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Velkova, J. & Kaun, A. (2019). Algorithmic resistance: Media practices and the politics of repair. Information, Communication and Society
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Algorithmic resistance: Media practices and the politics of repair
2019 (English)In: Information, Communication and Society, ISSN 1369-118X, E-ISSN 1468-4462Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

The article constitutes a critical intervention in the current, dramatic debate on the consequences of algorithms and automation for society. While most research has focused on negative outcomes, including ethical problems of machine bias and accountability, little has been said about the possibilities of users to resist algorithmic power. The article draws on Raymond Williams’ work on media as practice to advance a framework for studying algorithms with a focus on user agency. We illustrate this framework with the example of the media activist campaign World White Web by the Swedish artist and visual designer Johanna Burai. We suggest that user agency in relation to algorithms can emerge from alternative uses of platforms, in the aftermath of algorithmic logics, and give birth to complicit forms of resistance that work through ‘repair’ politics oriented towards correcting the work of algorithms. We conclude with a discussion of the ways in which the proposed framework helps us rethink debates on algorithmic power.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2019
Keywords
User agency, algorithms, algorithmic cultures, media practices, algorithmic resistance, racism
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
Critical and Cultural Theory
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-38803 (URN)10.1080/1369118X.2019.1657162 (DOI)000482997200001 ()2-s2.0-85071180362 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2019-08-28 Created: 2019-08-28 Last updated: 2019-09-25Bibliographically approved
Forsler, I. & Velkova, J. (2018). Efficient Worker or Reflective Practitioner?: Competing Technical Rationalities of Media Software Tools (1ed.). In: Bilić, Paško; Primorac, Jaka; Valtýsson, Bjarki (Ed.), Technologies of Labour and the Politics of Contradiction: (pp. 99-119). Cham: Palgrave Macmillan
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Efficient Worker or Reflective Practitioner?: Competing Technical Rationalities of Media Software Tools
2018 (English)In: Technologies of Labour and the Politics of Contradiction / [ed] Bilić, Paško; Primorac, Jaka; Valtýsson, Bjarki, Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018, 1, p. 99-119Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The work of creators of digital media today is profoundly reliant on the use of specialised software. Yet, software is not merely an instrument of labour. The current hegemonies of society are incorporated in the technological design of tools, explicating what Feenberg (2009) calls technical rationality. Different production frameworks can embed distinct forms of such rationality depending on the goals of their creators. Drawing on theories of knowledge and feminist theory of technological development, Forsler and Velkova present an analysis of the production frameworks of three different manufactures of software tools for computer graphics, both industrial and user-driven. The chapter contributes with a conceptual theoretical model of how these frameworks are underpinned by different epistemological assumptions and competing visions of media practitioners.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018 Edition: 1
Series
Dynamics of Virtual Work ; 13
National Category
Media Studies
Research subject
Critical and Cultural Theory
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-35742 (URN)10.1007/978-3-319-76279-1_6 (DOI)978-3-319-76278-4 (ISBN)978-3-319-76279-1 (ISBN)
Available from: 2018-06-25 Created: 2018-06-25 Last updated: 2019-09-25Bibliographically approved
Velkova, J. (2018). Repairing and developing software infrastructures: The case of Morevna Project in Russia. New Media and Society, 20(6), 2145-2161
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Repairing and developing software infrastructures: The case of Morevna Project in Russia
2018 (English)In: New Media and Society, ISSN 1461-4448, E-ISSN 1461-7315, Vol. 20, no 6, p. 2145-2161Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article discusses how alternative software infrastructures can emerge out offrictions, failure, and repair in the attempts of media creators to evade piracy. Usinga case from the geographical fringes of Russia called Morevna Project, and theoriesof infrastructures and repair, the article suggests how repair can lead to the slow,mundane and fragile formation of what I refer to as ‘situated’ digital infrastructures forcultural production. While pirate-based media production can push creators to searchfor and develop alternative infrastructures, the latter emerge as fragile frameworksthat are constantly threatened from collapse and suspension. The continuous work ofintegrating diverse interests across local and online media-related contexts and practicesbecomes an essential stabilising force needed to perpetuate these infrastructures andprevents them from falling back into oblivion.

