Creative Directions 2019 Program

Official Opening

Download a copy of the program here.

The Netflix Affect?
Digital Platforms and Local Screen Industries

Now that the excitement has died down a little, how do we really feel about the big global streaming services? Netflix may have opened offices in Sydney, but what does that mean for local producers, creatives and audiences? How fair is the playing field for existing Australian media companies? Has our affection for Stranger Things clouded our judgement of the global mega platform? In this session we examine the implications of global streaming platforms from the perspective of a range of different stakeholders - media makers, distributors, audiences and governments. It’s complicated…

Speakers: Fei Wu (Assistant Director-Digital Platforms Branch, Australian Competition & Consumer Commission), Mike Cowap (Senior Producer, Princess Pictures), Dr Ramon Lobato (Senior Research Fellow, Digital Ethnography Research Centre, RMIT University, author Netflix Nations, 2019). Chaired by MFJ’s Dr Claire Perkins

Time: Tuesday 8 October, 5:00pm–6:30pm, followed by opening night drinks
Venue: The Pavilion (Building H, Level 8, Caulfield Campus)

Closing Night

Work in Progress
Community and Equality in Media Work

New media has removed many of the traditional costs and barriers to media work, but introduced plenty of new ones, especially for recent graduates. In this session we explore the opportunities and obstacles that emerging makers face carving out careers in the contemporary media environment. What informal pathways are there if traditional media is not for you? How do you balance creative interests, community needs and aspirations for a paid job? Can you have a sustainable practice when you’re more likely to be working casually? And how do you create support for inclusive media when divisive content gets the most hits? Join local creative producers and international digital media experts as they share advice and insights into the dynamics of youth creative employment and making media that matters.

Presented in collaboration with Monash University's Culture Media Economy research group and "Media Matters" public lecture series.

Speakers: Areej Nur (creative producer, co-founder Broadwave), Dr Jacqueline Vickery (Associate Professor of Media Studies, University of North Texas and Director of the Youth Media Lab at UNT), Dr Julian Sefton-Green (Professor of New Media Education, Deakin University). Chaired by MFJ’s Dr Aneta Podkalicka

Time: Wednesday 9th October, 4:00-5:15pm, drinks to follow
Venue: The Pavilion (Building H, Level 8, Caulfield Campus)

Full Program

Tuesday 8th October

REGISTRATION

Get your pass, pick up a program, load up on coffee and get ready for the day!

Time:  9:00-9:30am
Venue: The Pavilion (Building H, Level 8, Caulfield Campus)

SESSION 1

Home and Away
Making the Most of Your Time in Australia

As an international postgrad student, how do you make the most of your time in Australia? What can you do now to connect with the professional communities around you? Experts from Career Ahead explore strategies for students thinking about future careers here and at home.

Time: Tuesday 8 October, 9:30am–11:00am
Venue: The Pavilion (Building H, Level 8)
Session: Career Kickstart

Career Connections
Networking for Postgraduates

Most jobs are landed through direct referrals and networks. Is there a right way to network as a student? Do genuine relationships really matter in networking? Experts from Career Ahead discuss methods for making meaningful career connections.

Time: Tuesday 8 October, 9:30am–11:00am
Venue: John White Room (Building C, C110)
Session: Career Kickstart

APG5742 Capstone Presentations: Session 1

Students in the Master of Communications & Media Studies capstone unit, APG5742 Industry Project, present their work-in-progress for client organisations: the Ian Potter Foundation, the Lord Mayor's Charitable Trust, and Beyond the Orphanage.

Student Presenters:

Presentation 1: Shinan Liu, Hui Sheng, Ziyan Song, Hanzhi Xu,  Zhiqin Yang, Suhan Zhang. Client: Beyond the Orphanage

Presentation 2: Michelle Isa, Ankita Karungalekar, Tingwei Liu, Jingqi Shao, Lan Tang. Client: Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation 

Presentation 3: Jianhan Wang, Ning Wei, Guyuan Yang, Yue Yin, Ao Zhang. Client: Ian Potter Foundation 

Presentation 4: Mimi Liu, Yaqun Mo, Tong Li, Xuyang Chen, Chunyu Lin. Client: Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation

Time: Tuesday 8 October, 9:30am–11:00am
Venue: S232 (Building S, Level 2)
Session: Student Showcase

SESSION 2

Never Tear Us Apart
Music Culture After Spotify

The major music streaming services have been widely criticised for how little they pay artists, but they’re also celebrated for their ability to launch careers and connect old genres to new audiences. Whether you think Spotify is good or bad for the music industry, it doesn't look like audiences are going to ditch their streaming accounts any time soon. In this session we check in on the state of the Australian music sector after the ascendance of big music tech.

