UWE's Digital Cultures Research Centre launches

Issue date: 21 April 2010

The Digital Cultures Research Centre (DCRC) at the University of the West of England has been officially launched at the Pervasive Media Studio in Bristol, where it will share space with the Studio's diverse network of creative talent, technology companies and content commissioners.

The event was a great success with more than 100 guests from industrial partner organisations, UWE and other academic institutions in the region in attendance to experience some of the exciting research taking place in the centre.

Visual artist and PhD student Tine Bech ran a light drawing workshop as a digital visitor's book. UWE lecturer Duncan Speakman installed a test version of his new piece 'Vicinity Songs' that is being generated between Canada and the UK as a work that reflects on time and space, using phone messages from a traveller interspersed with daily reflections from everywhere and anywhere.

Stephen Allan presented an acoustic landscape created by the echoes and reverberations of ancient sites, a QR-code based narrative ghost story by Tom Abba and Sam Kinsley ran throughout the space, and research works on display included projects from Phil Stenton, Mandy Rose, Judith Aston, Paul Matthews and the Play Research Group.

The DCRC is a space for researchers from across the UWE to share their work. Researchers will investigate the meaning and uses of media technologies in everyday life, specialising in play, user generated content, and pervasive media.

Jon Dovey, Director of the Centre, said:

"The DCRC is a network of UWE researchers who share an interest in the transformations of everyday life that are being brought about by digital communications technologies. These technologies have become ubiquitous and yesterday's new media is already taken for granted. But we now understand that technological outcomes are determined by users as much as they are by the corporate state. That's where we come in.

UWE is building on a strong tradition of engagement in this field that started 15 years ago through research in cultural studies and the early adoption by Art and Design of the Apple Mac design and media revolution. We are actively working across Art and Design, Cultural and Media Studies and Computer Sciences at UWE to investigate the ways in which people make culture through their use of digital communications."

The research will take many forms and there is already a broad range of projects underway, combining creative experiment, analysis and pragmatic application.

The DCRC will be based at the Pervasive Media Studio, which brings together the computing, communication and creative industries to pioneer new forms of digital media. The partnership between UWE and the Studio will allow researchers to engage beyond the conventional boundaries of the university and create meaningful knowledge exchange. Work is already underway on a major AHRC Knowledge Transfer Fellowship in which academics will support studio colleagues to define and develop the Studio's work.

For more information on the DCRC and the research projects and people involved visit the website at http://www.dcrc.org.uk/

More information on the Pervasive Media Studio can be found on their website at http://www.pmstudio.co.uk/

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