Keywords
2D animation, free software, infrastructures of breakdown, Morevna Project, open culture, piracy, repair, Russia, Synfig
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
Baltic and East European studies; Critical and Cultural Theory
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-33583 (URN)10.1177/1461444817731922 (DOI)000433917100004 ()2-s2.0-85047896099 (Scopus ID)
Funder
The Foundation for Baltic and East European StudiesSwedish Institute
Available from: 2017-10-12 Created: 2017-10-12 Last updated: 2019-09-25Bibliographically approved
Velkova, J. (2018). Studying Emerging Data Practices: Creating a Cultural Biography of Objects Through Using the Web as an Ethnographic Resource. Sage Publications
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Studying Emerging Data Practices: Creating a Cultural Biography of Objects Through Using the Web as an Ethnographic Resource
2018 (English)Other (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This case presents and discusses ethnography-inspired methods for studying emerging phenomena related to big data such as the practice of data center waste heat recycling. It suggests a twofold methodology that is based on treating the contemporary Web as a multi-modal resource for creating cultural, ethnographic-like accounts of emerging data-related practices, as well as on tracing online the cultural biographies of objects. The case suggests some ways in which the Web can be used as a resource to understand data-related practices as they develop and extend in the offline world, rather than as they unfold and modify online spheres of social and cultural activity. The present methodology can be regarded as appropriate to produce knowledge for the initial stages of a potentially larger research project.

Place, publisher, year, pages
Sage Publications, 2018
Keywords
object biographies, cultural object, heat
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-34554 (URN)10.4135/9781526445803 (DOI)9781526445803 (ISBN)
Note

SAGE Research Methods Cases

Available from: 2018-02-08 Created: 2018-02-08 Last updated: 2019-09-25Bibliographically approved
Velkova, J. & Jakobsson, P. (2017). At the intersection of commons and market: Negotiations of value in open-sourced cultural production. International journal of cultural studies, 20(1), 14-30
Open this publication in new window or tab >>At the intersection of commons and market: Negotiations of value in open-sourced cultural production
2017 (English)In: International journal of cultural studies, ISSN 1367-8779, E-ISSN 1460-356X, Vol. 20, no 1, p. 14-30Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article explores the way in which producers of digital cultural commons use new production models based on openness and sharing to interact with and adapt to existing structures such as the capitalist market and the economies of public cultural funding. Through an ethnographic exploration of two cases of open-source animation film production – Gooseberry and Morevna, formed around the 3D graphics Blender and the 2D graphics Synfig communities – we explore how sharing and production of commons generates values and relationships which trigger the movement of producers, software and films between different fields of cultural production and different moral economies – those of the capitalist market, the institutions of public funding and the commons. Our theoretical approach expands the concept of ‘moral economies’ from critical political economy with ‘regimes of value’ from anthropological work on value production, which, we argue, is useful to overcome dichotomous representations of exploitation or romanticization of the commons.

Keywords
animation, Blender, commons, cultural biographies, de-commodification, moral economies, open-source cultural production, regimes of value, Synfig, value
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
Critical and Cultural Theory
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-28044 (URN)10.1177/1367877915598705 (DOI)000394771900002 ()2-s2.0-85011552186 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish InstituteThe Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies
Available from: 2015-08-09 Created: 2015-08-09 Last updated: 2019-09-25Bibliographically approved
Velkova, J. (2017). Media Technologies in the Making: User-driven Software and Infrastructures for Computer Graphics Production. (Doctoral dissertation). Huddinge: Södertörns högskola
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Media Technologies in the Making: User-driven Software and Infrastructures for Computer Graphics Production
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Over the past few decades there have emerged greater possibilities for users and consumers of media to create or engage in the creation of digital media technologies. This PhD dissertation explores the ways in which the broadening of possibilities for making technologies, specifically software, has been taken advantage of by new producers of digital culture – freelancers, aspiring digital media creators and small studios – in the production of digital visual media. It is based on two empirical case studies that concern the making of free software for computer graphics animation production in two contexts: by a loose collective of anime fans in Siberia, Russia, and by a small animation studio in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The case studies are presented and analysed in the scope of four journal articles and one book chapter which form the core of the dissertation.

