Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts and Communications

Institute of Communications Studies

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Visual and Digital Cultures

David Machin at VisDigCult event

The Visual and Digital Cultures Research Group originates from a widely shared interest, within the School of Media and Communication, in the visual and digital aspects of communication and media culture. The visual has now long been a dominant mode of communication across media texts and contexts. Along the same lines, the digital has become central to a large majority of media and communication technologies, practices and products. Both areas of research share similar questions and concerns relating to the technological, aesthetic, social, political, economic, and the cultural.

In exploring visual and digital communication, the Visual and Digital Cultures Research Group highlights research on a wide range of media, including film, television, radio, advertising, journalism and the Internet. Alongside a keen interest in the visual and digital dimensions of more ‘traditional’ media, the group fosters research on forms of communication that are not commonly considered as ‘media’ in their own right. This includes but is not limited to the built environment, design, photography, branding, public relations, performance, data and databases. In addition, the group intends to provide a home for the growing interest in practice-based research within the School, most of which concerns itself with elements of the visual and the digital. In an effort to account fully for the significance of both the visual and the digital in everyday life, the group’s scope also extends to an active exploration of the sensorial, affective, material and embodied aspects of both modes.

The Visual and Digital Cultures Research Group adopts a non medium-centric and cross-disciplinary approach to engage with multiple aspects (e.g. production processes, users and audiences, histories, texts, etc.), issues (e.g. representation and identity, political economies, access and divides, etc.), and methodologies (e.g. audience research, textual analysis, ethnography, critical and theoretical approaches, practice-led approaches etc.). In an age of augmented multimodality and media convergence, the group also values research on the intersection of the visual and the digital. Overall, the Visual and Digital Cultures Research Group aims to be a hub for cutting-edge scholarship and praxis in both of these growing areas of media, communication, and cultural studies.

For more information and to get involved with the Group, contact Giorgia Aiello or Helen Kennedy.

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