Roundtable: Artificial Intelligence, Agency, and Ethics in Cultural Practice

20 February 2020 9:30am12:00pm
There are many historical examples of art responding to imperatives from outside of art. AI seems set to have this kind of influence. There are examples of plausible-appearing AI-produced art. AI-written screenplays show that the machines still have a long way to go but they should alert us to possible futures in which our most celebrated artists are machines. I connect this issue with the long-running debate about whether it’s possible for a machine to think. This could make it rational for us to respond to AI art not with amusement, but with hostility.
The Writers Studio

The Writers Studio: Student Welcome Event

19 February 2020 11:00am12:00pm
Do you have a passion for writing?
Be one of the first to see the beautiful new space for students - The Writers Studio. At this welcome event you will meet like-minded students, listen to world-class readings and discover all the ways you can study writing at UQ!

A delicious spread of afternoon treats will also be provided.

Roundtable: The Digital and Our Social Natures

19 February 2020 9:30am12:00pm
What can philosophy bring to debates about how humans will inhabit the digital age? The particular debate I focus on concerns the role of humans in the economies of the future. We frequently hear that human workers face a threat from more efficient machines. What can we offer to compensate for the decline in the economic value of our efforts? There are too many overconfident forecasts about what the digital future offers us as social beings. Philosophers can bring the attitude of Socrates who said he knew nothing but at least knew that. Philosophers should be like Socrates challenging the overconfident forecasts of economists and technologists. When philosophers perform this service we should also avoid our own variety of overconfidence that comes from placing too much credence on what we take to be the most rationally coercive argument. In this context I argue for a significant expansion of the category of social work to protect against the divisive influences of social media and its filter bubbles.

Promotional Culture of the Platform

29 November 2019 9:30am5:00pm
Social media and search now dominate Australian media advertising expenditures and advertiser and marketer attention. However this advertising is some distance from our traditional advertising forms in that it is neither public nor visible. Instead it is taking place in a largely unregulated media space that lacks public visibility and scrutinising oversight. Presentations by: Tom O’Regan, Sam Kininmoth, Mark Andrejevic, Sven Broedmerkel, Richie Barker, and Jane Johnson. Discussants Katie Brennan, Franzisca Weder, Caroline Wilson-Barnao.

Symposium - Bodies and Devices: Geolocative Media

28 November 2019 9:00am4:00pm
Bodies and Devices: Geolocative Media explores the networked body as fundamental to understandings of both the body and the digital economy. The geolocated body is tracked, networked, coded, monitored and represented on a range of digital media platforms. This involves making available the body to the algorithmic and participatory logics of digital media platforms and an entangling of its experiences with these architectures. Presentations by: Peta Mitchell, Frederico Fialho Teixeira, Sarah Barns, Thao Phan, and Scott McQuire.

Image Machines Workshop

19 November 2019 10:00am2:00pm
Instagram’s large and engaged user base and distinctive everyday visual cultures have eluded intensive study due to the scarcity of methods for data collection and analysis. Instamancer is an Instagram data gathering tool developed for collecting and processing Instagram posts and media files without requiring access to an API. It was developed through both the "Platform Media: Algorithms, Accountability and Design" and is a key outcome of the Visual Social Media stream of the "Platform Media" initiative. It represents the experimental media and research ambitions of those involved in the Platform Media initiative focusing as it does on the developing and testing of new ideas for the media industry as well as critical scholarship in our respective fields of research. Presented by Nicholas Carah and Dan Angus.

Image Machines Workshop

19 November 2019 10:00am2:00pm

The Logic of Instagram: Affiliations, Aesthetics, Attention

11 November 2019 10:00am12:00pm
This presentation explores Instagram’s impact on art and visual culture by considering how it has shaped the production and consumption of street art in the public domain, sometimes affecting its appearance but also changing its context, production, audiences and meaning. While shaping these dynamics, the architecture of Instagram yields data that can help map and describe the contours and networks of graffiti and street art as a global system. Presented by Lachlan MacDowell.