Speakers: Paris Martine (Director, Contrary), Sara Glaidous (Writer Services, APRA AMCOS), and other speakers tbc. Chaired by MFJ’s Dr Ben Eltham

Time: Tuesday 8 October, 11:30am–1:00pm
Venue: John White Room (Building C, C110)
Session: Critical Conversations

APG5742 Capstone Presentations: Session 2

Students in the Master of Communication & Media Studies capstone unit, APG5742 Industry Project, present their work-in-progress for client organisations: the Ian Potter Foundation, the Lord Mayor's Charitable Trust, and Beyond the Orphanage.

Student Presenters:

Presentation 1: Kiran Gujaran, Xiaoou He, Wanmei Lu,  Luyao Niu, Yi Zhang. Client: Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation 

Presentation 2: Xiaotong Bi, Yu Chen, Yiyang Feng,  Dixiang Mo, Shufan Xie, Jiahuan Zhang. Client: Ian Potter Foundation

Presentation 3: Jiajun He, Xuan Li,  Zihao Liu, Tong Mu, Xiyue Wang, Jialing Yuan. Client: Beyond the Orphanage

Presentation 4: Xiaoxuan Yin, Mutian Cui, Jia Lu, Tong Liu, Yunfei Lu. Client: Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation

Time: Tuesday 8 October, 11:30am–1:00pm
Venue: S232 (Building S, Level 2)
Session: Student Showcase

Whatever it Takes!
Sports Media in the Digital Age

MFJ’s resident sports journalist expert Julie Tullberg leads an all-star panel through a discussion about the future of sports media in the digital age. What’s it really like to get paid to cover your favourite sport? How have new technologies transformed how we tell stories about sports? And as players, clubs and management face increasing scrutiny and hostility on and off the field, how do you balance your responsibilities to fans and to journalism?

Speakers: Jack Cannon (Producer, Fox Footy), Matt Windley (Sports reporter and current MFJ Sports Journalism teacher), Matt Balmer (Content Producer, Fox Sports Australia / Fox Footy). Chaired by MFJ’s Julie Tullberg

Time: Tuesday 8 October, 12.00pm–1:00pm
Venue: The Pavilion (Building H, Level 8)
Session: Critical Conversations

Darwin’s Animoji
Histories of Animation and Racism in Facial Recognition

Facial recognition systems are increasingly common components of smartphones and other consumer digital devices. These technologies enable animated video-sharing applications, such as Apple’s animoji and memoji, Facebook Messenger’s masks and filters and Samsung’s AR Emoji. Visiting academic Luke Stark (Microsoft Research) examines how animations serve as technical phenomena translating moments of affective and emotional expression into mediated, trackable, and socially legible forms across a variety of social media platforms.

Speakers: Dr Luke Stark (Postdoctoral Researcher, Fairness, Accountability, Transparency and Ethics, Microsoft Research). Chaired by MFJ’s Professor Mark Andrejevic

Time: Tuesday 8 October, 12.00pm–1:00pm
Venue: Building S, S901 (Level 9), Light lunch provided
Session: Research Paper

Better Together
Music Video Remix

In this hands-on workshop we break up and put back together a music video. Working with rough cuts by local musicians and video directors Leland Buckle and Alex McLaren we explore the art of mixing music and video. The best remix of the day will make its debut on the Caulfield big screen!

Time: Tuesday 8 October, 12.00pm–2:00pm
Venue: MML Mac Lab B5.36 (Building B, 5th Floor)
Session: Media Workshop

SESSION 3

Creative AI Podcast: Live

Creative Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a research field that seeks to understand how we can co-create with AI systems to enhance and augment our creative abilities. It therefore generates important questions about humanity and the way we connect with each other and the world around us. The Creative AI group at SensiLab meets every fortnight to record a podcast that discusses and debates these issues and questions.

