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The EU Centre at RMIT presents this annual public lecture, “Research innovation in Digital Culture in the EU context: some notes from the ethnographic fieldâ€�.
Speaker: Elisenda Ardévol, Associate Professor at the Department of Arts and Humanities, at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya.
“Digital culture, like other "things" we do with bits, is at the core of our contemporary societies. Digital technologies are usually thought of as the motor for innovation, economic development and social change, and the role of social sciences in this complex and dynamic panorama tends to be located in the analysis of the impact of these technologies in society.
However, digital culture also is about doing things in a particular way: participation, co-creativity, sharing and remixing are some of the key elements that, rooted in p2p production and free software practices, are shaping contemporary cultural production.
To explore this milieu, I propose to look at the 'Free Culture' movement in Barcelona. 'Free Culture' is a globally based internet movement inspired by Lawrence Lessig that advocates for the neutrality of the net and its basic structure (end-to-end and openness) as key principles for cultural creativity and innovation.
Free Culture mobilizes people in the 'creative class' and generates different local events, such as the annual Free Culture Forum, the Creative Commons Film Festival or the Mini Maker Faire in Barcelona, which attract participants all over Europe and abroad.
Instead of trying to understand this 'participatory culture' in terms of new hybrid figures or as a clash of 'grass-roots´ and 'market' models, I propose an ethnographic perspective that takes into account motivations, moral values and hopes that are put into play in and through their creative and sharing practices.
Finally, I connect these explorations with some reflections about the current debate in Europe around research innovation, digital media and citizen engagement.”
Elisenda’s main research lines are related with digital culture, visuality and media in everyday life. Currently, she is exploring creative processes and collaborative practices in digital media.