University for the Creative Arts

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    2830 research outputs found

    Post-rock composition and performance practice: authenticity, liveness, creativity & technology

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    This thesis seeks to recontextualise journalist Simon Reynolds’ 1995 definition of post rock from the perspective of a practitioner and guitarist, focusing on popular music production and recording practices. The research applies a practice-as-research (PAR) methodology combining practice, interviews (with contemporary practitioners in the field) and contextual theory (musicology of popular music, cultural theory, and technology studies).The rise of cheaper music technology and the influence of electronic dance music (EDM) aesthetics and cultures in the 1980s and 1990s in genres such as techno, house, and jungle, have influenced an increase in the integration of recording studio devices into live performance set-ups for stage. I argue that the amalgamation of studio and stage (DAWs, samplers, sequencers and loopers) redefines the ‘rock band’ model. This has created new collaborations, as the technology and production become a physical extension of the band members’ instruments (Emmerson, 2011) and expands their creative processes. Guitarist Jonny Greenwood from Radiohead comments on a new way of composing, recording and performing: a ‘third’ way between playing and programming (Greenwood, in Rose, 2019:201). The ‘rock band’ model is shifting between studio and stage, live and recorded, and experimental and accessible, challenging the themes of liveness (Auslander, 2002). The thesis proposes that the ‘I’ of the band identity or the individual ‘rock’ performer has therefore dissolved or has been displaced by the more complex ‘I’ of the human and machine. Through producing Series of Studio Experiments (2019) and the album Enid – Yes! (2021) the research practice is concerned with the space between live performance and creative studio production— the post-digital performance. Post-rock thus presents a paradigm shift in authenticity, in which the origins and authors of sound are dislocated, and the creative acts of the manipulation of sound becomes the emerging virtuosic act, or act of timbral virtuosity (Solis, 2015). Practice research at the links below

    Demystification and actualisation of data saturation in qualitative research through thematic analysis

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    The concept of saturation in qualitative research is a widely debated topic. Saturation refers to the point at which no new data or themes are emerging from the data set, which indicates that the data have been fully explored. It is considered an important concept as it helps to ensure that the findings are robust and that the data are being used to their full potential to achieve the research aim. Saturation, or the point at which further observation of data will not lead to the discovery of more information related to the research questions, is an important aspect of qualitative research. However, there is some mystification and semantic debate surrounding the term saturation, and it is not always clear how many rounds of research are needed to reach saturation or what criteria are used to make that determination during the thematic analysis process. This paper focuses on the actualisation of saturation in the context of thematic analysis and develops a systematic approach to using data to justify the contribution of research. Consequently, we introduce a distinct model to help researchers reach saturation through refining or expanding existing quotations, codes, themes and concepts as necessary

    Wearable tech, virtual fashion, and immersive technologies

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    Since the turn of the 21st century, humanity has witnessed many technological innovations in fashion, apparel, and textiles which have created entirely new product categories and brought new developments to all stages of the product life cycle. Wearable technology and virtual fashion represent two new product categories in the physical and digital realms of fashion. In this chapter, new opportunities and challenges for environmental sustainability emerging from the introduction of these new product categories in the marketplace are discussed. Focus is placed on textile-based wearable technologies, such as electronic textiles, smart clothing, virtual apparel, and textiles in digital social interactions and retailing; covering their implications for sustainability at all levels: from materials, production, and distribution to use and disposal


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    This essay examines the film/video frame variously as a technical, aesthetic, perceptual and ideological object/function via an analysis of some relevant examples of artists' film and video. Several technical functions in film and video are either overlooked or taken for granted. One of the most important of these is the frame, especially in the cinema context where it functions as an image container, a subsistent, invisible barrier or cut-off between the screen space and its surrounding darkness. Several filmmakers have tested the givenness of the framing edges - it’s called the frame but it’s really a mask - either by incorporating them into the work or by making them disappear. The strategy of incorporation, in the form of frames within frames, can generate a partial mise en abyme (Droste Effect), or gesture towards it. In William Raban’s 2’ 45”, for example, there is a pattern of frames and forms within forms, but at the same time there are variations within each framing. These variations distinguish the work from the exact replications of the Droste Effect, where a fractal-like, exact mise en abyme generates a sense of vertigo, of an endless dead-endedness, because it precludes any possibility of deviation and hence uncertainty, on which films depend for their interest. The frame is crucial to the stability that images require and the proliferation of mobile and other platforms in the internet age has done nothing to disperse it, on the contrary, so it is perhaps surprising that only a small number of filmmakers have sought to question and dissolve it. The dissolution of the frame threatens the dissolution of the image: in the works considered in this essay, forms of cinematic framing and hence of off-screen space are challenged on their own terms. The frame ceases to be a window, with the illusionistic implications of that, and its dissolution leads to it becoming more akin to the frame of a material medium like painting, where it is determined by the artist in response to the formal requirement of the picture. For although digital video technology allows aspect ratios to be freely created, the edges still function in the same way as an analogue film frame

    The conceptualization of enablers and constraints of in-store buying as part of the affordances flow funnel process through scan and go apps

