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COMUNICAZIONI SOCIALI - 2021 - 1. Arts-Based Research in Communication and Media Studies

novitàdigital COMUNICAZIONI SOCIALI - 2021 - 1. Arts-Based Research in Communication and Media Studies
Fascicolo digitale
rivista COMUNICAZIONI SOCIALI
fascicolo 1 - 2021
titolo COMUNICAZIONI SOCIALI - 2021 - 1. Arts-Based Research in Communication and Media Studies
autori
editore Vita e Pensiero
formato Fascicolo digitale | Pdf
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INDEX

Introduction: Arts-Based Research in Communication and Media Studies
di Nico Carpentier, Johanna Sumiala pagine: 8 Scarica
Abstract
This article introduces the special issue on “Arts-Based Research in Communication and Media Studies”, starting from a discussion on the different strategies and models that have been used to move away from the dominance of the written text in academia. In a second part, the basic characteristics of arts-based research are introduced and discussed, partially through elaborating on the distinction between arts-based research and artistic research. In the last part of the introduction, the intentionally-kept-vague structure of the special issue is explained, with its more general  eflective texts first, and then a series of more case-study-based approaches and more targeted and specific discussions, divided into a cluster on participation and interaction on the one hand, and mediation on the other.


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Academia Goes to the Arts: Entanglements of Research, Knowledge, and Information in Contemporary Visual Art
di Panos Kompatsiaris pagine: 9 Scarica
Abstract
The use of arts-based research has recently gained attention among scholars in diverse fields of social sciences for its capacity to communicate research beyond the authority of the written text as well as to engage with non-academic audiences. This article focuses on the dynamics of art as knowledge work from the perspective of contemporary art and its institutions: if academic research  goes’ to the arts then how does this ‘going’ interact with the already established politics, economies and ethics of the art field? I will be arguing that research emerges as a generalized category, if not a systemic imperative, of doing contemporary visual art, and that within this territory arts-based research encounters similar issues with those surrounding academic production and consumption. I summarize challenges pertaining to issues around deprofessionalization, new forms of distinction and art’s increasing resemblance to the information apparatus.


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Towards Academic Publishing In Medias Res
di Mika Elo pagine: 9 Scarica
Abstract
The article discusses challenges of multimodal publishing in academic contexts with specific focus on the epistemic role of images in research publications in the area of artistic research. Through a series of examples, the article attempts at showing that research in and through the arts raises the stakes of epistemic presentation because it thematises the mode of presentation as part of the subject matter. This calls for media sensitivity and new conceptual models for epistemic operations. Some of the challenges at the core of artistic research are highlighted with regard to models of “aesthetic research” and “expositionality”. Finally, the article addresses the tensional interplay of aesthetic and epistemic research processes and proposes a diplomatic approach in the spirit of Isabelle Stengers’ “ecology of practices”, which the article presents as an incentive to giving more weight to radical situatedness of epistemic practices.


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Short-Circuiting Media History Research: Convergences between Media Archaeology and Media Art
di Sergio Minniti pagine: 9 Scarica
Abstract
Since its beginnings in the 1990s, media archeology has established a fruitful exchange of concepts and methods with media art. The present article focuses on the mutual exchange between these two fields. It aims at reflecting on the commonalities and differences between artists’ and scholars’ work and, consequently, on the emergence of the figure of the artist-researcher, or researcher- artist, who practices media history through creative techniques. To do so, it first reconstructs how media archaeology and media art have cross-fertilized each other, and identifies two distinct phases of convergence between media-archaeological research and art. Then, by drawing on the relevant literature on the subject, the article examines the main strategies and methods adopted by archaeologically-oriented artists, highlighting how such methods have become increasingly relevant to media archaeologists and, more broadly, to media historians.


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Arts-Based Research and Artistic Research Promoting New Kinds of Co-Operation: A Funder’s Perspective
di Kalle Korhonen pagine: 3 Scarica
Abstract
For a decade, the Helsinki-based Kone Foundation, a private funder of research and the arts, has been increasing its efforts to promote collaboration between academics and artists. In the paper, the author discusses the motivations behind such funding and gives examples of initiatives that have sprung as a result. He concludes with funder’s perspectives on how to support and facilitate collaboration in projects which combine academic and artistic work.


