The Digital Ethnography Research Centre (DERC) fosters cross-cultural, interdisciplinary and multi-sited research, especially in relation to the Asia-Pacific region. Through research and critical engagement, we collectively seek to push the boundaries and possibilities of ethnographic practice in, through and around digital media. DERC is a research centre in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University, affiliated with the Design Research Institute. Read more about digital ethnography. Sign up for our mailing list.

Blog Index
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What's On

17 April

The Prosaic Image: Cultural Patterns in Ubiquitous Media Use

This paper by Helen Grace will outline the research approach to a recently completed project on ubiquitous media use in Hong Kong, focusing especially on camera phone images, describing an approach that draws upon ethnographic method, visual analysis and pattern recognition in order to identify significant transformations in vernacular image uses and content in ubiquitous devices.

29 April

How we do ethnography: digital worlds

This symposium, with Jo Tacchi (RMIT) and Debora Lanzeni (Mediaccions Research Group at the UOC, Barcelona), will look at two case studies of ethnographic research concerning the production and consumption of digital technologies.

6 May

Indigenous digital creativity and storytelling

This symposium will look at two case studies of how digital technology acts as a medium for indigenous creativity and connection. Miyarrka Media curator and co-founder, Jennifer Deger, will talk about the challenges and possibilities of the Gapuwiyak Calling exhibition, and Fran Edmonds’ paper will discuss a recent pilot digital storytelling project conducted with a group of Aboriginal young people in Melbourne’s inner north.

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Featured Project: Locating the Mobile - Intergenerational Locative Media Practices in Tokyo, Melbourne and Shanghai

Larissa Hjorth, Heather Horst, Sarah Pink, Genevieve Bell, Baohua Zhao and Fumitoshi Kato

Intel and RMIT University

Funded by an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant, LP130100848

Mobile devices play an increasingly important role in the economic, cultural and social lives of Australians, as they do the lives of what are now billions of users worldwide. The locative capacities of these devices are now widely exploited in applications (i.e. Facebook Places) that can provide users information about their surrounds and provide others information about where the user is located. These practices have implications for privacy and surveillance across public and private, local and regional contexts. 'Locating the Mobile' provides the first cross-cultural and intergenerational study of this phenomenon in three key sites (Tokyo, Shanghai and Melbourne). This project is a partnership between Larissa Hjorth (RMIT), Heather Horst (RMIT), Sarah Pink (RMIT), Genevieve Bell (Intel), Baohua Zhao (Fudan University) and Fumitoshi Kato (Keio University).

Featured Publication: Doing Visual Ethnography

Drawing upon her original research and the experiences of other ethnographers, Sarah Pink once again challenges our understanding of the world and sets new agendas for visual ethnography by:

  • Helpfully illustrating key concepts within real world contexts
  • Introducing examples from both analogue and digital media
  • Exploring material and electronic texts
  • Setting out the shift towards applied, participatory and public visual scholarship.
This text is essential reading for anyone wishing to engage with images, technologies and society. The third edition of this classic text includes new chapters on web-based practices for visual ethnography and the issues surrounding the representation, interpretation and authoring of knowledge with the rise of digital media.