…and then the world

the 2016 that was

Jan
06

2016 was a weird old year, to put it mildly – and that’s without considering Brexit, Trump, the ongoing rise of extremism, unrest and turmoil and crises, political inactivity on major issues, and all the celebrity deaths (not just Bowie)… Personally, 2016 didn’t feel like the most productive year, and there was a lot going on behind the scenes that contributed to that — but, looking at the round-up for the year, it doesn’t seem that bad overall. Obviously the book finally coming out was a major achievement for 2016, but there was also a lot of progress with the visual social media research I’ve been doing, especially on GIFs:

 

Published in 2016

 

Books

Social Media and Everyday Politics

 

Chapters

Tim Highfield and Axel Bruns: ‘Compulsory Voting, Encouraged Tweeting? Australian Elections and Social Media’; Axel Bruns and Tim Highfield: ‘Is Habermas on Twitter? Social Media and the Public Sphere’ – both in The Routledge Companion to Social Media and Politics

Axel Bruns and Tim Highfield: ‘May the best Tweeter win: The Twitter strategies of key campaign accounts in the 2012 US election’ – in Die US-Präsidentschaftswahl 2012: Analysen der Politik- und Kommunikationswissenschaft

 

Articles

Tim Highfield and Tama Leaver: Instagrammatics and digital methods: studying visual social media, from selfies and GIFs to memes and emoji (Communication Research and Practice)

Tama Leaver and Tim Highfield: Visualising the ends of identity: pre-birth and post-death on Instagram (Information, Communication & Society)

+ 2015 publication as online-first but now out with 2016 page numbers: ‘News via Voldemort: Parody accounts in topical discussions on Twitter’ (New Media & Society)

 

Other writing

‘Covering the election beyond our memes: what role for visual politics and social media?’ (The Conversation)

‘Waiving (hash)flags: Some thoughts on Twitter hashtag emoji’ (Medium)

 

 

Talks + presentations

‘On (the) loop: The animated GIF and cultural logics of repetition’ (Theorizing the Web, New York City, April 2016) [view this talk on YouTube]
‘Social Media and Everyday Politics’ (Oxford Internet Institute Summer Doctoral Programme, Oxford, July 2016)
Tim Highfield and Kate M. Miltner, ‘Interrogating the reaction GIF: Making meaning by repurposing repetition’ (Social Media and Society, London, July 2016)
‘The politics of info-GIF-ics: Animated maps and graphs on everyday social media’ (Culture and Politics of Data Visualisation, Sheffield, October 2016)
Tim Highfield and Peta Mitchell, ‘Ambient geodata and algorithmic surveillance’ (Automating the Everyday symposium, Brisbane, December 2016)
Tim Highfield and Kate M. Miltner, ‘The Trumping of the political GIF: Visual social media for political commentary in the 2016 US election’ (Crossroads, Sydney, December 2016)
‘Smashed mouths: Internet cultures and the embrace and subversion of nostalgia’ (Crossroads, Sydney, December 2016)

+

The conceptual challenges of perpetual motion: Challenges of studying looping visual social media‘ – poster presentation (ICA Visual Communication pre-conference, Fukuoka, June 2016)

+

Tim Highfield, Kate M. Miltner, Amy Johnson, and R. Stuart Geiger, ‘Playing with the rules’ fishbowl (AoIR2016, Berlin, October 2016)

 

 

Media

July 2016: ABC Radio National – Drive with Patricia Karvelas, ‘Social Campaign: poll selfies, Greens on Grindr and Twitter investigates Kelly O’Dwyer’ (live interview)
June 2016: Washington Post, ‘The mesmerizing lost art of the 10-hour YouTube loop, 2011’s weirdest video trend’ by Abby Ohlheiser (interview)
May 2016: ABC Gold Coast – Breakfast, ‘How do political memes affect the polls?’ (live interview)

 

 

Workshops

Tim Highfield and Tama Leaver: Instagrammatics for 2016 CCI Digital Methods Summer School
Bots for QUT DMRC workshop series