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Hybrid Spectators: Meta-Study of a Transmedia Art-Based Research Experience
di Hernando Blandón Gómez, Polina Golovátina-Mora pagine: 11 Scarica
Abstract
Employing the methodology of duo-ethnography, the article critically revisits the collaboration between the article’s authors, facilitated by the production of Hernando Blandón-Gómez’s transmedia and multimodal installation on the political meaning of an image in Rancière’s thought, supported by Lazzarato’s concept of indebted man. Informed by arts-based qualitative methodological work, critical discourse studies and deleuzo-guattarian aesthetic thought, the article takes on the form of the comic, to emphasize the natural alliance between these approaches and media and communication studies. The comic recreates the process of the installation development and focuses on the three delivery channels-narratives – the installation (the initial event of reflection), the comic (a meta-reflection) and the QRs (referring to process and interaction) – to explore the critical potential of arts-based research in communication and media studies. The channels complement and enrich the reflective experience, and become a site and an event of inquiry, opening up new directions for further inquiry. Focusing on the spectator’s experience in particular, the article discusses how arts-based research transcends the borders of one project and how the involved multiplicities decentre power relations in the communication between an author, a spectator, art and the research itself. As spectator, an author, and a research product mediated by art and its media mutate into each other, arts-based research opens up new meanings for more conscious, involved and inclusive participation.


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Il Posticipo (The Late Kick-off): Art, Research and Urban Regeneration
di Emanuele Rinaldo Meschini pagine: 9 Scarica
Abstract
This article analyses an artistic urban regeneration project, subsidised by the Italian Ministry of Culture (Creative Living Lab Prize 2018-2019.) The text emerged from my direct experience as an artist/researcher involved in the Il Posticipo project (The Late Kick-off), in the former working- class district of Ponziana (Trieste, IT). In order to understand the sense of identity, and the social fragility of the neighbourhood, we created two subprojects: a radio program hosted in the 4 different bars of the district, which was broadcasted live on local radio; a sound installation in the abandoned stadium which re-enacted the famous 1974 Trieste football derby between Ponziana and Triestina. The sound installation emanated from the idea of giving voice to a different narrative that could represent a participated memory. Through the symbolic element of football, as vehicle of social cohesion, the project involved the residents, overcoming the stereotypes implicit in urban regeneration discourse. In terms of methodology, this project opened up different lines of enquiry, including: the role of the State in urban regeneration processes and in the construction of identity in peripheral areas; the possibilities and the limits of visual arts between ephemeral and aesthetic solutions and the long-term dimensions of the project; the artistic tools used in order to overcome barriers, communicate and involve people.


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Silencing / Unsilencing Nature. A Participatory Visual Essay on the Right to Flourish
di Nico Carpentier pagine: 10 Scarica
Abstract
The essay is grounded in a reflection on the discursive-material knot, which uses a macro-(con) textual approach to discourse, but also allocates a non-hierarchical position to the material, ecognizing its agency. This ontological model is then used to analyse the discursive-material struggles of/over nature, and nonhuman living beings. In particular, the essay reports on a series of Silencing / Unsilencing Nature workshops, which were part of the Lyssna! project, and showcases how the photographic signifying practices of a group of youngsters contributed to the unsilencing of nature, and the disruption of several hegemonic discourses.


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Fragmented Interpretations: Constructing the Arts-Based Text
di Chelsea Bihlmeyer pagine: 8 Scarica
Abstract
This project achieves two aims: (1) to examine the complex, rhetorical relationship between text and context, author and audience, and (2) to demonstrate how to use an arts-based approach to research in the field of Communication Studies. We underestimate the tension between the professional critic and the everyday critic’s role in the rhetorical life of a work. Local discourse communities are a vital voice in a rhetorical work; without them, we do not have the ability to build a rhetorical work fully into a “text”. And so, by underestimating the everyday critic, we have an incomplete understanding of a work. Using arts-based research, this project explores the nature of fragments and how they function to construct a text.


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Interactive Tools Performance: Blast Theory between Media Theory, Performance Studies and Social Research
di Vincenzo Del Gaudio pagine: 8 Scarica
Abstract
This article investigates the intermediality performances which originate from the collaboration between the British collective Blast Theory and the Mixed Reality Lab of the University of Nottingham. This analysis focuses on the possibility of extracting innovative tools and methodologies from their work. Blast Theory has always studied the influence of digital media on contemporary society, and their aesthetic and social functions. Performances like Can You See Me Now? Or Desert Rain represent the attempt to produce new models of knowledge representation and transmission, based on body-to-body relationships.


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Bella Ciao Clangs on the Balconies: The Art of Ritual Practice during Lockdown 2020. Some Digital Media Ethnographic Notes
di Johanna Sumiala pagine: 7 Scarica
Abstract
In this essay, I explore the digital ritual responses initiated by the ‘Corona death’ as a global media event and analyse how this event and related ritualisation materialised in the Spring and early Summer of 2020. This essay has been inspired by my long-lasting research interest in mediated death and my curiosity for methodological exploration. The analysis is grounded in my ongoing digital media ethnographic fieldwork, as well as Susan Finley’s ideas on arts-based research as a creative methodological means of expanding media anthropological knowledge. Following Finley, I employ my own emotive experiences, senses, and imaginations, as have been triggered by the Corona death, throughout this ethnographic journey. Theoretically, I draw on the anthropology of eath and, namely, Victor Turner’s seminal work on death ritual as a life crisis ritual. The essay concludes with a reflection on the social and cultural implications of the explored ritual practices in a condition of continuing pandemic.