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    This study explores the affordances of “scan and go” apps and their influence on the flow experience of retail customers to provide a unique insight into user–technology interaction. Through a constructivist ethnographic approach, the research examines how users' socially constructed perceptions and interpretations shape these interactions, and it emphasizes the role of the material and social environment. The research innovatively conceptualizes affordances as a flow process; it introduces an affordances flow funnel that encompasses three distinct stages: perceived affordances, actualized affordances, and affordance dichotomy. By following this process, the study improves understanding of user emotions and behaviors that range from apathy to excitement, from gratification to provocation, and from abandonment to absorption. Findings underline the importance of equipping users with support to navigate technological and environmental constraints, thereby ensuring successful affordance actualization. The research contributes to the literature by revealing a new affordance type, namely affordance dichotomy, and offers valuable insights for marketers and developers to enhance user experiences and absorption behavior. Recognizing its focus on scan and go apps within supermarket contexts, the study invites future research to extend this understanding to different contexts and technologies

    Digital labour is 'emotional labour'

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    This chapter considers the 'emotional labour' involved in digital work and reflects on the emotionality inherent within everyday digital practices and behaviours in museums and heritage organisations. It argues that only by better articulating the affective dimensions of working with technology can we build a more nuanced understanding of the future of work in such environments. ‘Emotional Labour’ has been an object of sociological study in the workplace since the 1980s, but rarely has it been considered in the context of museum digital work. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, however, the frequently hidden ‘emotional labour’ involved in museum work has become difficult to ignore, with those advocating for digital innovation being some of the most affected. First, drawing on Arlie Russell Hochschild’s seminal study, The Managed Heart (1983), the author will consider applications to date of ‘emotional labour’ in the study of cultural and knowledge work, and how it might be usefully theorised for our contemporary moment in museum technology. Second, sharing the author’s fieldwork, observational analysis, and institution-based action research in this area, the chapter will propose that a greater and more formal acknowledgement of ‘emotional labour’ in museum technology can revolutionise museum work more generally – an acknowledgement overtly feminist in its approach. It concludes by suggesting that, through a more robust valuation of the emotional labour inherent within digital work, we can build fairer, more equitable working practices across all aspects of the museum workplace

    A Programme for Women achieving Excellence in Research (PoWER): theoretically informed intervention design and evaluation

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    Academics in Higher Education are often expected both to teach and to research; this is a particular challenge for women both structurally and individually. Initiatives to address structural issues include AdvanceHE. Here, we focus on individual issues and report on the Programme for Women Achieving Excellence in Research, a theory-based intervention. Barriers to success were assessed and course content tailored accordingly. Evaluation demonstrated that barriers were reduced and that confidence increased. Although the barriers are both individual and contextual, our rigorous approach allows international application through intervention modification without loss of fidelity. This offers a new approach for academic developers to enable female researchers

    Gender and the Jinn in the work of costume designer Phaedra Dahdaleh

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    This essay considers the importance and marginalisation of Arab costume designer Phaedra Dahdaleh through an exploration of her work in the Iranian horror film زیر سایه‎/Zeer-e sāye/Under the Shadow (2016). Phaedra Dahdaleh is a Jordanian costume designer. Having established her own house of costumes in the country, she takes the role of costume designer in most major films shot in the area. Some well-known films she has worked on are Rosewater (2014), Rogue One (2016), and War Machine (2017). Through an analysis of costume design in the film, we underscore her significant role as a costume designer in the construction of the film’s narrative

    How CREATECH is reshaping the creative industries

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    Since OpenAI released its service ChatGPT in 2022, interest in generative artificial intelligence (AI) in the Creative Industries has surged. However, research from the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) shows that AI is only one of several disruptive Industry 4.0 technologies infusing the sector. Companies such as Engineered Arts, who create humanoid robots for events, and MoveAI, who make 3D motion capture and real-time animation simpler, are examples of innovative businesses identified as Createch. During 2023, spokespeople for the Creative industries, such as Sir Peter Bazalgette, Co-Chair, Creative Industries Council, have acknowledged the growing significance of Createch. Createch businesses bring creative and commercial opportunities. They also bring social and environmental harms (e.g., the carbon footprint from training and tuning machine learning models). A UCA survey conducted in 2022 shows these companies are often immature in terms of sustainability thoughts and action. Although 77% of Createchs in the survey said that sustainability is core to their strategy, only 5% have a sustainability policy. The research also shows that Createch businesses do not recognise the full impact of on their value chains and the behaviour of audiences and users. For example, Virtual Reality extends the reach of a live performance, but it can also generate increased electronic waste as users upgrade to the latest device. In interviews, Createch founders identified a lack of relevant, practical information for them despite the availability of guides for the Creative Industry (e.g., the Green Theatre Guide). Founders mentioned areas such as strategies for decarbonising AI models, and responsible and ethical use of AI as important gaps. In September 2023, UCA launched a free online tool aimed at Createch founders and CEOs to close these gaps, as well as enabling business leaders to benchmark their sustainability maturity using a tailored ZBIA maturity matrix (Zero, Basic, Intermediate, Advanced)

    Understanding intercultural interaction: an analysis of key concepts (2nd ed.)

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    In an increasingly global world, it is more important than ever that we deepen our understanding of how people interact and communicate across different cultural contexts. Designed as an introduction to a wide range of theories and ideas that influence social encounters around the globe, this 2nd Edition of Understanding Intercultural Interaction places new emphasis on the ‘global workplace’, providing an overview and analysis of key concepts in culture and interaction to develop your knowledge in areas such as global working, diversity management, interculturality, and cross- cultural ethics. Cutting across the world of work and education, this is a timely refresh for equipping a diverse range of both students and professionals with the tools to understand, discuss, and ultimately fulfil the role that they can play on the international stage


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