodied character of postdigital media culture. The Office space and collection emphasise the interplay between information environments, their physical manifestation, and their embodied use.

The Office is managed by AMT and Transforming Creativity but welcomes PhD students and other colleagues to collaborate on project-based partnerships.

Contact: Seth Giddings s.giddings@soton.ac.uk  Jussi Parikka j.parikka@soton.ac.uk

The Office is T2005 on the first floor of the South Side Building at Winchester School of Art. Walk right down to the end of the corridor and it is on the left. Refreshments will be provided.

2pm – 3pm (drop in)
T2005: VR, AR and Hybrid play
The Boardroom: Samantha Schäfer: current research (poster); Seth Giddings: screening of microethnographies of postdigital play.

3pm – 4:30pm
The Boardroom: Alessandro Ludovico and Megen de Bruin-Molé will lead a discussion on issues and approaches in research on postdigital culture.

4:30pm – 6:30pm
T2005: More games and VR

Does it come with a spear?

Megen de Bruin-Molé’s article ‘”Does it come with a spear?” Commodity activism, plastic representation, and transmedia story strategies in Disney’s Star Wars: Forces of Destiny’ has been published in a special issue of Film Criticism 42(2) 2018, on Film and Merchandise. It is available here.

Addressing the tensions between Disney’s presentation of its girl-focused Forces of Destiny Star Wars series on YouTube and its reception by fans and consumers, Megen focuses on the design and marketing of the show’s doll line, tracing its ‘plastic representation’ within the broader contexts of Star Wars transmedia, commodity activism, and paratextual erasure.

Office for Postdigital Research

The Office is open for research! Watch this space for a formal launch event, but contact Seth or Jussi if you are interested in using it.

The Office for Postdigital Research is a research collection and a space for experimental digital media research.

As a research space the Office houses contemporary gaming and VR hardware and software. It is used for small-scale and experimental research on digital gameplay and for testing interactive art installations. At present it is equipped with a PC and Vive VR and games, a PS4 Pro – also with VR headset and software.

The Office also holds a growing collection of visual media technologies from pre-electronic immersive media such as stereoscopes to mobile game devices, camera-drones, digital toys, and interactive art. The parameters of the collection are set by research interests and curiosity rather than taxonomical rigour, more Wunderkammer than museum.

These two aspects share a concern with alternative and experimental trajectories in digital media art, design, and play, with the theory-practice continuum, and with the material and embodied character of postdigital media culture. The Office space and collection emphasise the interplay between information environments, their physical manifestation, and their embodied use.

The Office is managed by the AMT and Transforming Creativity research groups at WSA but welcomes PhD students and other colleagues to collaborate on project-based partnerships.

media archaeology in the cinema museum

Media  Archaeology in the Cinema Museum PhD seminar and discussion

harold2.gif
Clockwork Harold Lloyd toy, Bill Douglas Cinema Museum. Video: Penny & Seth Giddings

From History to Literature, Design to Philosophy, Art History to Film Studies, archival research has been central to scholarship in the arts and humanities. In recent years, media archaeology has recast the archive as both a resource and a concept, questioning which objects and texts it might collect, and what kinds of knowledge it can offer. Media archaeology digs up the relationships between technical objects and documents and the intangible operations of power, discourse and imaginaries that constitute their materiality and conditions of possibility. In this seminar, Seth Giddings and Jussi Parikka will take Seth’s recent research in the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum’s archive of cinematic and pre-cinematic toys as a case study to explore the philosophy, practicalities and possibilities of media archaeological archive research. Seth will be showcasing some interesting discoveries from the archive and they will lead a discussion about the collections in relation to media archaeology and working with archives.

31st October, 14.00-15.30, Winchester School of Art, PGR study room/studio, East Building. Campus map.

Studying the Force: A Star Wars Symposium

Dr Megen de Bruin-Molé will be speaking at a Star Wars symposium in Portsmouth, hosted by the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries and organised by Dr Lincoln Geraghty.

Celebrating Star Wars Day (4 May 2018) through discussion and debate, this symposium will offer us the opportunity to interrogate why the franchise has been so successful and how much it has impacted on popular culture.

Dr William Proctor (Bournemouth University) will talk about the global research project on Star Wars after Disney’s acquisition, discussing changes and shifts in the franchise seen since The Force Awakens, and then turn to consider The Last Jedi as site of struggle between
fan “tribes”.

Dr Matthew Freeman (Bath Spa University) and Dr Megen de Bruin-Molé (University of Southampton) will analyse the multimedia storytelling of the franchise, both historical and contemporary. Dr Freeman will discussing Splinter of the Mind’s Eye and the 1970s culture of transmedia contingency. Dr De Bruin-Molé will look at Forces of Destiny, plastic representation, and transmedia story strategies in Disney’s Star Wars

There will be a special screening in the afternoon, introduced by staff from the School of Media and Performing Arts, followed by a Star Wars themed quiz with prizes!

The day will begin at 9.30am in ELW 1.09, and will end at 6.00pm.

Registration is free though Eventbrite, and a full schedule of events can be found here.