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Ephemeral Media

The emergence of new media technologies in the 1990s and 2000s, specifically the rise of digital and Internet technology, has been linked to fundamental changes in the media environment. We are now living in a world where media seem available everywhere and all the time. This AHRC-sponsored workshop examines a particular feature of our accelerated media world - the growth of the brief or ‘ephemeral’ texts that exist beyond and between the films, television programmes, and radio broadcasts more commonly isolated for analysis. What does ephemeral mean? It's not as complex as algebra! In the context of the workshop it connotes short-form media (i.e. texts that are no more than a few minutes long) but also media which are fleeting in the way they circulate, or that are often overlooked within mainstream academic study.

The workshop will focus on two particular examples of ephemeral media. The first workshop in the series will focus on so-called ‘user-generated’ content, in particular the kinds of ephemeral online video that are seen on sites such as YouTube. The second workshop will focus on the promotional ephemera used by media companies to capture the attention of audiences; it will consider short creative forms such as logos, promos, trailers and channel ‘idents’ as they have been used by such as film companies and television broadcasters to make themselves (and their products) seen and heard in a competitive media environment. Together, the ephemeral media workshop will invite reflection on the significance of screen ephemera - on those forms of screen culture that, whilst momentary, remain active components of media experience. In investigating this area, the workshop will bring together academics from a range of disciplines as well as those involved in making the kinds of media in question.

The ephemeral media workshop is part of the AHRC’s ‘Beyond Text’ research programme ( www.beyondtext.ac.uk), and is designed to facilitate discussion in a small group environment. It can provide travel (up to £100), accommodation, and subsistence costs to all accepted participants. Please see the links below for the individual workshop call for papers. To apply for either workshop, send a 250 word paper proposal and a short biography highlighting relevant research interests or publications to generalenquiries@ephemeralmedia.co.uk by 10th December 2008

Workshop One

Internet Attractions: online video and user-generated ephemera
University of Nottingham, 23rd-24th June 2009
keyspeakers: Professor Barbara Klinger (Indiana), Professor Jon Dovey (UWE), Hugh Hancock (Artistic Director, Strange Company), Rik Lander (U-soap Media)

 Workshop Two

The Promotional Surround: logos, promos, idents, trailers
University of Nottingham, 21st-22nd July 2009
key speakers: Professor John Caldwell (UCLA), Professor William Uricchio (MIT), Charlie Mawer (Executive Creative Director, Red Bee Media), Victoria Jaye (BBC Vision)