Preparing for the Transforming Audience 3 Conference

I had a double meeting today down at the Marylebone campus today. The first was to receive feedback on my literature review with my supervisor and apart form very minor changes everything seems to be in order. As I’m just about to enter my third year I have to hand in the lit. review, a methodology chapter and a progress report in October as part of the ‘application to transfer’ from an MPhil to a PhD. This is standard practice on most UK doctoral programmes. So I’m pleased I don’t have massive re-writes. At the end of November each doctoral student is called before a panel to defend their work so far, a bit like a mini-viva.

The second meeting was about organising the Transforming Audiences 3 Conference hosted by the University of Westminster. It’s a bi-yearly event that flies in keynote speakers from around the world. This year the keynotes are Nancy Baym, author of Personal Connections in the Digital Age; Jean Burgess, co-author of YouTube: Online Video and Participatory Culture; Adriana de Souza e Silva, co-author of Mobile Interfaces in Public Spaces and Net Locality; Patricia G. Lange, co-author of Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out and University of Westminster’s very own David Gauntlett, author of Making is Connecting.

There are three doctoral students helping organise the conference, myself included, and we’re also each giving 15 minute presentation on one of the many panel sessions throughout the two days. I’ve also been asked to present at the pre-conference meeting of the COST project, Transforming Audiences, Transforming Societies. COST is an “intergovernmental framework for European Cooperation in Science and Technology”. I’m giving a 25 minute presentation which relates my industry experience to my current research. I’ve, therefore, entitled my presentation: ‘From Punch-cards to Social Media: A Digital Life’  This relates to my 30-year association with digital technology and content creation. Using my personal experiences throughout this period, I’m going to trace the history of computer-generated visual content. This will start with the humble punch-card, which was my introduction to computers in 1981, through the world of broadcasting and use of one of the first computer graphic workstations, the Quantel Paintbox, to the digital tools available today and my research project.