In a special, live recording of the podcast for Creative Directions, the team will delve into the different roles that AI could play in storytelling and build new connections with cultural institutions. Will AI allow people to connect in new ways with content? Or will it shape our world further based through the mediated lens of technology?

Speakers: Professor Jon McCormack (Director, SensiLab), Nina Rajcic (researcher, developer and Monash PhD Candidate) and Seb Chan (Chief Experience Officer, ACMI).

Time: Tuesday 8 October, 1:30pm–2:45pm
Venue: The Pavilion (Building H, Level 8)
Session: Critical Conversations

Don’t You Like Me Anymore?
Instagram, Influencer Relations and ‘Like’ Buttons

When Instagram launched a new trial this year of hiding ‘likes’ from users, it was celebrated as a major win against social media anxiety. “We want your friends to focus on the photos and videos you share,” said the company “not how many likes they get.” But what might it mean for those agencies and influencers who’ve built their businesses by tracking the size of online audience engagement? Join us for a conversation about digital transparency, influencer relations and the end of FOMO.

Speaker:  Katina Rosker (Social Media Manager, Milkbar Digital).  Chaired by MFJ's Dr Andy Ruddock

Time: Tuesday 8 October, 1:30pm–2:30pm
Venue: John White Room (Building C, C110)
Session: Industry Q & A

SESSION 4

Connecting with the Crowd
Digital Communication Strategies for the Creative Industries

Where’s the connection? In an era of imploding Facebook visibility, crowded Instagram feeds and nearly non-existent local press, how do artists, makers and cultural organisations grow and engage their audiences? In this session, two experts in creative crowdfunding, promotion and building relations on social media will showcase their strategies for connecting with the crowd.

Speakers: Bella Kranjec (Online Marketing and Social Media Coordinator for The Corner Group Live), Ben McKenzie (actor, writer, podcast producer, and crowdfunding guru). Chaired by: MFJ’s Dr Mugdha Rai

Time: Tuesday 8 October, 3.00pm–4:30pm
Venue: The Pavilion (Building H, Level 8)
Session: Industry Q&A

Tech Regrets
Imagining Im/Possible Futures for Digital Media 

As political and popular talk turns to a ‘tech break up’  we have to ask ourselves: what went wrong? In this session we explore what was, what is and what could be the future of the digital media. An expert panel of media historians, ethics researchers and digital rights activists examine what we are doing and what we should be doing to not repeat the mistakes of technologies past. Can we convince MFJ’s resident digital tech pessimist Professor Mark Andrejevic that the future could be better?

Speakers: Dr Elinor Carmi (Postdoctoral Researcher, Digital Culture and Society, Liverpool University), Dr Luke Stark (Postdoctoral Researcher, Fairness, Accountability, Transparency and Ethics, Microsoft Research). Sam de Silva (Digital Rights Watch and Senior Advisor, Internews). Chaired by Professor Mark Andrejevic.

Time: Tuesday 8 October, 3.00pm-4.30pm
Venue: John White Room (Building C, C110)
Session:  Critical Conversations

OPENING NIGHT

The Netflix Affect?
Digital Platforms and Local Screen Industries

Now that the excitement has died down a little, how do we really feel about the big global streaming services? Netflix may have opened offices in Sydney, but what does that mean for local producers, creatives and audiences? How fair is the playing field for existing Australian media companies? Has our affection for Stranger Things clouded our judgement of the global mega platform? In this session we examine the implications of global streaming platforms from the perspective of a range of different stakeholders - media makers, distributors, audiences and governments. It’s complicated…

Speakers: Fei Wu (Assistant Director, Digital Platforms Branch, Australian Competition & Consumer Commission), Mike Cowap (Senior Producer, Princess Pictures), Dr Ramon Lobato (Senior Research Fellow, Digital Ethnography Research Centre, RMIT University, author Netflix Nations, 2019). Chaired by MFJ’s Dr Claire Perkins

Time: Tuesday 8 October, 5:00pm–6:30pm, followed by opening night drinks
Venue: The Pavilion (H Block, Level 8, Caulfield Campus)
Session: Critical Conversations

Wednesday 9 October

SESSION 1

It’s not me, it's you
Why you are the worst candidate for the job (and what to do about it)

Making the leap from study to a career is difficult for even the best graduates. How do you narrow the gap between what you’ve got and what the industry is looking for? Do you really understand what employers expect from graduates? Experts from Career Ahead discuss what organisations are looking for in a graduate and how to sell your CV to employers when there isn’t much on it (yet!).