 

 

1 prize-winning GIF

 

Get elected!
‘Don’t get mad, get elected’ for GIF IT UP! 2016

 

 

around the world


37 flights (213298 km, or, >5x around the world; 11 days 19:13 flight time) + long-distance trains
six countries (Australia, USA, Germany, UK, France, Japan)

24 times Gudetama got academic existentialism

May
08

Gudetama is the lazy egg from Sanrio (creators of many many characters, including Hello Kitty). Their lack of enthusiasm for getting up or doing anything, their desire to just keep resting, speaks to anyone who just does not do mornings — see, among their various videos, this one as a starting point — but Gudetama’s thoughts and feelings can also be applied to various academic concerns, in GIF form:

Needing to write All The Things but not feeling it

1.

timetogetup

2.

backstroke

3.

hotspring

4.

dontfeellikedoinganything

 

Overwhelming confusion (even with advice)

5.

tangled

6.

stuck

7.

seriouslycant

 

Being a hermit because everything is due

8.

weather

9.

call

10.

gohome

The anxiety of public events

11.

closethedoor

12.

star

13.

coolhair

 

Social media

14.

tweet

 

Deadlines and dread

15.

coldworld_short

16.


punctual

17.

never

Being unique and original

18.

love

19.

conform

What comes next

20.

stable

21.

future

22.

free_short

23.

flail

24.

scene

presentation: Oh! You Pretty GIFs (Melbourne, July 2015)

Sep
23

In mid-July, in my final stop in the mid-year conference tour, I had the honour of presenting at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) in Melbourne at a symposium marking the opening of the David Bowie is exhibition in Australia at the same venue. Needless to say, it was an amazing experience, and huge thanks go to the organizers for their hard work in putting this together; I fell sick after the first day, unfortunately, and missed out on a whole bunch of fascinating work if the first day was anything to go by! Plus it’s not many conferences where the day starts with musical performances (including a ukulele trio dubbed the ‘Thin White Ukes’), features keynotes from a scholar living as Bowie, the David Bowie is V&A curator, and one of Australia’s pre-eminent musicians and music writers, *and* offers workshops and such that include make-up and photoshoots:

bowiefest

I presented a paper about David Bowie GIFs, fandom, and related themes; unlike many of my previous presentations, my slides were mostly images, projected onto a ridiculously huge cinema screen – so putting up the slides without comment seems a little confusing; however, also unusually, I wrote out a script for my presentation so that I had something to work from without the slides to give written prompts. So, if you are interested, you can find the full selection of GIFs and accompanying ‘script’ (which I talked around and occasionally went on short tangents from, but as a guide to what I was probably planning to say) after the cut:

bowie_titleslide

 

(more…)

collected slides: ICA and ANZCA 2015

Sep
23

A quick round-up of the slides for my various presentations from May and July at ICA in Puerto Rico and ANZCA in New Zealand: if you wanted to know what was on the slides (no audio) for presentations about, variously, birth and death as depicted on Instagram, Eurovision, Democracy Sausage, the Australian spatial imaginary and social media, visual social media and methodological challenges, and news and Twitter, then read on! These papers were variously prepared with Tama Leaver, Axel Bruns, Peta Mitchell, and Elizabeth Ellison.

 

ICA Mobile Preconference (San Juan, Puerto Rico: May 2015)

Tama Leaver and Tim Highfield: ‘Instagramming the ends of identity’

(ed: obviously, with 15 minutes to present not all 45 slides were talked about in the presentation itself!)

 

ICA (San Juan, Puerto Rico: May 2015)

Tim Highfield: ‘Depicting social television on Instagram’

 

Axel Bruns and Tim Highfield: ‘Social media news audiences and the quantified journalist’

 

ANZCA (Queenstown, New Zealand: July 2015)

Tim Highfield: ‘Bangers and mash-ups’

 

Peta Mitchell, Tim Highfield, and Elizabeth Ellison: ‘Mapping the Australian spatial imaginary via social media’

 

Tim Highfield and Tama Leaver: ‘Visual social media and digital methods’ (an updated version of the paper presented at ‘Digging the Data’ in Sydney in April 2015).

