Understanding innovation in digital media artistic production in Ireland
Morgan, Trish (2012) Understanding innovation in digital media artistic production in Ireland. PhD thesis, Dublin City University.
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This thesis aims to understand processes of innovation in digital media production.
Traditional discourses on digital media have tended to foreground the role of technology, its effects and its influences. This thesis argues that a more rounded
understanding of digital media can be obtained through considering the social, cultural, political and economic factors that also influence production. Furthermore, traditional discourses of innovation - based on studies of the manufacturing, industrial and knowledge-intensive business sectors - do not represent the types of innovation pertinent to production of cultural artefacts in the digital media sector.
Whilst some recent studies have greatly rectified this deficit by foregrounding the specific qualities of innovation in commercial digital media content production, this thesis suggests that these studies can be complemented with qualitative research on production within the artistic sector, where processes of creativity and innovation are combined with a non-commercial intentionality in producing digital media artefacts
This thesis takes a critical approach to traditional discourses on the role of technology and innovation. Influenced by the Frankfurt School of critical theory, it sets out a theoretical framework where a socially, culturally and politically grounded aesthetic
theory is combined with a consideration to temporal situatedness in Ireland’s current ‘crisis’. It situates Ireland as a postcolonial state and explores how this postcoloniality has influenced artistic production and art critique.
This framework forms the basis for an empirical study which explores digital art production in Ireland from the micro-individual level, through to the meso-institutional
and macro-political economic levels. It does this using a combination of methods, from an ethnography of the digital art sector, qualitative interviews with artists and members
of art institutions, and case studies of art works and events in the digital art sector.
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