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Making of Livestream (and Few Other Pieces): Research from the Point of View of a Visual Artist
di Pekko Vasantola pagine: 9 Scarica
Abstract
Making of Livestream (and Few Other Pieces): Research from the Point of View of a Visual Artist is a visual essay and a short introduction to four bodies of the artistic work of the author, Finnish visual artist Pekko Vasantola, who works in the field of sculpture and media art. It is a self-critical review of conducting a research as an artist. The article is based on the author’s experience as a practicing artist. The main purpose for the article is to show examples of artistic work and the research made along the work and to further motivate artists and academics to think about the possibilities and results which could be achieved with methods and collaboration from another field of study.


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Transilluminating Climate Change
di Niina Uusitalo pagine: 8 Scarica
Abstract
This essay studies the problematics of visualizing climate change through research and photography. Messages in the media about climate change have often been stereotypical, extreme or controversial. This type of imagery may be shocking, but it may also make the issue feel distant, abstract and difficult to relate to. This essay reflects on an empirical research into Instagram users’ posts about climate change, using photography as a mode of articulating awareness about the climate crisis. Theoretically, this paper seeks to elaborate on the epistemic possibilities of visibility and photography as a method of research. The essay draws on two interrelated projects, the first of which is an empirical analysis of 42 Finnish ecological Instagram accounts. The Instagram research identifies six ‘climate practices’ that are ways of connecting to the climate crisis through being and doing. The climate practice of transilluminating and its visualization in Instagram photographs is then further analysed. “Transilluminating” refers to revealing the normalized environmentally harmful practices of carbon-intense modern societies and their production systems. The second project aims to deepen the understanding of climate practices through photography. The photography project allows room for artistic interpretation of empirical results. In the photographic project Intense Carbon, transilluminating is interpreted as a movement against the modern, carbon-intensive society.


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Passages (Pasáže) in Prague as Heterotopias of Inclusion and Exclusion
di Vaia Doudaki pagine: 9 Scarica
Abstract
Building on cultural geography and Foucault’s concept of heterotopias, and combining visual ethnography with photo collage, this visual essay explores how the passages (pasáže) of central Prague function as heterotopias of inclusion and exclusion. These ambiguous and hybrid spaces are simultaneously open and closed, both disciplining mobility and fostering plurality and heterogeneity. The analysis points to the multiplicity and contingency of space in the urban environment, which does not fully integrate its subjects, but leaves room for them to create their own meanings and  leasures of the spaces they inhabit.


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Following Flags: Experimental Mass Production in the Borderlands
di Grant Leuning, Pepe Rojo pagine: 8 Scarica
Abstract
This article analyzes a series of interventions and performances by the Comité Magonista Tierra y Libertad (2016-present) based around the flag of the 1911 Magonista Revolution. We trace the semiotic and symbolic functions ascribed to flags, how the production and enactment of this flag, the Tierra y Libertad, eludes those descriptions, and and how the flag participates in forming the apparatus of its own reproduction. We follow this process of reproduction through two modes of performance, the production line and the street performance, focusing on the different collaborations that the enactment of this flag opened up. In analyzing how the production of the flag becomes a mode of its performance, we turn back to understand how these experiments help clarify “genre” and “agencement” as aesthetic concepts and how the produced flag displays itself as a “hinge”, a form of experimental intervention which distributes participants in relation to each other, and to the territory on which they perform.


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Reasons to Kill a Poet
di Dalida Maria Benfield, Christopher Bratton pagine: 8 Scarica
Abstract
Conceived as a word/image essay, “Reasons to Kill a Poet” takes a critical look at how the term creativity is being mobilized as a key concept of neoliberalism, functioning to repress forms of
oppositional creativity through structures of discursive, and embodied, policing and punishment. At the same time, counter-hegemonic creativity persists, and the essay foregrounds particular exemplary works by writers, including Chilean musician and poet Victor Jara, “Estadio Chile” (1973); US-based Black journalist, writer and activist Mumia Abu-Jamal, “Teetering on the Brink: Between Life and Death” (1991); and Ugandan queer activist, researcher, and poet Stella Nyanzi, No Roses from My Mouth (2020). These writings are juxtaposed with visual images to create a third space between word and image, and elicit historical resonances on such questions as: how are their creativities conceived, posited and enacted as anti-neo-liberal formations? What threat does their work pose to the forms of authoritarian impunity that characterize the neo-liberal present? What is the relationship between social critique and arts research?