The dissertation draws on a media practice perspective and an understanding of software as an artefact that concentrates and mediates specific infrastructural arrangements that entangle politics of technological production, economic interests and practice-related concerns. The analytical focus of the research problematises in particular practices of software decommodification and its further repair and development by non-programmers; the anchoring of software development and repair in actual production practices of computer graphics animations; and a commitment to sharing software, animations and other artefacts online as commons. The thesis combines several concepts from anthropology and science and technology studies to theorise these practices: – politics and regimes of value (Appadurai, 1986); repair and artful integrations (Jackson, 2014; Suchman, 2000); gifting (Baudrillard, 1981; Mauss, 1925/2002) and autonomy (cf Bourdieu, 1993). Bringing together these concepts, the dissertation regards them as constitutive and indicative of what I refer to as ‘media-related infrastructuring practices’, or practices in which non-programmers generate infrastructures through creating and mediating arrangements around technical artefacts like software.

The results of the dissertation indicate how making free software for computer graphics media is entangled in diverse conditions of technological unevenness that may enable, but also limit, the possibilities of aspiring media creators to improve their status or work positions in the broader field of digital media.

Abstract [sv]

Under det senaste decenniet har nya medieteknologier för kommunikationoch digitalt skapande möjliggjort för såväl professionella medieproducentersom amatörer att skapa och sprida olika typer av medieinnehåll. Samtidigt finns fler möjligheter än tidigare att bidra till utvecklingen av digitala medieteknologer, såsom programvaruverktyg och infrastrukturer för att producera och cirkulera medieinnehåll (t.ex. Coleman, 2013; Kannengießer,2016; Kubitschko, 2017; Löwgren and Reimer, 2013; Ratto, 2011; Rosneroch Fox, 2016; Toombs et al., 2014).

Denna avhandling undersöker hur dessa ökade möjligheter för skapandet av teknologier och infrastrukturer för digital medieproduktion, i synnerhet programvara, har tagits tillvara av mediekreatörer som arbetar, eller strävar efter att arbeta, med datorgrafik. Avhandlingen fokuserar på kulturella, teknologiska och ekonomiska praktiker genom vilka frilansare, oetablerade mediekreatörer och mindre produktionsbolag skapar användardrivna programvaror. Med användardriven avser jag programvara som utvecklas av dess användare: digitalkonstnärer, amatörer och professionellaskapare av digitalt visuell media, snarare än de industriella producenter som traditionellt satt de tekniska ramarna för medieproduktion.

Avhandlingen baseras på två empiriska fallstudier som rör skapandet av fri programvara för datoranimation. Med fri programvara avses program där användarna har frihet att använda, kopiera, distribuera, studera, ändra och förbättra programvaran (GNUProject, 2017). De huvudsakliga forskningsfrågorna är: a) hur skapare av datorgrafik utvecklar, formar och guidarde fria programvaror som utgör ett alternativ till industriella programvarorför digital animation, och b) vilken mening dessa alternativ tillskrivs när de används i medieproduktion.

Den första fallstudien fokuserar på arbetet av Blender Institute, en oberoende animationsstudio i Amsterdam, Nederländerna. Sedan 2006 har studion arbetat med att utveckla och förbättra en populär programvara för 3D-animation, Blender. Detta har skett genom skapandet av så kallade ‘open-source animation films’, korta animerade filmer med höga produktionsvärden genom vilka programvara, filmelement och utbildning i programvaranhar delats online. Genom den här fallstudien har jag diskuterat programvaruutveckling i en kontext av delningsekonomi. Jag har visat hur strategiskt delande kan vara ett sätt att erövra en maktposition inom digitalmedieproduktion. Jag har också belyst de olika spänningar som uppstår när kulturproducenter söker förena olika perspektiv på programvaror, individuella ambitioner och existerande marknadsstrukturer.

Den andra fallstudien fokuserar på praktikerna av Morevna project, ett kollektiv av animé-fans, geografiskt situerade i staden Gorno-Altaysk, i ryska Sibirien. Kollektivet har skapat korta datoranimerade filmer genom vilka man utforskat, lagat och distribuerat den fria programvara de använt i sina produktioner: Synfig för 2D animering. I denna fallstudie har jag argumenterat för värdet av att undersöka spänningar, misslyckanden och lagning snarare än innovationer för att förstå hur alternativa infrastrukturerför digital medieproduktion kan uppstå i kontexter starkt präglade av piratverksamhet.

