Thinking in Tandem: The Environmental Age and the Digital Age

calendar icon

Event Details

Date: 29 Nov 2018 – 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Venue: Treasury Theatre, 1 Macarthur Street, East Melbourne


Media, Film & Journalism

Public Lectures

Thinking in Tandem: The Environmental Age and the Digital Age



Polyvocality & Collaborative Survival as Documentary Methods for the Environmental Age

Professor Liz Miller, Concordia University Montreal

As a documentary maker working across platforms, I see media as a first step in a longer process of social engagement. The appeal of an interactive documentary (i-doc) is the nonhierarchical curation of people, places and media forms. I see i-docs as a platform for polyphony in practice. By polyphony I mean the creative engagement of voices, elements and media forms towards a common objective. In this presentation I will discuss the making of The Shore Line (2017) and I will share the diverse strategies of engagement that I enacted at each stage of production.  I was drawn to the coast as subject, as metaphor and as method—as a way to reach across borders and challenge existing narrative strategies in addressing climate disasters. The surge of coastal tourism, the increased dumping of industrial waste, and the unsustainable growth of fossil fuels are threatening the very ecosystems that protect us from storms and sea level rise. Rather than dwell on disaster, I was inspired by Anna Tsing’s notion of collaborative survival and her invitation to observe what survives in the midst of disaster. Beyond observing, my intention was to activate connections between people and the species and environments we depend on. 

Elizabeth (Liz ) Miller is a documentary maker and professor in Communications Studies at Concordia University in Montreal. She uses collaboration and interactivity as a way to connect personal stories to larger timely social issues. Her documentary projects on timely issues such as water privatization (The Water Front) refugee rights (Mapping Memories), gender rights (En la Casa), gender & environmental justice (Hands On) and climate resilience (The Shore Line) have won international awards, been integrated into educational curricula and influenced decision makers.


Aesthetics of Framelessness

Mark Andrejevic, Monash University, Melbourne.

This presentation approaches the question of documentation through the lens of the sensor society, in which passive interactive data collection seeks to reproduce the world in its entirety. It considers the way in which automated information collection leads to automated information processing and, eventually, automated response. The result is the displacement of representation by operation: that is, it becomes harder to “see” the information worlds produced by our machines, but these nevertheless act in the absence of our vision. Control and governance start to operate at the environmental scale: the goal is monitor not just entire populations, but total environments, and to intervene and govern through modulations in the lived environment. The model of virtual reality — as a modulatable environment — comes to permeate physical reality. Challenging these developments means finding ways of telling stories that hold automated processes accountable while also revealing the ways in which they depend on narrative logics that they attempt to surpass.  


Mark Andrejevic is Professor of Media Studies in the School of Media, Film, and Journalism at Monash University. He is the author of Infoglut: How Too Much Information is Changing the Way We Think and Know; iSpy: Surveillance and Power in the Interactive Era; and Reality TV: The Work of Being Watched. He has also published more than 60 articles and book chapters on surveillance, popular culture, and digital media. He is interested in issues of data mining, privacy, prediction, and pre-emption.


Professor Sarah Pink, Monash University, Melbourne.

Sarah Pink’s research combines theoretical and methodological scholarship with applied practice. She works across themes including digital media, energy, consumption, everyday life, sustainability, activism, tacit and sensory ways of knowing, safety and health and the construction industry. She researches across urban, domestic and workplace environments.




Thursday 29 Nov


06:00pm – 08:00pm


Treasury Theatre,
1 Macarthur Street
East Melbourne
VIC 3000

For further information, please contact Belinda Smaill on


Loading Map....