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Volume 9, Number 1, 2009

GUEST EDITOR: Dr Lee Duffield

SPECIAL EDITION:Creative industries occupy an increasingly large segment of the range of activity in the “new economy” -- all branches of communication, journalism especially, among them. Many and diverse projects were represented in the biennial “Ignite!” conference, to expose postgraduate research in the Creative Industries Faculty, Queensland University of Technology, in Brisbane, 1-3 October 2008. The 36 contributions took in work from throughout the globe, including performance and installations, and papers on journalism issues, creative writing, fashion, dance, music, entrepreneurship, games, cinema and festivals, and digital networks and ethnography. This refereed special edition of ejournalist is devoted to a selection of papers from “Ignite08!”. It is a window of opportunity for contributors to achieve more attention and feedback through further publication of their work, and for users of ejournalist to enjoy some of the latest in the creative industries field.

 

Abstracts

Truth, obligation and ethics in the propagation of democracy

Krystina Benson

In this paper I present an analysis of the language used by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) on its website (NED, 2008). The specific focus of the analysis is on the NED's high usage of the word “should” revealed in computer assisted corpus analysis using Leximancer. Typically we use the word “should” as a term to propose specific courses of action for ourselves and others. It is a marker of obligation and “oughtness”. In other words, its systematic institutional use can be read as a statement of ethics, of how the NED thinks the world ought to behave. As an ostensibly democracy-promoting institution, and one with a clear agenda of implementing American foreign policy, the ethics of NED are worth understanding. Analysis reveals a pattern of grammatical metaphor in which “should” is often deployed counter intuitively, and sometimes ambiguously, as a truth-making tool rather than one for proposing action. The effect is to present NED's imperatives for action as matters of fact rather than ethical or obligatory claims.

 

Alternative film production

William Bligh

Typically a film producer expects the director and actors to 'do their job' within a scheduled timeframe. Rather than expecting the creative principals to just deliver, a production model can be tailored to help this creative team produce successful outcomes. This research paper contrasts alternative production models with a traditional (or standard) production and presents possibilities for producers to emphasise the collaborative potential for their production.

 

New Strength: Independent Television Companies In China 's Television Industry

Bonnie Rui Liu

As most of people know that all of mass media are state-owned in China , television stations are not exceptional to belong to the enormous state-owned system. But to date, with the economic reform in the broadcasting system and China entering into WTO, the television industry has increased greatly and the television market has matured with more and more competition. The players in China 's television industry have changed from the monologue of TV stations to multi roles of TV stations, production companies and overseas television companies, although TV stations are still the majority of China 's TV market. Especially, private television production companies are becoming more and more active in this market. In this paper, I will describe the development process and challenges of this group in China and ask whether the emergence of this group means for the whole China 's TV industry?

 

Singing the blues: developing a cabaret performance on depression

Jo Loth

This paper will discuss the researcher’s practice-led study within the field of contemporary cabaret performance. The project is focussed on transforming personal stories of depression into cabaret with the aims of raising community awareness of the issue. In the process, the research aims to explore innovations within the field of cabaret. Interviews conducted with individuals who have suffered from depression are being used as ‘inspiration points’ for the development of the performance. This paper will
provide a short contextual review for the project and introduce the researcher’s creative process.

For the purposes of this research, cabaret has been defined as performances of songs and dialogue in direct-address with the audience. Cabaret performances merge ‘high’ and ‘low’ art forms (often including satirical comedy), and are generally performed in small-scale venues. The accessible, intimate and light-hearted nature of cabaret offers unique opportunities for the discussion of social issues.

Following an auto-ethnographic approach, the researcher’s personal experiences and challenges will be discussed in relation to the following areas: finding a context for the work; articulating and analysing the use of humour within cabaret; investigations of the audience-performer relationship; and the process of creating a performance in response to personal interviews.

