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Showing papers in "M/C Journal in 2017"


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In his now-seminal book, Pilgrim in the Microworld (1983), David Sudnow details his process of learning to play the game Breakout on the Atari 2600, and develops an account of his graduation from a novice to being able to fluidly perform the various configurative processes involved in an acclimated Breakout player's repertoire.
Abstract: In his now-seminal book, Pilgrim in the Microworld (1983), David Sudnow details his process of learning to play the game Breakout on the Atari 2600. Sudnow develops an account of his graduation from a novice (having never played a videogame prior, and middle-aged at time of writing) to being able to fluidly perform the various configurative processes involved in an acclimated Breakout player’s repertoire.

6 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Pansy Duncan1

6 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: In this article, we respond to the question of, "What is the cultural capital of Nordicness in heavy metal?". Through examining the popularity of Nordic symbolism in metal music, scenes and practices, we argue that the Nordic has been ascribed significant value in metal, wherein it offers a vehicle for narratives of masculinity, nationalism and ideology. Here we contend that the cultural capital given to Nordicness underpins not only the prevalence and market success of metal in Northern Europe, but also the ongoing circulation of narratives about the North in metal scenes across multiple global regions. Through analysing the repeated motifs of Nordic mythology, ecology and imagery as they emerge throughout metal's historic and contemporary manifestations, our article demonstrates the cultural capital with which the North is continually imbued in heavy metal. We call into focus how metal's aesthetic fascination with Nordicness as a site of heathenism, resistance and frontier landscapes is intertwined with a longer thematic history of masculinity, rebellion and affective community. This article therefore interrogates the cultural capital of Nordicness in metal scenes, and how this continues to shape the trajectories for the genre both in Northern Europe and throughout the world.

4 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Katie Lavers as mentioned in this paper is an adjunct lecturer at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts and has written a book on contemporary circus for the Routledge Circus Studies Reader (2016).
Abstract: Dr. Katie Lavers is an adjunct lecturer at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. Her writing on circus has been published in numerous scholarly journals, and she is co-editor with Peta Tait of The Routledge Circus Studies Reader (2016) and is currently writing a new book on contemporary circus for Routledge. Katie is a circus reviewer for ArtsHub, Australia. As a director, her intermedia circus works have toured throughout Australia and Asia to acclaim.

