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  • 21

    Bjarki Valtysson: Between Creativity and Control: Regulation, Facebook and Civic Agency

    Higher seminar with Bjarki Valtysson from University of Copenhagen, arranged by Media and Communication Studies at the School of Culture and Education, Södertörn University.


    In his work The Hacker Ethic and the Spirit of the Information Age, Himanen juxtaposes Weber’s protestant ethic to that of the hacker ethic. Himanen thereby creates a polarisation between two dominant sets of values. On the one hand money, work, optimality, flexibility, stability, determinacy, result accountability. On the other hand passion, freedom, social worth, openness, activity, caring and creativity (2001). This polarisation has been persistent in much literature, where on the ‘hacker’ side of the argument, concepts such as user empowerment, co-creation, produsers, prosumers, creative audience, users-turned producers and interactive audience are meant to illustrate the emancipative side of engaging in various digital media environments, often framed under the fairly uncertain notion of ‘creativity’. However, the other, somewhat darker side is certainly prevalent as well focusing on elements of ‘control’ and exemplified in the phantasy of participation, extensive data mining, surveillance and commercialisation on social media. The aim of this talk is to discuss commercial social media from both perspectives of creativity and control, focusing particularly on regulation, Facebook and civic agency. The talk will therefore start by accounting for regulatory frameworks and how these relate to user terms on Facebook. However, I will also account for data that I collected in 2012-2015 through expert interviews, focus groups, qualitative interviews and observations containing in all 46 respondents. By accounting for how respondents perceive civic agency on commercial social media, the aim is to reach a more nuanced conceptual framework than the before mentioned buzzwords bear witness to.

    Short bio:

    Bjarki Valtysson is Associate Professor at the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies at the University of Copenhagen. Research interests include cultural, media, and communication policies and regulation, particularly in terms of the politics of digital media and networked cultures. He also researches the application and reception of digital media within the area of museums, archives and libraries, and how these relate to production, distribution, use, and consumption in digital cultures.

    Valtysson sits in the scientific committees for the International Conference of Cultural Policy Research and the Swedish Agency for Cultural Policy Analysis. Valtysson is a member of the editorial boards for the Nordic Journal of Cultural Policy and NORDICOM Review, and sits in the steering committee for Center for Modern European Studies.

    Tid och plats

    När: tisdag 21 mars kl. 13:00-14:30

    Vad: högre seminarium

    Var: Room PC 249, on the second floor in the C-wing, Primus building, Södertörn University, Campus Flemingsberg

    Arrangeras av: Media and Communication Studies at the School of Culture and Education, Södertörn University.

    Evenemangsspråk: engelska