Chair Person: Donna Leishman
Presenters: Gordon Hush, Sue Golding, Don Ritter, Kriss Ravetto-Biagioli & Sheena Calvert
Framed by a context of increasing media anxiety over the volume of usage and the nature of social networking websites (Greenfield 2009), this panel will broadly explore the roots of this fear and the role of digital media and social development, specifically interrogating practices of social identity and contemporary experiences of reality/fiction. Following associated fears there has been an increased pressure from the American Medical Association (AMA) for the American Psychiatric Association (APA) to include video game addiction as a sub-type of internet addiction, along with sexual preoccupations and e-mail/text messaging in the upcoming 2012 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), the standard diagnostic text used by psychiatrists worldwide. The reality of an un-chartable (dark) Internet, the acknowledged rate of change and the significantly problematic lack of any societal sanction or prohibition (when surfing the Internet) gives ‘us’ more space and opportunity to explore taboo and repression.
Panel papers will explore the notion of the moral economy of human activity and how this is reflected in “moral panics” and the space between subjective experience (consciousness) and the contemporary environment (Hush), stylistics of (sexual) difference (Golding), manipulation within digital identity construction (Ritter), re-exploring The More Knowledgeable Other and social development (Leishman), and role of tactical anonymity within contemporary Net activism (Ravetto-Biagioli).
Questions the panel will raise:
- When considering digital media and social development: what are the underlying causes of this new sense of fear?
- How is social identity constructed today / Has our experience of reality/ fiction changed?
- How does the intrinsic variability of media usage affect our sense of self/ consciousness?
- What is authentic and what constitutes healthy when engaging with digital media and the Internet?
- Dr. Donna Leishman is a media artist and researcher and is based in Scotland. Her critical writings and presentations cover the social reception of digital media and the intersection of narrative with interactivity. Themes in the research include developing and exploring the role of the participant, issues around identity and closure and interrogating the aesthetic consequences of difficult interactions and dissonance. Leishman has presented for: ISEA2010 (Ruhr Area, Germany), Digital Art Weeks Xi’an (China), CRUMB/Culture Lab (Newcastle), CultureNet/Capilanou University (Canada), IOCT De Montfort University (Leicester) FITC (Toronto), CHI 2011 (Vancouver) and ISEA2011 (Istanbul). Her works have been featured in The New York Times, The List, The Herald, Create Online, Computer Arts, The Scotsman, The Guardian, Desktop Magazine (AUS), TIRWEB and Design Week. Since 1999 her website 6amhoover.com has been the platform to experience her interactive projects. Her artworks have been presented in museums, galleries, conferences and festivals around the world including: UkinNY festival (NYC), Resistor Gallery (Toronto), Centre for Contemporary Art (Glasgow), TechnoPoetry Festival (Georgia Tech) DeCordova Museum (Boston) OFFF (Barcelona). Digital Arts & Culture conference (Melbourne), M.I.T (Boston), The Six Cities Festival (Glasgow) Designersblock – The Scottish Show (Milan/London) ELO Visionary Landscapes (Vancouver USA) and the Electronic Literature Collection Volume One. She lecturers in Communication Design at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee. Leishman is the currently external examiner for the MRes in Digital Media at Newcastle University’s Culture Lab. 6amhoover.com