3 citations







Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In the 21st century, the SEARCH button has become a dominant tool of research as discussed by the authors, which has brought a potentially beneficial democratization of historical practice but also an associated set of concerns around the loss of control of both practice and product of the professional historian.
Abstract: The Digital Turn Much of the 19th century disappeared from public view during the 20th century. Historians recovered what they could from archives and libraries, with the easy pickings-the famous and the fortunate-coming first. Latterly, social and political historians of different hues determinedly sought out the more hidden, forgotten, and marginalised. However, there were always limitations to resources-time, money, location, as well as purpose, opportunity, and permission. 'History' was principally a professionalised and privileged activity dominated by academics who had preferential access to, and significant control over, the resources, technologies and skills required, as well as the social, economic and cultural framework within which history was recovered, interpreted, approved and disseminated. Digitisation and the broader development of new communication technologies has, however, transformed historical research processes and practice dramatically, removing many constraints, opening up many opportunities, and allowing many others than the professional historian to trace and track what would have remained hidden, forgotten, or difficult to find, as well as verify (or otherwise), what has already been claimed and concluded. In the 21st century, the SEARCH button has become a dominant tool of research. This, along with other technological and media developments, has altered the practice of historians-professional or 'public'-who can now range deep and wide in the collection, portrayal and dissemination of historical information, in and out of the confines of the traditional institutional walls of retained information, academia, location, and national boundaries. This incorporation of digital technologies into academic historical practice generally, has raised, as Cohen and Rosenzweig, in their book Digital History, identified a decade ago, not just promises, but perils. For the historian, there has been the move, through digitisation, from the relative scarcity and inaccessibility of historical material to its (over) abundance, but also the emerging acceptance that, out of both necessity and preference, a hybridity of sources will be the foreseeable way forward. There has also been a significant shift, as De Groot notes in his book Consuming History, in the often conflicted relationship between popular/public history and academic history, and the professional and the 'amateur' historian. This has brought a potentially beneficial democratization of historical practice but also an associated set of concerns around the loss of control of both practice and product of the professional historian. Additionally, the development of digital tools for the collection and dissemination of 'history' has raised fears around the commercialised development of the subject's brand, products and commodities. This article considers the significance and implications of some of these changes through one protracted act of recovery and reclamation in which the digital made the difference: the life of a notorious 19th century professional agitator on both sides of the Atlantic, John De Morgan. A man thought lost, but now found. \"Who Is John De Morgan?\" The search began in 1981, linked to the study of contemporary \"race riots\" in South East London. The initial purpose was to determine whether there was a history of rioting in the area. In the Local History Library, a calm and dusty backwater, an early find was a fading, but evocative and puzzling, photograph of \"The Plumstead Common Riots\" of 1876. It showed a group of men and women, posing for the photographer on a hillside-the technology required stillness, even in the middle of a riot-spades in hand, filling in a Mr. Jacob's sandpits, illegally dug from what was supposed to be common land. The leader of this, and other similar riots around England, was John De Morgan. A local journalist who covered the riots commented: \"Of Mr. De Morgan little is known before or since the period in which he flashed meteorlike through our section of the atmosphere, but he was indisputably a remarkable man\" (Vincent 588). Thus began a trek, much interrupted, sometimes unmapped and haphazard, to discover more about this 'remarkable man'. \"Who is John De Morgan\" was a question frequently asked by his many contemporary antagonists, and by subsequent historians, and one to which De Morgan deliberately gave few answers. The obvious place to start the search was the British Museum Reading Room, resplendent in its Victorian grandeur, the huge card catalogue still in the 1980s the dominating technology. Together with the Library's newspaper branch at Colindale, this was likely to be the repository of all that might then easily be known about De Morgan. From 1869, at the age of 21, it appeared that De Morgan had embarked on a life of radical politics that took him through the UK, made him notorious, lead to accusations of treasonable activities, sent him to jail twice, before he departed unexpectedly to the USA in 1880. During that period, he was involved with virtually every imaginable radical cause, at various times a temperance advocate, a spiritualist, a First Internationalist, a Republican, a Tichbornite, a Commoner, an anti-vaccinator, an advanced Liberal, a parliamentary candidate, a Home Ruler. As a radical, he, like many radicals of the period, \"zigzagged nomadically through the mayhem of nineteenth century politics fighting various foes in the press, the clubs, the halls, the pulpit and on the street\" (Kazin 202). He promoted himself as the \"People's Advocate, Champion and Friend\" (Allen). Never a joiner or follower, he established a variety of organizations, became a professional agitator and orator, and supported himself and his politics through lecturing and journalism. Able to attract huge crowds to \"monster meetings\", he achieved fame, or more correctly notoriety. And then, in 1880, broke and in despair, he disappeared from public view by emigrating to the USA.

