During my stay in Cambridge I would like to spend my time on the following projects:
• First, I will be working on my New Media and Urban Culture research project. I am working on a study that addresses the concept of ‘urban culture’ in relation to new media technologies. To put it roughly, the concept of Urban Culture deals with the issue of how people with different interests, background, goals, etc live together in the city. It touches upon discussions on local community, identity and the idea of the city as an ‘interface’ or a stage for social processes. Most theories on Urban Culture employ concepts that are still based on the spatial structure of the industrial modern metropolis. I would like to investigate how digital media (varying from GPS-navigation and the Mobile Phone to Twitter) can be incorporated in a contemporary theory of Urban Culture
• Parallel to this academic research project, I am also involved in organizing a conference and weblog on New Media and Urban Culture aimed at professional disciplines (media design, architecture, urban planning): www.themobilecity.nl. Here I am working together with Michiel de Lange and the Netherlands Architecture Institute. We are researching a new edition of the conference, planned for 2010 and while in Cambridge I would be interested in meeting both academic researchers and professionals who are involved in projects that deal with the experience of the city through the use of digital media.
• A second domain of interest for me is Digital Media Storytelling and New Media Journalism, and especially the idea of ‘Convergence Culture’. In the Netherlands I have co-founded the professional weblog DeNieuweReporter.nl, which has grown into the main discussion platform in The Netherlands on the future of journalism. I am also a member of the board of the Netherlands Fund for Cultural Media Productions, a national endowment that funds both traditional drama series and documentaries as well as experiments in new media storytelling. Here I am also involved in organizing and mentoring a yearly master class that couples traditional media makers with new media designers in order to explore new media formats. Again, I hope to meet people involved in exciting projects in this area.