A Roundtable on Streaming with Arnt Maasø

24 October 2019 11:00am12:30pm
Since the introductions of YouTube (2005), Netflix (streaming since 2007) and Spotify (2008), users are increasingly accessing cultural products via streaming services instead of owning them. This on-demand access to vast digital catalogues of works combines technologies and business models in ways that are profoundly shaping cultural practice. Presenter Arnt Maasø discusses this shift towards streaming and the major international research project on streaming of which he is a part.

2019 S.W. Brooks Public Lecture: Famished

16 October 2019 5:00pm6:30pm
This fascinating public lecture will take the form of a one-hour performance of Famished by Cherry Smyth, with accompanying soundtrack of music by composer Ed Bennett and expanded singing by Lauren Kinsella to draw on the power of collective lament. 

A Roundtable on Platforms, Power and Cultural Creation with David Nieborg

15 October 2019 11:00am12:30pm
Processes of platformisation are the elephant in the room for not only cultural creators—whether they be film and TV producers, journalists, PR professionals, authors and publishers, theatre and visual artists--but also for each of the School of Communication and Arts’ aesthetic fields and disciplines. But we often don’t see it as a systemic process working its way in related ways across the entire architecture of our cultural fields bringing these cultural fields into new, contingent relations to each other. In this roundtable, presenter David Nieborg discusses these new configurations.

Research Seminar - Selfies, Affordances, and Situational Properties

11 October 2019 3:00pm4:00pm
There is an incredible richness and nuance in the social functions, affect, localized norms, and experienced control in these visual practices of sharing and consuming selfies on visually oriented online platforms. Based on material gathered on and about Tumblr, Instagram and Snapchat over the past 7 years, this talk proposes some patterns about how people behave, how they make sense of what they are doing, and how that is imminent to discourses, norms and power hierarchies in the case of visual self-presentation on social media. Presenter: Katrin Tiidenberg.

Webtoons and Transmedia Innovations in a New Digital Economy

1 October 2019 9:30am5:00pm
Webtoons are a new addition to the popular Korean Wave creative industry phenomenon, which includes recent activities involving the supergroup BTS and their webtoon Save Me, as well as digital content created by Marvel superstar Stan Lee and others from the US entertainment industries. Vertically-scrolling webtoons – a term merging “web” and “cartoons,” coined in South Korea in the early 2000s, have become a transmedia phenomenon. Presenters: Tae-Jin Kang, Park Seok-hwan, Sun-Tae Hwang, Aaron Sammut, Lee Jae-Sik, Milan Ilich, Dan Gilmore, Dingkun Wang.

State of Play: Australian Arts Criticism Panel with Miriam Cosic, Alison Croggon, Carissa Lee and Kathryn Kelly

27 September 2019 3:00pm5:00pm
The University of Queensland’s School of Communication and Arts and the Centre for Critical and Creative Writing invite you to attend a panel discussion on the state of play in Australian arts criticism.

Research Seminar - Who Owns Your Face? Personal Identity Rights in the Era of Augmented Reality and Facial Recognition Tech

2 August 2019 3:00pm4:00pm
Recent advances in augmented reality and facial recognition are posing questions for governments, big tech and privacy advocates about what rights individuals have to control their own personal identity. While DeepFake and augmented reality technology is becoming more widely available to consumers, our personal identity is increasingly used by big tech and government in the form of facial recognition. Presenter Gordon Finlayson explores the changing landscape of personal identity and privacy rights.

Market Information in the Age of Platform Dominance: Implications for Computational Social Science

24 June 2019 11:00am12:30pm
We find ourselves in an era where much of audience activity centres around a handful of digital platforms. This also has impacted how we learn about audiences. Audience measurement has traditionally been the province of neutral third-party firms, whereas digital platforms provide their own measurement estimates, the production of which is largely shielded from external stakeholders. Presenter Harsh Taneja delineates this ongoing shift in market information regimes in media markets raising critical questions for the emerging area of computational social science.