 

Art and the Sublime : the Paradox of Indeterminacy Unknowing and (Dis)orientation in the Presentation of the Unpresentable

Daniel Mafe

The (dis)orientation of thought in its encounter with art can be understood as the direct result of an encounter with indeterminacy as a lack in meaning. As an artist I am aware of how this indeterminacy impacts on the perceived value and authority of the artistic voice and in particular its value as a research voice. This paper explores this indeterminacy of meaning, as a profound and disturbing unknowing characteristic of the sublime and argues its value to advanced thought and for any methodological understanding of practice-led research.


Lyotard described the sublime as an ‘understanding’ through which art and its associated practices may be able to resist an all too easy assimilation by the public as just a consumer commodity. His thought represents an attempt to both politically and philosophically understand art’s, and particularly abstract painting’s, affect as a state of profound and positive unknowing. To talk of the sublime in art is to speak of the suspension of any comfortable certainty in being and instead to engage with the real as a limit to meaning and knowing. It is to talk of the presentation of the unpresentable as a momentary but significant dissolution of representation.


This understanding of the sublime is then further explored through the cultural phenomena of the monochrome painting and applied to the work of the two contemporary artists, Franz Erhard Walter and Günter Umberg. Initially the monochrome was understood as an attempt to go beyond traditional representation and present the unpresentable. In the one hundred years or so since that initial move this understanding has broadened. The monochrome now presents itself as a genre or even project within visual art but it still has much to teach us. In the concretely abstract and performative artworks of Franz Erhard Walter and Günter Umberg, traces of this ambition remain and their work can be seen to pose questions probing our understandings and experiences of artistic meaning, its value and the real.

 

Videogames, learning, and the social context: Approaches to an ethnographic case study

Nicole Podleschny

Focussing on the role-playing simulation game SCAPE (Sustainability, Community and Planning Education), this paper proposes that potential disparities between game design practice and the meaning-making process of the players need to be addressed in a wider ecology of learning. The cultural setting of the gameplay experience, and also the different levels of engagement of the players, can be seen to pose vital questions, which are in and of themselves objects of inquiry. This paper argues that ethnographic participant-observation, which is a recognized approach in game studies, allows taking the wider ecology of learning into account to explore the various relations that shape the gameplay.

 

Changing Other People’s Mind: Creative Entrepreneurs

Linda Watterson

Creative entrepreneurs, the business executives who operate in the creative industries sector of economy, possess distinctive characteristics that influence people around them due to the nature of creative industries, their position in the society and their relations with people within their business operation. While there is a large amount of research focusing on industry development; the research on creative entrepreneurs as a group is much less, let alone their influence on people associated with them. Through exploring literatures on entrepreneurship in creative industries, leadership with particular focus on charismatic and shared leadership, cognitive psychology and the psychology of entrepreneurship, this study integrates seemingly remote notions from different disciplines and concludes that creative entrepreneurs as a special group of entrepreneurs influence other people in their operational settings. These settings are culturally stimulating and provocative. Creative entrepreneurs change people’s way of thinking through their intrinsic attributes and nature of the creative industries

 

Reading and drawing maps of the blogosphere.

Tim Highfield

Mapping the physical world, the arrangement of continents and oceans, cities and villages, mountains and deserts, while not without its own contentious aspects, can at least draw upon centuries of previous work in cartography and discovery. To map virtual spaces is another challenge altogether. Are cartographic conventions applicable to depictions of the blogosphere, or the internet in general? Is a more mathematical approach required to even start to make sense of the shape of the blogosphere, to understand the network created by and between blogs?

With my research comparing information flows in the Australian and French political blogs, visualising the data obtained is important as it can demonstrate the spread of ideas and topics across blogs. However, how best to depict the flows, links, and the spaces between is still unclear. Is network theory and systems of hubs and nodes more relevant than mass communication theories to the research at hand, influencing the nature of any map produced? Is it even a good idea to try and apply boundaries like ‘Australian’ and ‘French’ to parts of a map that does not reflect international borders or the Mercator projection?

While drawing upon some of my work-in-progress, this paper will also evaluate previous maps of the blogosphere and approaches to depicting networks of blogs. As such, the paper will provide a greater awareness of the tools available and the strengths and limitations of mapping methodologies, helping to shape the direction of my research in a field still very much under development.