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MISCELLANEA

“Scusi, chi ha fatto il palo?” Continuità e disruption del calcio su Internet in Italia: dalle IPTV ‘pirata’ a DAZN
di Danilo Callea pagine: 15 Scarica
Abstract
In the current and complex landscape of on-demand platforms, Internet-distributed television and catalogs focused on niches, the circulation of live and prized sports content seems to know relevant paradoxes. This essay explores the specific transition of live football competitions from broadcast to broadband in Italy. Starting from the informal media spectrum developed by scholars Lobato and Thomas, new sports-oriented OTTs (e.g. DAZN) and broadcaster’s subsidiaries will be analyzed together with unauthorized IPTVs and live-streaming pirate websites during the sport season 2018/19. The analysis will focus on rights legislations and digital sport intermediaries who play an interesting role of convergence between broadcasters and football organizations and clubs. In order to investigate the complex universe of the online football, three important features will be taken into account: a specific ‘visibility regime’ based on exclusive and regional sports rights; subscription’s costs; and the user-experience (UX) of online portals, IPTV and live-streaming websites. In conclusion, important new boundaries about online football competitions will be suggested, taking into greater account the space of resistance of live football together with the rise of new football niches and on-demand strategies of consumption.


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Towards the Platformization of (Social) Media Memory: Articulating Archive, Assemblage, and Ephemerality
di Elisabetta Locatelli pagine: 12 Scarica
Abstract
Although the platformization process has been intensively studied, a better understanding is needed of how it has affected media dynamics such as the formation of media memory. The original contribution of this paper to the research field is, thus, to highlight the interrelatedness of issues, such as media memory, social media, and the platformization process that are usually considered independently. To achieve this, three theoretical frameworks ‒ media and memory, social media logic, and platformization ‒ will be bridged by means of the platformization of cultural production of Nieborg and Poell with the aim of analysing the case study of the Festival di Sanremo, chosen because of its relevance to the Italian mediascape, Italian cultural memory, and social media presence. The argument will demonstrate that the ongoing process of platformization of media memory is operating in three dimensions: archive, assemblage, and ephemerality. The analysis of the case proposed will also help to highlight the fact that the platformization process is not an unavoidable end, but that there are margins of resistance to it adopting digital platforms connected to mainstream social media ones though independent of them. Issues left open are the governance and the responsibility for custody of media memories, the risk of a fragmented use of archived
contents, the decontextualization of media memories, their (mis)appropriation, manipulation, hegemonic selection, and the threat that media memory may become a commodity, reactivated only when necessary and at the mercy of social media platforms’ policies.


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City of Strangers. Le città multimediali e multi-identitarie di Krzysztof Wodiczko
di Giacomo Ravesi pagine: 12 Scarica
Abstract
The article focuses on the case study of the Polish video artist Krzysztof Wodiczko: internationally known as an emblematic example for a reflection on the relationships between urban space, identity and technological advances. Born in Poland in 1943, migrated first to Canada in 1978 and then to the United States in the 1990s, Wodiczko is today a world-class artist and director of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies of MIT. Given his emigrant status as well as the ever-influential spread of xenophobic policies at a global level, Wodicko has focused in his research a particular interest in social exclusion by electing the social outcast to undisputed protagonists of his works: from homeless to war veterans and military veterans, from exploited workers to victims of family violence, from disabled to drug addicts, from homosexuals to women to foreigners. Since the 1980s, the artist has created several installations in various European, American and Asian countries focusing on the representation of the foreigner and his/her communication with the local community within public spaces. Wodiczko’s work, through video-mappings (The New Mechelenians, 2012; Sans-Papiers, 2006), portable technological tools (Alien Staff: Xenobàcul, 1992; Porte-Parole Mouthpiece, 1993; Ægis: Equipment for a City of Strangers, 1998) and video-installations (Guests, 2009; If You See Something..., 2005), construes the urban and architectural space as a scenographic mechanism that stages a synthesis between public and private and finds in the multimedia experience a sharing and a possibility of catharsis and liberation from individual and community traumas. The essay wants to chronologically retrace the significant works made by Wodiczko around the foreigner underlining a conceptual and representative evolution that interests in a peculiar way the urban landscape interpreted as a multimedia and multi-identity space. The methodology adopted is internal to Visual and Media Studies and integrates the field of culture and digital communication with proposals of media sociology. In Wodiczko’s works the technological feature integrates the self-representation of the foreigner with the gaze of the local community, activating a process of negotiating identities, which develops collaborative and participatory expressive and relational practices. His project is to stimulate through the art a process of dis-alienation of these subjects, working around the representation of symbolic concepts such as domination, expulsion and collective awareness. According to the author, the only way to obtain such results is to influence the social sphere (Wodiczko considers himself a stranger to the sphere of art) basing his action exactly in the public space of the city, intended as an elective place to verify and transform the ‘visibility’ of the individual within the social recognition processes of the community. His works are recognized as public art because combines communication technologies with political and social activism.


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