Fallstudierna presenteras och analyseras i fyra olika tidskriftsartiklar och ett bokkapitel, som alla ingår i denna avhandling. De tre första artiklarna svarar mot den första forskningsfrågan och de två sista artiklarna mot den andra. Metodologiskt utgår avhandlingen ifrån kvalitativa ansatser, såsom grounded theory och etnografi. Det empiriska materialet har samlats inmellan 2012 och 2016. Som en del av fältarbetet har jag genomfört kvalitativaintervjuer med 37 informanter. Bland dessa ingår skapare av datorgrafikoch animationer, programmerare och projektledare på Blender Institute och i Morevna.

Teoretiskt utgår avhandlingen från ett perspektiv på medier som praktik (Couldry, 2004, 2012). Specifika praktiker som analyseras och teoretiseras i artiklarna är dekommodifiering av programvara; förankrandet av lagningav programvara i medieproduktion; samt delning online av programvara, filmer och filmmaterial; produktionsarbete; samt utbildningsmaterial.

Praktikerna analyseras genom begreppen politics and regimes of value (Appadurai, 1986); repair och artful integrations (Jackson, 2014; Suchman,2000); och gifting (Baudrillard, 1981; Mauss, 1925/2002). Jag har också utgått från begreppet autonomi (jfr. Bourdieu, 1993) för att utforska frågan om meningsproduktion vid utveckling av användardriven fri programvaraför medieproduktion.

Begreppen beskriver hur olika relationer upprätthålls mellan digitala artefakter, ekonomi och personer. Jag förenar dem i ett gemensamt teoretiskt ramverk genom begreppet infrastructuring (Karasti och Syrjänen, 2004) från science and technology studies. Genom detta begrepp vidgar jag perspektivet på medier som praktik med fokus på praktiker där icke-programmerare och amatörer skapar digitala infrastrukturer genom att integrera nya verktyg och teknik med socialt praktik.

Resultaten av denna studie visar hur skapandet av fri programvara av frilansare, oetablerade mediekreatörer och mindre produktionsbolag är ett sätt att skapa infrastrukturell trygghet på en osäker arbetsmarknad. Olika former av autonomi förhandlas i relation till olika konfigurationer av infrastrukturer för teknikproduktion och distribution, till exempel infrastrukturerför piratkopiering eller för att komma runt industriellt skapade begränsningar i förändringen av programvara. I linje med Jackson (2014) betonar jag vikten av att väga upp diskursen kring ‘användarinnovation’ (von Hippel, 2005) genom att betrakta misslyckanden, förfall och haverier som en del av processen av att utveckla nya medier och ny medieteknik, och på så sätt omförhandla uppdelningen och hierarkin mellan olika medieproducenter. Programvaruförfall, dekommodifiering och åldrande kan göra programvaror till ‘residual media’ (Acland, 2007), som i sig kan fungera som en plats där mening, värde och maktförhållanden omförhandlas och skapas på nytt. Dessa omförhandlingar är inte sprungna ur snabba och spontana förändringsprocesser möjliggjorda genom nätverk av kommunikationsteknologier. Snarare karakteriseras de av långsamhet (Paper 3), strategi, dolt kapital (Paper 2), samt konstant förhandling mellan olika intressen (Paper 1, 4 och 5). Litteratur som behandlar organisationen av öppen medieproduktion baserad på allmänningar såsom fri programvara och digitala artefakter som delas online har ofta beskrivits som något som utvecklas organiskt när de frikopplats från etablerade upphovsrättsformer (t.ex. Benkler, 2006; Shirky, 2009). Denna avhandling visar dock att det krävs strategiskt och långsiktigt engagemang för att skapa och etablera en programvara, engagera grupper av användare och integrera programvaran i aktuell medieproduktion. Dessutom antas det ofta att det är hackare, programmerare eller ingenjörer som har makten att tänka ut och realisera faktiska infrastrukturer för digital medieproduktion. Denna studie visardock att mikroanställningar och retorik gör det möjligt även för användare att initiera och påverka medieteknikutvecklingen (Paper 5).