 

A Study of Green Product Industries in Taiwan

Vicki Chihsuan Chiu

Based on the model of ‘The Smile of Value Creation' (Mudambi 2007) and the theory of concept marketing, this study aims to examine the top 20 Taiwanese environmental marks companies, and explore their circumstances, innovation patterns and value chain system in Taiwan. It found out all of them are information technology product and household appliances companies. In addition, they make special efforts in two parts of value creation: product (including basic and applied ‘R and D' (Research and Design), design, commercialization) and marketing (including advertising and brand management, specialized logistics, after-sales services). They also locate their branches depending on different stages of the value chain, and expand them globally.

 

Contexts, codes and online communications – A case study exploring issues related to using CMCs in a drama education project

Sue Davis

Many educators are currently interested in using computer-mediated communications (CMCs) to support learning and creative practice. In my work I have been looking at how we might create drama through using cyberspaces, working with teachers and students in secondary school contexts. In trying to understand issues that have arisen and ways of working with the data I have found a number of frameworks helpful for analysing the online interactions. These frameworks draw from O'Toole's work on contexts negotiated in the creation of drama and other frameworks drawn from Wertsch, Bakhtin and Vygotsky's work on speech utterances, dialogic processes and internalisation of learning. The contexts and factors which must be negotiated in online communications within learning contexts are quite complex and educators may need to provide parameters and protocols to ensure appropriate languages, genres and utterances are utilised. The paper explores some of the types of languages, genres and utterances that emerged from a co-curricula drama project and issues that arose, including the importance of establishing processes for giving and receiving critical feedback This paper is of relevance to those whose research strategies may involve the use of computer-mediated communications as well as those utilising cyberspaces in educational contexts.

 

A new definition for today’s Chinese independent cinema

Tingting Song

Different terminologies have been used to characterize the Chinese independent cinema in the 1990s. These definitions focused on experimental practices outside the official production system and independent of official ideology. The film industry has had distinctive development since China’s entry into the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 2001. Now, private investors play an essential role in the cinematic economy; strict censorship has been obviously relaxed; the film industry is being divided into two opposing parts at opposite extremes: major production companies which are both government and privately owned, and a collection of new and old independent producers often operating commercially. Thus, it is necessary to give a new definition of the Chinese independent cinema. I suggest here a definition of independent cinema for China, based on American independent film-making practice, which recognises as independent, any film that has not been financed, produced and distributed by “majors”. At least four corporations are majors in the Chinese film industry. They are China Film Group Corporation, Huayi Brothers Corporation, PolyBona Film Distribution Corporation and Shanghai Film Group Corporation. Except the four majors, all the other film production or distribution companies are independents.

 

An analysis of digital storytelling as a documentation tool for research in the creative and performing arts.

Rosemary Marson

This paper examines the capacity of digital storytelling to document research activity in the creative and performing arts. In particular, it seeks to identify the thought processes and methods that underpin this research and to capture them using the digital storytelling medium. Interest in this issue was prompted by the author’s work with the creative and performing artists from the Queensland Conservatorium and the Queensland College of Art as part of the Federal government’s Research Quality Framework (RQF) in 2007. The RQF compelled artists to address what it means to undertake research in their disciplines, to describe this, measure it and quantify it; for many practitioners this represents a significant challenge. These issues continue to be pertinent in the context of the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) initiative.

 

Editor

Professor Alan Knight,
Queensland University of Technology

Advisory Panel

Dr Judith Clarke, Baptist University, Hong Kong

Elliott S. Parker, Central Michigan University, USA

Dr Lee Richard Duffield, Queensland University of Technology

Jim Tully, University of Canterbury, New Zealand

Dr Kasun Ubayasiri, Queensland University of Technology

Dr Stephen Stockwell, Griffith University

Philip Cass, Zayed University, United Arab Emirates

Dr Steve Quinn, Zayed University, United Arab Emirates

     

Ejournalist: refereed media journal. ISSN 1444-741X