The Centre for Culture and Technology (CCAT) is located at the intersections of disciplinary and creative boundaries, and operates as a portal to cutting-edge research in media, digital practices, art, culture, theory and new technologies.
The Centre was founded in 2011, building upon existing strengths in cultural and media research (led by Niall Lucy), with the aim of establishing new research directions. John Hartley was appointed Director in 2012. CCAT focuses on national competitive grant schemes and international research collaboration in cultural, media and journalism research, the creative economy and cultural science.
The proposition that motivates CCAT research across these fields is that the study of culture, with its emphasis on identity, meanings, relationships, power and values, needs to be better integrated with the study of media and digital technologies, especially the Internet.
Culture is integral to what are now called ‘social network markets’ in the creative economy. New approaches and methods are needed to account for technological change and cultural dynamism in the growth of globalized networks.
The combination of culture and technology gives rise to both creative and economic questions:
- Creatively, audiences, consumers and citizens are reconfigured as users – producers and publishers of cultural content in their own right.
- Economically, we are witnessing the migration of innovation from firms to social networks (from the economy to culture), and profound changes in the relationships between producers and consumers (distributed enterprise).
These changes are significant for the growth of knowledge, and in turn raise new questions about the role of expertise, professionalism, education and training in creative and cultural systems. In particular, digital technologies massively expand the capacity of social networks to carry new ideas, and to enable distributed social learning and experimentation among a global population.
What happens when culture and technology clash productively? Let’s find out!