2 citations



Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors explored the relationship between Ionad Hiort and the Glasgow School of Art's Institute of Design Innovation (INDI) as a six-month case study for understanding how design innovation can build creative capabilities within this unique partnership.
Abstract: The existing challenges to non-profit heritage organisations are increasing in these volatile and austere climates. Particularly, existing organisational and strategic mission developments are needed to enable more resilient organisations. This paper explores the relationship between Ionad Hiort and the Glasgow School of Art’s Institute of Design Innovation (INDI) as a six-month case study for understanding how design innovation can build creative capabilities within this unique partnership. In this case, the “building” of a new type of heritage centre on the west coast of the Isle of Lewis in Scotland. It focuses on the concept of innovation in approaching complex situations as an alternative to existing means of problem solving. Through a series of workshops and engaging informal sessions a new strategy was built, which focused the group’s potential. The outcome being a new way to build confidence within communities and build new relationships, enabling new creative capabilities within a rural island community.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors discuss sounds potential to construct fictional spaces and build relations between bodies using two performance installations as case studies, Invisible Flock's 105+dB, a site-specific sound work which transports crowd recordings of a soccer match to alternative geographical locations.
Abstract: In this article, I discuss sounds potential to construct fictional spaces and build relations between bodies using two performance installations as case studies. The first is Invisible Flock’s 105+dB, a site-specific sound work which transports crowd recordings of a soccer match to alternative geographical locations. The second is Atelier Bildraum’s Bildraum, an installation performance using live photography, architectural models and ambient sound. By writing through these two works, I question how sound builds relations between bodies and across space as well as questioning the role of site within sound installation works.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, a preliminary examination of the battle map as depicted in two films about the Second World War: Franklin J. Shaffner's biopic Patton (1970) and Jack Smight's epic Midway (1976) is presented.
Abstract: This essay offers a preliminary examination of the battle-map as depicted in two films about the Second World War: Franklin J. Shaffner's biopic Patton (1970) and Jack Smight's epic Midway (1976). In these films, maps, charts, or tableaux (the three-dimensional models upon which are plotted the movements of battalions, fleets, and so on) emerge as an expression of both martial and cinematic strategy. It is argued that the battle-map emerges as a crucial isomorphic element. It features as a prop to signify command and to relay otherwise complex strategic plottings, giving audiences a glimpse into how military strategy is formed and tested: a traditional 'reading' of the map. Conversely, the map is a device of foreshadowing and a sign of command's profound limitations. It is thus resolved that the battle-map is as much a sign of the subjective as the objective.









Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: For instance, the authors investigated the role of personal record collections and collecting practices in a series of semi-structured in-depth interviews with a group of self-identified record collectors to locate the position and significance of vinyl records in their social lives as a legacy media format.
Abstract: The rekindling popularity of the vinyl record and record collecting provide a counternarrative to the ideals of technological progress and supersession, signalling the paradoxical return of a physical music format in the digital realm where "the fetish of newness is at its most aggressive" (Tischleder and Wasserman 7). In this way, the vinyl record provides a disruptive lens through which to question media history as "a history of obsolescence, where new media displace and redefine older media" and explore how "obsolescence resists becoming obsolete" (Tischleder and Wasserman 2). Magaudda (29) argues that the dematerialisation of music media has reconfigured the role of materiality in media practices and has seen physical formats such as the vinyl record "bite back" as mediators of distinct listening practices and unique material relationships to music. Against the background of on-demand streaming services and retro nostalgia in the digital age (Hogarty), record collecting may be dismissed as a resistant and obsolete collecting practice. However, as this article will explore, record collecting can be characterised as a highly social practice, providing a means to communicate identity and taste, maintain a sense of the past, and orient the social life and personal history of the collector. This article reports on the results of ethnographic research investigating the record collections of some young millennial music fans to locate the position and significance of vinyl records in their social lives as a legacy media format. To do this, I examine three key capacities of vinyl record collections in evoking autobiographical memories, maintaining personal histories and anchoring a sense of the past. The significance of personal record collections and collecting practices was investigated in a series of semi-structured in-depth interviews with a group of self-identified record collectors. The sentiments of the collector in describing their collecting can be found to reveal their acquisitions as transactions within the spheres of commodity culture and the gift economy, articulating the renewed appeal of vinyl records in the digital age. This perspective of the social meanings and media practices surrounding vinyl records in the digital age highlight the formats significance in understanding the complex trajectories of media history.





Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Paul Ewing as discussed by the authors used Super 8 film and then converted to VHS with the advent of the new technology to document the life of his family on film and examined their impact on his own life.
Abstract: Over a period of ten years Paul Ewing documented the life of his family on film – initially using Super 8 film and then converting to VHS with the advent of the new technology. Through the lens of home movies, autoethnography and memory I discuss his approach to amateur image making and its lasting legacy. Home movies have been the driving force behind a number of autobiographical documentaries such as Tarnation, Video Fool for Love and Stories We Tell. Here I take an auto ethnographical look at the films my own father made over a ten year period, prior to my parents divorce, and examine their impact on my own life and look to see if there is any value to them outside of my own personal investment. “Autoethnography is predicated on the ability to invite readers into the lived experience of the presumed “Other” and to experience it viscerally” (Boylorn and Orbe 15). It is a research method that connects “the autobiographical and personal to the cultural, social and political” (Ellis xix). Autoethnography involves the turning of the ethnographic gaze inward on the self (Denzin 227). Autoethnographers use their personal experience as primary data reflexively to bend back on self and look more deeply at self-other interactions. Paul Francis Ewing was born in 1947 in Redhill in the United Kingdom. Inez Anne Taveira was born eight years previously in another part of the world entirely, Taiping in Malaysia or Malaya as it was known then. She immigrated to the UK when she was 21 to study acting and later teaching. She married Paul in 1970 and by 1976 they had two children – my brother Brendan and myself. Around 1978 Paul, or Dad, started to film the family. He wanted to “capture the moment. Like writing a diary”. Patricia Zimmerman writes, “Amateur film represents psychic tracings of diaries and dreams. The family, dreams, and nightmares create new hybrids, new discourses” (276). In the beginning of the last century Pierre Janet already noted that: \"certain happenings ... leave indelible and distressing memories – memories to which the sufferer continually returns, and by which he is tormented by day and by night.” Janet, postulated that intense emotional reactions make events traumatic by interfering with the integration of the experience into existing memory schemes. Intense emotions, Janet thought, cause memories of particular events to be dissociated from consciousness, and to be stored, instead, as visceral sensations (anxiety and panic), or as visual images (nightmares and flashbacks). Schachtel defined it as: “Memory as a function of the living personality can be understood as a capacity for the organization and reconstruction of past experiences and impressions in the service of present needs, fears, and interests” (284). The images captured by Paul Ewing are part of both my consciousness and unconsciousness. I have revisited them on numerous occasions for varying reasons. Amateur film’s otherness requires analysis of active relationships between maker and subject (Zimmerman 277). When I questioned Paul in regards to this research, he suggested that screening the films was very important to him. “Mum and I enjoyed them and then later the grand parents. Also you and Bren.” I found it more than interesting that he placed my brother and myself last in the list of those who enjoyed the screenings. As a student of film I have looked for the stories within these images, looking to understand whom the man behind the lens was: potentially who the men behind the lenses have been. Who was the man from my/our memories, who was the boy, who were the boys who became the man/men we are? Van der Kolk and Fisler suggest that ‘dissociation refers to a compartmentalization of experience: elements of the experience are not integrated into a unitary whole, but are stored in memory as isolated fragments consisting of sensory perceptions or affective states” (510). Karen L. Ishizuka insists, “Within home movies ... lie hidden histories of the world.” In this case, perhaps only hidden histories of myself. Given a consistent dissociative reaction to stressful situations my honest agenda in watching and re-watching my father’s home cinema may indeed be to attempt to decode what Janet claimed people experience when intense emotions, memories cannot be transformed into a neutral narrative: a person is “unable to make the recital which we call narrative memory, and yet he remains confronted by the difficult situation” (660). This results in a phobia of memory that prevents the integration of traumatic events and splits off the traumatic memories from ordinary consciousness. Piaget claimed that dissociation occurs when an active failure of semantic memory leads to the organization of memory on somatosensory or iconic levels (201). It cannot be coincidence that these descriptors sound familiar to any