Time: Wednesday 9 October, 9:30am–11:00am
Venue: The Pavilion (Building H, Level 8)
Session: Career Kickstart

Can We Start Over?
First Impressions and Australian Workplace Culture

How late is too late to show up to work? Do handshakes really matter? Can you really call someone more senior by their first name? Experts from Career Ahead explain the nuances of Australian workplace culture and how it is different (and not so different) to other cultures across the globe.

Time: Wednesday 9 October, 9.30am–11.00am
Venue: John White Room (Building C, C110)
Session: Career Kickstart

SESSION 2

Behind the Scenes of Behind the Screen

In her eye-opening new book Behind the Screen and the 2018 documentary The Cleaners Sarah T. Roberts explores the lives of commercial content moderators; those invisible internet workers whose job it is to filter social media and protect us from seeing humanity’s very worst. In this session, we go on a tour of what’s involved in investigating some of the biggest tech corporations in the world.

Presented in collaboration with Monash University's Culture Media Economy research group. 

Speakers: Dr Sarah T. Roberts (Assistant Professor, Information Studies, UCLA).  Chaired by MFJ’s Professor Mark Andrejevic

Time: Wednesday 9 October, 11.30am–1.00pm
Venue: The Pavilion (Building H, Level 8)
Session: Critical Conversations

Please join us for Sarah T Robert’s  Public Lecture and the Australian book launch for 'Behind the Screen', Thursday 10 October 6pm-8pm, Monash Conference Centre, 30 Collins Street, Melbourne.

Lay It All Out
Social Media Photography Workshop

Learn how to slay your flatlay in this social media photography workshop. Expert stylists and photographers from Melbourne’s Milkbar Digital team will walk you through how to break up, lay out and see your subjects from a whole new perspective. Smartphone cameras at the ready!

Speakers: Baya Ou Yang (Social Media Coordinator, Milkbar Digital), Maddie Reed (Social Media Coordinator, Milkbar Digital)

Time: Wednesday 9 October, 11.30am–1.00pm
Venue: Building S, S901 (Level 9)
Session: Media Workshop

LUNCHTIME

Student Exhibitions

Students in APG5401: Media Empires & Entrepreneurs have been digging deep into the complex histories of some of the biggest global media and tech companies around. Come take a tour of the online timelines they’ve built.

Students in APG5067: Cultural Economy and Sustainable Development have produced posters and infographics illustrating how Aboriginal communities are infusing culture in the economy to achieve sustainable development. Experience an exhibition highlighting Indigenous cultural agency and enterprise.

Students in APG5366: Strategic Communications in a Digital Era have produced posters and infographics evaluating some of the most compelling communications initiatives across public, private and non-profit sectors. Explore the complex debates of ethics and effectiveness, global and local, digital and traditional, that define contemporary strategic communications.

Light refreshments provided

Time: Wednesday 9 October, 1.00pm–2.00pm
Venue: Caulfield Library (Ground Floor, Teaching Rooms 1,2 & 3)
Session: Student Showcase

SESSION 4

Anonymous: VR Session

What is it like to die? Or to watch over the living? Anonymous is a 3D-animated interactive VR film that explores loneliness and mortality. It tells the story of an old man living alone and remembering his life. In a preview of Sojung Bahng's intimate and immersive new animated film, audiences can experience one man’s life from entirely different perspectives - his deceased wife, an inanimate object, a butterfly, or a star. Based on a real story.

Directed by Monash PhD candidate and new media filmmaker Sojung Bahng.

Join us for a discussion with Sojung Bahng at 3pm.