Genom att anlägga ett perspektiv på medier som praktik och utveckla det perspektivet med begreppet infrastructuring till det jag kallar för ‘mediarelated infrastructuring practices’ har jag visat hur användardriven programvara och infrastrukturer för datografik skapas och stabiliseras genom att skapa nya och integrera existerande resurser i det digitala medielandskapet. Detta perspektiv öppnar upp möjligheter för att etablera kopplingar mellan olika delfält inom medievetenskapen som fokuserar på medieproduktion, såsom studier av industriell medieproduktion; amatördriven öppenteknikproduktion; samt studier av medieinfrastruktur. Genom infrastructuring kan man se hur medieproducenter skapar nya, förändrar och kritiserar existerande arbetsrelationer, ekonomiska relationer samt kunskapsrelationer. Dessutom kan det växande fältet av infrastrukturstudierutvecklas genom att byta fokus från studier av stora etablerade medieinfrastrukturertill processer av pågående infrastrukturformering av mindre och nya aktörer i det digitala medielandskapet.

Sammanfattningsvis bidrar denna avhandling med empiriskt material vilket skapar en större förståelse för formeringen av delar av de digitalamedieproduktionsinfrastrkturer genom en analys av skapandet av användardrivenfri programvara för digital animation. Den bidrar också teoretiskt till en utveckling av perspektivet på medier som praktik (Couldry, 2012). Metodologiskt bidrar den genom att betona värdet av platsbaserad deltagande observation och etnografi även i sammanhang av decentraliserad medieproduktionspraktik. Den bidrar även till att skapa en större förståelse för produktionen av tekniken som underbygger och möjliggör de visuella uttrycken som präglar det mesta av vårt digitala medieinnehållsutbud idag.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Huddinge: Södertörns högskola, 2017. p. 254
Series
Södertörn Doctoral Dissertations, ISSN 1652-7399 ; 146
Keywords
computer graphics, computer animation, user-driven software, infrastructuring, media practice, repair, decommodification, gifting, commons, Blender, Synfig, Morevna project, Cosmos Laundromat
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
Critical and Cultural Theory; Baltic and East European studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-33681 (URN)978-91-88663-19-1 (ISBN)978-91-88663-20-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-12-08, MB503, Alfred Nobels allé 7, Huddinge, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies
Available from: 2017-11-16 Created: 2017-11-08 Last updated: 2019-09-25Bibliographically approved
Velkova, J. (2016). Data that warms: Waste heat, infrastructural convergence and the computation traffic commodity. Big Data and Society, 3(2)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Data that warms: Waste heat, infrastructural convergence and the computation traffic commodity
2016 (English)In: Big Data and Society, ISSN 2053-9517, E-ISSN 2053-9517, Vol. 3, no 2Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article explores the ways in which data centre operators are currently reconfiguring the systems of energy and heat supply in European capitals, replacing conventional forms of heating with data-driven heat production, and becoming important energy suppliers. Taking as an empirical object the heat generated from server halls, the article traces the expanding phenomenon of ‘waste heat recycling’ and charts the ways in which data centre operators in Stockholm and Paris direct waste heat through metropolitan district heating systems and urban homes, and valorise it. Drawing on new materialisms, infrastructure studies and classical theory of production and destruction of value in capitalism, the article outlines two modes in which this process happens, namely infrastructural convergence and decentralisation of the data centre. These modes arguably help data centre operators convert big data from a source of value online into a raw material that needs to flow in the network irrespective of meaning. In this conversion process, the article argues, a new commodity is in a process of formation, that of computation traffic. Altogether data-driven heat production is suggested to raise the importance of certain data processing nodes in Northern Europe, simultaneously intervening in the global politics of access, while neutralising external criticism towards big data by making urban life literally dependent on power from data streams.

