Communicative Cities: Governance and Communication

Art Precincts and Cultural Participation in Networked Public Space

Flinders Street Station in Melbourne during the White Night Festival 2014
Flinders Street Station in Melbourne during the White Night Festival 2014

Find an Expert grant information

Investigators

Nikos Paspastergiadis, Audrey Yue, Scott McQuire, Paul Carter, Lily Kong, Ute Bauer, Janine Marchessault.

Overview

This project examines the impact of visitor experiences on the programming and design of the public zones of arts precincts. In the past decade arts precincts have grown in number and scale around the world. However, in a context of multicultural societies and networked visitors, there is still little knowledge of the fit between public expectations, aesthetic innovation and urban design. Even less attention is given to the flows and encounters that occur in open spaces. We will develop an evaluative and comparative framework that will deepen awareness of inclusive modes of public participation and vitalise connectivity between arts institutions in precincts.

Avatars and Identity

Avatars and Identity

Research Data Australia grant information

Investigators

Justin Clemens, Thomas Apperley, John Frow.

Overview

The avatar, a virtual representation of its user, is the key element of interface technology for everyday computer use in the twenty-first century. While specialist aspects of the avatar have received intensive attention from the technology industries and scholars, the focus of the work to date has been on the technical efficiency of the interface, rather than understanding the full social implications of its use. Through a historical, ethnographic and critical analysis of the role of the avatar, in consultation with industry, this project offers a unique opportunity to develop a wider perspective that will contribute to an understanding of the uses and policies for the digital economy.

Public Libraries in the Digital Economy

Bukit Panjang Public Library, Singapore. Image provided by Dale Leorke, all rights reserved.

Investigators

Prof Scott McQuire, Dr Dale Leorke, Dr Danielle Wyatt, with Sarah Slade (State Library Victoria)

Overview

Far from becoming obsolete with the advent of online archives, the public library has been highly successful in its adaptation to networked digital technologies and an increasingly digital culture. This project is one of the few studies to examine the public library beyond its four walls, and make an account of the expanded role it is playing in cities, communities and in broader governmental policies and agendas. Case studies have been drawn from the Queensland Library Network, from new library developments in Geelong and inner Melbourne, from Singapore, and from the State Library of Victoria as it embarks upon a major redevelopment to transition into the digital era.

Importantly, the research reveals the intersection of public libraries with the economic agendas of cities, as articulated in visions of the smart city, the creative city and the digital economy. How are these visions impacting upon the funding structures, governance models and traditional functions of public libraries? How are resources distributed between metropolitan, rural and regional libraries? And what kinds of tensions exist between the library’s increasingly economic mandate, and its historic role as a foundational institution of the modern public sphere?