'Pervasive media – let's make it beautiful' says Professor

Issue date: 12 January 2010


Professor Jon Dovey with Clare Reddington, Watershed Media industry creatives in Bristol are collaborating to define and explore the economic and aesthetic potential of the emergent world of pervasive media.

Digital Media expert Professor Jon Dovey from the University of the West of England, has won a prestigious Knowledge Transfer Fellowship funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to partner up with the Watershed and the Pervasive Media Studio in Bristol.

Professor Dovey (Director of Digital Cultures Research Centre,UWE) explains, “Imagine a world where a series of devices finely tuned to local transmitters will connect you to your surroundings to experience interactions that are tuned into your journey.

Pervasive Media is often summarised as the right media, in the right place at the right time. We will be looking at how film, TV, video and text fits into the pervasive media world, at how citywide transmission and reception will enable entrepreneurs and artists to new forms of creative media.

“The emerging world of interactive media is already with us but creative people in Bristol are looking to influence the way that such devices are developed so that pervasive media or media that is site specific and dynamic can enhance our lives.

“We will create a language or protocol that can be used across all media platforms when talking about Pervasive media. We will engage researchers, entrepreneurs and designers in developing the potential in a way that will make our world a more engaging and beautiful place to live in.

“This is a very exciting partnership as it brings together people in the immediate region to investigate the evolution and creative potential of pervasive media that is already exploding into the collective consciousness as the iPhone app. I believe that the iPhone app is the cusp of something altogether more life enhancing and exciting in terms of interactive environments.

“Good examples of pervasive media include the Light Up Bristol by AntiVJ who are based at the Pervasive Media Studio shown locally on Bristol Council House two years ago. Another example is the work of UWE lecturer Duncan Speakman who makes artworks that link sound and place. Even the spiral staircase at the Pervasive Media Studio is 'smart' – when you climb the stairs the vibration of against the metal stairtreads triggers audio loops that make a surreal entrance experience.”

The project will be divided into two distinct parts first looking into the language of pervasive media and secondly examining both the economic and enjoyment values of pervasive media.

Professor Dovey concludes, “This fellowship creates the space in this fast paced development arena for an investigation that brings together the creative industries within the region to work together, reflect on the creative forms and the entrepreneurial potential that pervasive media innovations might achieve.

“The project will also feed into the academic programmes at UWE through media industry placements, workshops and seminars.”

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