Monthly Archives: July 2014
MECS Masters student Damien Tomaselli recently presented his Masters research at the 22nd Comic Arts Conference at Comic-Con International 2014. The conference, which is considered by many to be the most important event on the science fiction and gaming calendar, took place in San Diego, California between 24 and 27 July. Tomaselli explained that “the conference merges the latest developments in the realm of digital media, including video games, comic books, role playing games, series premieres and films”.
Tomaselli’s work focusses on the changing nature of comic books in light of new media technology, and the impact that digital mediums have had on the production and reception of comic art. He concentrates most heavily on the introduction of motion books and his own comic series The Children of Xaphan.
Other highlights at this year’s conference included a special autograph signing by Godzilla director, Gareth Edwards, as well as a special appearance by Megan Fox to help promote the release of the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film.
Last Friday, Academic Leader in the School of Arts, Dr Nicola Jones, and PhD student and contract lecturer from Media & Cultural Studies, Ms Sandra Pitcher, were invited to present their ideas surrounding the future of social media at a seminar hosted by artSPACE Durban. The seminar, entitled “Looking Forward: Our Lives in 2034”, brought together academics from various disciplines from across South Africa to discuss changing social, cultural and technological trends that could emerge in the coming future.
Dr Jones led the discussion and began by looking at the importance of free speech and gossip in the development of culture. The discussion then went on to highlight the role of social media in this development and the impact that it may have on individuals’ responses to future events.
However, the most interesting aspect of their presentation was the idea that those policies which attempt to govern social media are outdated and require careful re-consideration to protect both the individual and the power of a shared online community.
Pitcher remarked that, currently, policy is too in favour of Western ideals and the wants of large capitalists, while Jones emphasised the benefits of creating a platform in which anyone has the ability to contribute. It was acknowledged that social media is still in its infancy, but both Jones and Pitcher agreed that as the medium develops, the more important it will become in social discussions and global culture.
The seminar aimed to inspire local artists in preparation for their exhibition, “Looking Forward: Our Lives in 2034”, curated by artSPACE and hosted by Gallery 4 in August.