Times: 12:30pm, 1:00pm, 1:30pm, 2:00pm, 2:30pm *sessions strictly limited. Sign up at the registration desk*
Venue: Deep Immersion, Sensilab (Ground Floor, Building G)

Media Freedom and Civil Liberties in Australia in the Age of Police Raids

The back-to-back raids by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) on journalists and media organisations in June 2019 made headlines around the globe. This was not the first time Australian governments had treated journalists and whistleblowers in a heavy handed way, and compared with many other countries, Australia is an outlier in terms of the pressure journalists are under when reporting matters of national security. The AFP raids and the aftermath, is the starting point for this panel. The panel will also consider other challenges to the media's ability to scrutinise power: punitive defamation laws, court suppression orders, poor protection of journalistic sources and a shaky freedom of information system.

Speakers: Mark Maley (Manager Editorial Policy, ABC News), Michael Bachelard (Investigations Editor, The Age). Chaired by MFJ’s Associate Professor Johan Lidberg

Time: Wednesday 9 October, 1.30pm–3.00pm
Venue: The Pavilion (Building H, Level 8)
Session: Critical Conversations

Perfect Match?
Dream Team Data Workshop

What social relations and group dynamics do you need to build the dream team? Who should you pick to be captain? In this playful hands-on workshop, MFJ’s resident data analytics expert Dr Verity Trott will take participants through the process of using Node XL to visualise, map and analyse social networks. Go team!

Time: Wednesday 9 October, 2.00pm–4.00pm
Venue: Media Lab Newsroom (Building B, B526)
Session: Media Workshop

The City and Safety

Urban spaces are hives of human activity, shaped by the planning and architecture that enable or restrict different forms of movement and habitation. The city is a site of life, employment, entertainment, and risk. We navigate through it with mobile media, and encounter strangers and new experiences with our devices. This panel investigates the experience of newness, of media, and of divides in the context of staying safe in the multicultural city space. Our panellists are experts across media research, advocacy, inclusion, and policy and bring with them perspectives on identity, multiculturalism, and gender.

Speakers: Daniella Trimboli (Cultural Studies researcher), Estelle Boyle (PhD at University of Melbourne), Esther Semo (Gender Equity Victoria GEN VIC), Indigo Holcombe-James (PhD at RMIT). Chaired by MFJ's Dr Robbie Fordyce

Time: Wednesday 9 October, 2.30pm–3.45pm
Venue: John White Room (Building C, C110)
Session: Critical Conversations

Inside Out
VR and the Limits of Mind/Body Relations

What would it feel like to be in someone else’s body, or something that doesn’t have a body at all? Do spectatorship and engagement feel physically different? And what would happen to our bodies if we spent too much time in VR? In this session, a local VR director, curator and critic discuss using interactive VR to explore how our bodies and minds connect. Join us for an intimate talk about how new digital interfaces are transforming our engagement with the world around us.

Sojung Bahng’s animated VR film Anonymous can be previewed throughout the day.

Speakers: Nicky Pastore (Experimenta Exhibition Manager & Program Producer), Sojung Bahng (new media filmmaker and PhD candidate, Sensilab). Chaired by MFJ’s Dr Dan Black

Time: Wednesday 9 October, 3.00pm–4.00pm
Venue: Deep Immersion, Sensilab (Ground Floor, Building G)
Session: Critical Conversations

CLOSING NIGHT

Work in Progress
Community and Equality in Media Work

New media has removed many of the traditional costs and barriers to media work, but introduced plenty of new ones, especially for recent graduates. In this session we explore the opportunities and obstacles that emerging makers face carving out careers in the contemporary media environment. What informal pathways are there if traditional media is not for you? How do you balance creative interests, community needs and aspirations for a paid job? Can you have a sustainable practice when you’re more likely to be working casually? And how do you create support for inclusive media when divisive content gets the most hits? Join local creative producers and international digital media experts as they share advice and insights into the dynamics of youth creative employment and making media that matters.

Presented in collaboration with Monash University's Culture Media Economy research group and "Media Matters" public lecture series.

Speakers: Areej Nur (creative producer, co-founder Broadwave), Dr Jacqueline Vickery (Associate Professor of Media Studies, University of North Texas and Director of the Youth Media Lab at UNT), Dr Julian Sefton-Green (Professor of New Media Education, Deakin University). Chaired by MFJ’s Dr Aneta Podkalicka

Time: Wednesday 9 October, 4:00pm–5:15pm, drinks to follow
Venue: The Pavilion (Building H, Level 8)
Session: Critical Conversations