Keywords
Waste heat, data heat recycling, data furnace, computation traffic, big data, server cooling
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
Critical and Cultural Theory
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-31567 (URN)10.1177/2053951716684144 (DOI)000418167400002 ()
Available from: 2017-01-03 Created: 2017-01-03 Last updated: 2019-09-25Bibliographically approved
Velkova, J. (2016). Ethnography of Open Cultural Production: From Participant Observation to Multisited Participatory Communication. In: Wildermuth, Norbert and Ngomba, Teke (Eds) (Ed.), Methodological Reflections on Researching Communication and Social Change: (pp. 139-160). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Ethnography of Open Cultural Production: From Participant Observation to Multisited Participatory Communication
2016 (English)In: Methodological Reflections on Researching Communication and Social Change / [ed] Wildermuth, Norbert and Ngomba, Teke (Eds), Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, p. 139-160Chapter in book (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016
Series
Palgrave Studies in Communication for Social Change
Keywords
multi-sited ethnography, open source, shadowing, dislocation
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-31096 (URN)978-3-319-40465-3 (ISBN)978-3-319-40466-0 (ISBN)
Available from: 2016-11-07 Created: 2016-11-07 Last updated: 2019-09-25Bibliographically approved
Velkova, J. (2016). Free Software Beyond Radical Politics: Negotiations of Creative and Craft Autonomy in Digital Visual Media Production. Media and Communication, 4(4), 43-52
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Free Software Beyond Radical Politics: Negotiations of Creative and Craft Autonomy in Digital Visual Media Production
2016 (English)In: Media and Communication, ISSN 2083-5701, E-ISSN 2183-2439, Vol. 4, no 4, p. 43-52Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Free software development and the technological practices of hackers have been broadly recognised as fundamental for the formation of political cultures that foster democracy in the digital mediascape. This article explores the role of free software in the practices of digital artists, animators and technicians who work in various roles for the contempo-rary digital visual media industries. Rather than discussing it as a model of organising work, the study conceives free software as a production tool and shows how it becomes a locus of politics about finding material security in flexible capitalism. This politics is ultimately contradictory in that it extends creative and craft autonomy of digital artists but does not mobilise a critical project. Instead, it nurtures further precarious labour. Empirically, the article draws on eth-nographically collected material from the media practices of digital artists and programmers who engage with two popular free software production tools, Blender and Synfig.

Keywords
Blender; craft autonomy; F/OSS; media tools; material politics; media industries; open source software; post-Fordism; Synfig
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
Critical and Cultural Theory; Baltic and East European studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-30712 (URN)10.17645/mac.v4i4.693 (DOI)000408563500006 ()2-s2.0-85017344623 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2016-08-10 Created: 2016-08-10 Last updated: 2019-09-25Bibliographically approved
Velkova, J. (2016). Negotiating creative autonomy: Experiences of technology in computer-based visual media production. In: L. Kramp, N. Carpentier, A. Hepp, R. Kilborn, R. Kunelius, H. Nieminen, T. Olsson, P. Pruulmann-Vengerfeldt, I. Tomanić Trivundža & S. Tosoni (Ed.), Politics, Civil Society and Participation: Media and Communications in a Transforming Environment (pp. 185-195). Bremen: edition lumière
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Negotiating creative autonomy: Experiences of technology in computer-based visual media production
2016 (English)In: Politics, Civil Society and Participation: Media and Communications in a Transforming Environment / [ed] L. Kramp, N. Carpentier, A. Hepp, R. Kilborn, R. Kunelius, H. Nieminen, T. Olsson, P. Pruulmann-Vengerfeldt, I. Tomanić Trivundža & S. Tosoni, Bremen: edition lumière, 2016, p. 185-195Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Media production is today heavily computerised, and as a consequence of this, profoundly reliant on software. At the same time software does not represent a neutral artefact - it imposes certain affordances, logics, structures and hierarchies of knowledge onto the media making processes. This chapter explores the ways in which visual media creators negotiate the choices between multiple technological alternatives, and the ways in which these negotiations relate to the degree of creative autonomy experienced by cultural producers in their media practice. Combining perspectives from media studies of work in the cultural industries, and science and technology studies (STS), the paper suggests that choices of technology lead media producers to experience creative autonomy differently, by making them labour either within post-industrial technological frameworks that they do not have ownership or control over, or conversely, allow them greater ownership on technology and possibilities to mould their tools, bringing their practice closer to forms of pre-industrial craft production. Creative autonomy, I suggest, can therefore be negotiated by artists and media creators not only in relation to institutions of employment, or nation state politics, but also through deliberate choices of tools, the digital technical toolset that they select and embed in their practice; an approach largely inspired and practiced by some forms of hacker culture.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bremen: edition lumière, 2016
Series
The Researching and Teaching Communication Series
Keywords
creative autonomy, visual media production, free software, open source, experiences
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
Critical and Cultural Theory; Baltic and East European studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-30589 (URN)978-3-943245-54-7 (ISBN)
Funder
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies
Available from: 2016-07-09 Created: 2016-07-09 Last updated: 2019-09-25Bibliographically approved
Projects
Earth Stations and Data Centers: Network buildings as transnational infrastructures and logistical media [P18-0654:1_RJ]; Södertörn University
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-1643-7392

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