Proposed Thematic Panel for GeoMedia 2015: Spaces and Mobilities in Mediatized Worlds (An Interdisciplinary International Conference Karlstad, SWEDEN, 5-8 May 2015, website: http://geomedia.se/)
By no means have media production spaces been ignored in academic research. Analyses of media production have often been anchored to specific settings, for example the studio in television production studies, the newsroom in journalism ethnographies, or the loft-style office in creative industries research. Yet in many ways these traditions sit uneasily alongside the sorts of media spaces that emerge through recent attempts to theorise media in terms of ‘practices’. The value of work on media practices has been to emphasize the highly contingent interweaving of media into ‘everyday life’, a process which is fluid, indeterminate, and non-media centric. Yet, such work has overwhelmingly centred on the spaces of media consumption. Media production spaces, by contrast, are theorized as institutionalised, closed-off, strategically coherent and medium-specific. The geographies of media production, in other words, are often implicitly assumed to inhabit a different level of analysis.
This thematic panel aims to offer new perspectives that trouble the dichotomy between the geographies of media production and everyday mediation, and particularly how the former is often seen as institutionalized while the latter mundane. To begin with, what counts as media production is up for grabs, for example in the erosion of producer/audience distinctions, the loosening of medium specificity in the wake of digitalization, or in the dispersal of media production sites. At the same time, there are conceptual reasons to challenge the idea that media production spaces are centers of power. This session will explore the indeterminate spaces of media ‘production’ and their contingent negotiation with, anticipation of and even subjugation to the spaces, values and sensibilities of everyday life.
Papers might address the above themes via the following topics:
· Affective/emotional dimensions of media production spaces/places
· The social spaces of professionalized media fields and their material geographies
· Localized geographies of film/television/music production/post-production
· Code/software spaces and media production
· Sport spaces and media production
· The urban habitus of media professionals and semi-professionals
· Site-specific encounters of media and non-media people
· Spaces of ‘produsers’, ‘prosumers’, ‘citizen journalists’ and other non-professional media contributors
· Time/temporality/timeliness/rhythm and media production spaces
· Media producer anticipations/constructions of audience/user geographies
· Architectural/infrastructural environments of media production
· Cultural policy and the governance of media production
· The body as site of media production
· Practices of media space branding
· Below the line media production spaces
The above list is indicative rather than exhaustive – proposals on other topics still within the above broad session theme will be gratefully received.
Following the GeoMedia conference, we plan to propose the papers from this panel (or a development thereof) into a special theme issue for a refereed journal in media and cultural studies.