School of Historical and Philosophical Studies - Research Publications

Permanent URI for this collection

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 29
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Media, mortality and necro-technologies: Eulogies for dead media
    Nansen, B ; Gould, H ; Arnold, M ; Gibbs, M (SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2021-07-09)
    Working at the intersection of death studies and media studies, this article examines what we can learn from the death of media technologies designed for the deceased, what we refer to as necro-technologies. Media deaths illuminate a tension between the promise of persistence and realities of precariousness embodied in all media. This tension is, however, more visibly strained by the mortality of technologies designed to mediate and memorialise the human dead by making explicit the limitations of digital eternity implied by products in the funeral industry. In this article, we historicise and define necro-technologies within broader discussions of media obsolescence and death. Drawing from our funeral industry fieldwork, we then provide four examples of recently deceased necro-technologies that are presented in the form of eulogies. These eulogies offer a stylised but culturally significant format of remembrance to create an historical record of the deceased and their life. These necro-technologies are the funeral attendance robot CARL, the in-coffin sound system CataCombo, the posthumous messaging service DeadSocial and the digital avatar service Virtual Eternity. We consider what is at stake when technologies designed to enliven the human deceased – often in perpetuity – are themselves subject to mortality. We suggest a number of entangled economic, cultural and technical reasons for the failure of necro-technologies within the specific contexts of the death care industry, which may also help to highlight broader forces of mortality affecting all media technologies. These are described as misplaced commercial imaginaries, cultural reticence and material impermanence. In thinking about the deaths of necro-technologies, and their causes, we propose a new form of death, a ‘material death’ that extends beyond biological, social and memorial forms of human death already established to account for the finitude of media materiality and memory.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Automating Digital Afterlives
    Fordyce, R ; Nansen, B ; Arnold, M ; Kohn, T ; Gibbs, M ; Jansson, A ; Adams, PC (Oxford University Press, 2021-08-26)
    The question of how the dead “live on” by maintaining a presence and connecting to the living within social networks has garnered the attention of users, entrepreneurs, platforms, and researchers alike. In this chapter we investigate the increasingly ambiguous terrain of posthumous connection and disconnection by focusing on a diverse set of practices implemented by users and offered by commercial services to plan for and manage social media communication, connection, and presence after life. Drawing on theories of self-presentation (Goffman) and technological forms of life (Lash), we argue that moderated and automated performances of posthumous digital presence cannot be understood as a continuation of personal identity or self-presentation. Rather, as forms of mediated human (after)life, posthumous social media presence materializes ambiguities of connection/disconnection and self/identity.
  • Item
    No Preview Available
    Digital housekeepers and domestic expertise in the networked home
    Kennedy, J ; Nansen, B ; Arnold, M ; Wilken, R ; Gibbs, M (Sage Publications, 2015-11-01)
    This article examines the distribution of expertise in the performance of ‘digital housekeeping’ required to maintain a networked home. It considers the labours required to maintain a networked home, the forms of digital expertise that are available and valued in digital housekeeping, and ways in which expertise is gendered in distribution amongst household members. As part of this discussion, we consider how digital housekeeping implicitly situates technology work within the home in the role of the ‘housekeeper’, a term that is complicated by gendered sensitivities. Digital housework, like other forms of domestic labour, contributes to identity and self-worth. The concept of housework also affords visibility of the digital housekeeper’s enrolment in the project of maintaining the household. This article therefore asks, what is at stake in the gendered distribution of digital housekeeping?
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Death and the Internet: Consumer issues for planning and managing digital legacies (2nd edition)
    Nansen, B ; van der Nagel, E ; Kohn, T ; Arnold, M ; Gibbs, M (Australian Communications Consumer Action Network, 2017-12-01)
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Methodological and ethical concerns associated with digital ethnography in domestic environments: participation burden and burdensome technologies
    Nansen, B ; Wilken, R ; Kennedy, J ; Arnold, M ; Gibbs, M ; Warr, D ; Waycott, J ; Guillemin, M ; Cox, S (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016)
    This chapter reflects on methodological and ethical issues arising in a digital ethnography project conducted in domestic environments. The participatory aims of the methodological approach required participants to produce a series of videos exploring domestic digital environments. The videos were then uploaded using an ethnographic software application. Early in the project it became evident that researchers had limited control over important aspects of the technology, and that the technology itself was having disruptive effects in households. Further, although the study was designed to be engaging and playful for participants, the tasks of producing the videos was perceived by some participants as requiring onerous levels of creativity and digital media literacy. The chapter discusses these methodological and ethical issues, and how they were largely resolved.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Overcoming the tyranny of distance? High speed broadband and the significance of place
    Kennedy, J ; Wilken, R ; Nansen, B ; Arnold, M ; Harrop, M ; Griffiths, M ; Barbour, K (University of Adelaide, 2016)
    This paper examines how HSB is configured in the production of place through the services provided by the National Broadband Network (NBN) across 22 technologically and geographically diverse households by drawing out properties of connectedness and distinction. In this paper, which reports on preliminary data from a longitudinal ARC-funded research project, we are particularly interested to examine how HSB intersects with the other spatial elements that make place meaningful for our participants. We take the standpoint that the uptake and appropriation of a technological innovation, such as HSB, is a process – not an event. We seek to examine the dynamics of this process, what HSB means for the ‘tyranny of distance’ and what HSB means for the significance of place.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Things, tags, topics: Thingiverse's object-centred network
    Fordyce, R ; Heemsbergen, L ; Apperley, T ; Arnold, M ; Birtchnell, T ; Luo, M ; Nansen, B (TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2016-01-01)
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Researching Death Online
    van Ryn, L ; KOHN, T ; Nansen, B ; Arnold, M ; Gibbs, M ; Hjorth, L ; Horst, H ; Galloway, A ; Bell, G (Routledge, 2017)
    Death now knocks in a digital age. When the time is nigh, whether from natural causes at a ripe age, or from accidents or illness when young, the word goes out through a range of technologies and then various communities gather offline and online. Digital ethnography in this “death” sphere has been growing in form and possibility over the past two decades as various platforms are designed and become occupied with the desires of the living and dying. Online funerals and commemorative activities are now often arranged alongside the perhaps more somber rites of burial or cremation (Boellstorff 2008, 128). Services such as LivesOn promise that we shall be able to “tweet” beyond the grave; members of online communities encounter each other on commemorative online sites where they grieve for a shared friend but never meet each other “in person”; and it is predicted that soon there will be more Facebook profiles of the dead than of the living.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Facebook and the Other: Administering to and Caring for the Dead Online
    Kohn, T ; Nansen, B ; Arnold, MV ; Gibbs, MR ; Hage, G ; Eckerlsey, R (Melbourne University Press, 2012)
  • Item
    No Preview Available
    3D Printing Rights & Responsibilities: consumer perceptions & realities
    HEEMSBERGEN, L ; Fordyce, R ; Arnold, M ; Apperley, T ; Birtchnell, T ; Nansen, B (Australian Communications Consumer Action Network, 2016)