 

presentation schedule 2015 [#mmdiwts tour]

Apr
14

My conference schedule for the year is starting to come together, and over the next six months I’ll be involved in presentations on different sides of the planet, covering a pretty interesting range of topics with some brilliant collaborators – from Bowie to birth, #democracysausage to death, GIFs and loops to Eurovision and elections, and a generous dash of methods. This year’s tour (for no reason given the moniker the ‘Make Me Dance, I Want To Surrender‘ World Tour 2015) has several legs, and more dates may follow – especially in September and October. Check the upcoming page for the latest details!

 

Part one: April – May 2015

First up, at the end of this week I’m presenting at ‘Digging the Data’, an ANZCA pre-conference at the University of Sydney, on ‘Visual social media: Instagrammatics and beyond’ (17 April 2015). This is an updated version of both the Instagrammatics Tama Leaver and I have been working on, and some preliminary work for my VCRF project.

Then, at the start of May, in Brisbane (for once!), I’m the support act for Lee Humphreys at that month’s Digital Media seminar series at QUT – the topic for my talk is still TBA, but will probably be around ‘Visual Cultures of Social Media’ (8 May 2015).

A few weeks later, I’m off to Puerto Rico for the International Communication Association (ICA) conference in San Juan:

– at the ICA Mobile Preconference, Tama and I have a paper on ‘Instagramming the ends of identity‘, an overview of the Instagram elements we’ve been working on for Tama’s Ends of Identity project. (20 May 2015).

– in the full conference, Axel Bruns and I have a paper on ‘Social media news audiences and the quantified journalist’ as part of a panel on  ‘the audience turn in journalism (studies)’. (22 May 2015).

– and also at the full conference, I’m presenting on ‘Depicting social television on Instagram: Visual social media, participation, and audience experiences of #sbseurovision’ – my paper about Australian Eurovision fandom on Instagram, to be presented a matter of hours before Australia competes at Eurovision for the very first time. (23 May 2015).

 

Part two: July 2015

In July, I’m off to New Zealand (for the first time!) to present at the Australia New Zealand Communication Association conference in Queenstown:

– first, I’m finally getting #democracysausage out of my system (8-10 July 2015)

Peta Mitchell, Elizabeth Ellison, and I have a paper on ‘Social media and the Australian spatial imaginary‘, bringing together Peta’s work on cultural geography and social media mapping, Liz’s research into representations of place, and my digital media research, especially Instagram (8-10 July 2015).

– and Tama and I have the expanded version of  ‘Visual social media: Instagrammatics and beyond’ as part of a Digital Methods panel (8-10 July 2015).

The following week, I’m off to Melbourne to give a talk at a symposium attached to the David Bowie Is… exhibition which is finally coming to Australia. My presentation is about fandom and visual culture on social media: it’s ‘Oh! You Pretty GIFs: Visualising David Bowie fandom on Tumblr’, to be given at The Stardom and Celebrity of David Bowie symposium, (17-18 July 2015).

 

Part three: September – October 2015

The early parts of this leg are still to be determined, but the tour will end up in Phoenix, Arizona, for the Association of Internet Researchers annual conference (IR16), where the following will happen:

Stefanie Duguay and I will present on looping visual media, focusing on GIFs and Vines, in ‘“Like a monkey with a miniature cymbal”: Cultural practices of repetition in visual social media’ (21-24 October 2015).

– Tama and I will delve deeper into the visual representations of birth and death on Instagram in ‘Imagining the ends of identity: Birth and death on Instagram’ (21-24 October 2015)

– and Axel and I sum up six years of research into social media and Australian politics as part of a panel on elections in ‘Social Media in Selected Australian Federal and State Election Campaigns, 2010-15‘ (21-24 October 2015)

There is more to be announced, too – including more methods workshops, so keep an eye out for that! So, a pretty quiet year planned…