In her post yesterday, Elizabeth described her trip to SxSWi as part of an official (funded) Birmingham delegation to the annual technology festival. She describes something of the process of getting to Austin and her experience as part of the community that made up that trade delegation. That’s a theme at the heart of a recent article I co-authored with Jennifer Jones, a visiting lecturer here at Birmingham School of Media and a researcher in UWS’s Creative Futures centre.
The article, The imaginary SxSWi, seeks to interrogate the way in which sponsoring trips to SxSWi can be justified; often attendance is positioned as proxy attendance for others but, with so much content from the festival being available online, what knowledge can be transferred only through proxy attendance?
The article is very much intended as, in the words of the hosting journal’s editors, “a ‘think’ piece, designed to spur discussion amongst scholars and audiences”. If you have any thoughts on this please do head over to FlowTV and leave a comment.
Read the article here
Our digest of links for September 16th:
I’ve been thinking a lot this week about policy and support for creative and cultural industries. In Birmingham a lot of support for the sector, as well as for businesses generally and SMEs in particular, has come in the form of funded business interventions. A few weeks ago Nick Webber and I had a lively debate about these assists, which led us to wonder about the value that the sector and the region has had from all of these interventions in Birmingham.
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.
4iP is a “public service media” initiative from Channel 4. Described as a fund it aims:
to deliver publicly valuable content and services on digital media platforms with significant impact and in sustainable ways. It represents one of the biggest and most exciting calls-to-action for new and emergent digital media companies in the UK.
If 4iP has a public service remit, it merits critical scrutiny in order to evaluate how far it succeeds in fulfilling its remit to people like me and you – the public.