The Birmingham School of Media has teamed up with local music organisation and AHRC KTF partner Capsule and Invisible Records in order to bring legendary drummer/producer/author/label owner Martin Atkins to Birmingham.
Last week, Interactive Cultures played host to a visit from Lauren Amery of the West Midlands Regional Observatory. The WMO is the source of regional research, facts and figures with a responsibility for helping the region to develop better access to well organised information in order to formulate better policy, strategy and funding in the West Midlands for the collective good. Continue reading
This is a busy week for publications from Interactive Cultures.
Dubber has contributed to the timely, if optimistic, ‘After the Crunch’ edited by John Holden, John Kieffer, John Newbigin and Shelagh Wright (free to download). He is also one of the team who contributed to ‘Media Studies: Texts, Contexts and Production’, a textbook which is published this week by Pearson Longman.
We’ve been busy this last week, travelling up to Leeds in order to present at two conferences.
The first was ‘The Word on Jazz’, the latest annual event held at the Leeds College of Music (it began in 1993). Andrew Dubber presented work coming out of his research with Tim Wall on jazz online as part of the now completed BBC project. Tim Wall and I were able to elaborate on the work that we have been doing on popular music histories on TV. Tim spoke about Ken Burns’ PBS series ‘Jazz’ while I spoke on the BBC’s ‘Jazz Britannia’ series. We’ll be developing these themes in further conferences and in at least two scheduled publications so watch for details. Suffice to say, our collective BCU panel was warmly received and generated some interesting observations and comments. Such instances serve to add to the rigour of how the work finally looks when (if) published.
Kevin Ho graduated from Birmingham City University in 2003. Since 2004 he has been a development producer at the Right Angle Media, an independent production house based in Singapore that specialises in factual content. His job is to come up with ideas, develop them and pitch them to channels. Kevin has developed concepts for local Singaporean channels as well as international channels, including the National Geographic Channel, Discovery Asia, History Channel Asia and BBC Knowledge. He was good enough to send us a guest post relating our work to his industry experiences in South East Asia.
The last few days, weeks and months have presented us with a long list of doom and gloom as far as the economy goes. What has been happening in Birmingham and the region is making me, for one, feel like I’ve been transported back to the 1980s when the City seemed to have no rationale to exist so rapid was the decline into a ‘post-industrial’ condition. Today’s Birmingham Post reports the loss of 600 jobs at GKN while the situation at Jaguar Land Rover continues to concern us all. Closer to my working community, within University cloisters, discussion of projects is regularly conditioned by the phrase ‘in the current climate’, indicating the belt-tightening affecting us all.
If you don’t know him already, Nick Cohen is a journalist who writes mainly for The Observer. As a very anti-trendy leftie, I see him, in his exposure of cant and hypocrisy, as a modern Orwell (that’s praise in my book). He has a new book due out, ‘Waiting for the Etonians‘, in which he laments the decline of liberal values in the UK – mostly thanks to liberals themselves betraying the principals they have traditionally held dear.
The ‘Creative Industries Book Club’ (CIBC) meets monthly in the School of Media (www.mediacourses.com), Birmingham City University to discuss research, policy papers and other publications pertaining to creative and cultural industries. Members are drawn from school staff and those associated with the ‘Interactive Cultures’ Research Centre and those from local creative industry agencies and indeed from the industries themselves. The group work in much the same way as many informal book groups do: a member nominates a work for all to read and presents their review at the next meeting.