student or practitioner of cinema. We, the automaton: a moving mechanical device made in imitation of a human being. “The limbic system is thought to be the part of the central nervous system that maintains and guides the emotions and behavior necessary for self-preservation and survival of the species, and that is critically involved in the storage and retrieval of memory” (Van der Kolk 10). Of all areas in the central nervous system, the amygdala is most clearly implicated in the evaluation of the emotional meaning of incoming stimuli. It is thought to integrate internal representations of the external world in the form of memory images with emotional experiences associated with those memories (Calvin). In a series of experiments, J LeDoux utilized repeated electrical stimulation of the amygdala to produce conditioned fear responses. He found that cortical lesions prevent their extinction. This led him to conclude that, once formed, the subcortical traces of the conditioned fear response are indelible, and that \"emotional memory may be forever\". Paul filmed us for approximately eight years. First using the Super 8 format and later straight onto VHS using a cumbersome, oversized camera that fed into a VHS deck carried over the shoulder in a plastic satchel. Zimmerman suggests that home movies graph the contradictions between the realities of family life bounded by class, race, and gender expectations and the fantasies of the nuclear family, and they also reveal the unfinished production of obedient subjects and histories (278). They create expectations that wrestle with the fragile nature of family. Paul wasn’t the only “cinematographer” in the family. The camera was often passed to Inez so that Paul’s presence in family occasions could be authenticated. Eventually both Brendan and myself were allowed moments of seeing the world through the black and white view finders. Perhaps those early cinematographic moments started me on the path to today. The picture as a model of reality. The “real” and the “performed” act is twofold in the home movie. Our many different roles exemplify the separation and interrelation of our public and private lives. The act of mimesis seems to signify “I exist” or, rather, “I represent myself here for immortality.” This imitation of ourselves is an authentic “copy” of the original, since actor and role are identical (Forgacs 52). Identical yet problematic: dissociated? Merilee Bennett’s 1987 film, A Song of Air, is a compilation film composed of home movies shot by Merilee’s father, Reverend Arnold Lucas Bennett, who regularly filmed his family with a Paillard Bolex 16mm camera between 1956 and 1983. I saw A Song of Air as an undergraduate and it has never left me. It did not occur to me until years later to work with my own family’s filmic archive but Bennett’s work is undoubtedly a key influence. The film invites two levels of reading: first, the level of the home movies made by the father; second, the analysis made by Merilee of her father’s home movies through her own reediting of the images and her omnipresent commentary in the form of a letter addressed to her father (Odin 256). No other types of films evidence as much direct address as the home movie. The family filmmaker’s camera functions first as a go-between and only secondly as a recording instrument. To film is to take part in a collective game in the family domain. These familial interactions are not always peaceful. In a personal letter, Merilee Bennett recounts one of these conflicts. “The shot of him [my father] talking directly into the camera with a tree and blue sky behind him was shot by me when I was 12 years old and he is actually telling me to stop, that it was enough now. I remember holding my finger on that button knowing that he couldn’t get really mad at me because I would have it on film, so he had to keep smiling even though he was getting cross.” Merilee reclaims her identity through editing, imposing her own order on her father’s films. The father, “like an omnipotent God,” uses cinema to mold his family. Paul Ewing may have been doing the same – he was the only one aware of how fractured the family, his family, our family, my family actually was. In her autobiography The Words to Say It, Marie Cardinal explains to her psychoanalyst that after clinical treatment she had the strength to undertake a search for the origin of her trauma. I had a similar experience in that I was encouraged by a therapist to ask my father about the reasons behind his infidelity and what he felt were the grounds for his divorce. I had for many years believed it was because of me, that I had disappointed him as a son. Cardinal remembered her father filmed her pissing in the forest. Conscious that her urination has not only been watched, but also filmed, she felt traumatized and thought, “I want to hurt him. I want to kill him! (151)” Shooting a home movie does not always have such dramatic consequences, but it always carries a risk for the subjects filmed, especially children. Parents are not aware of the psychic consequences of a seemingly harmless act. Pau