Digital gardens with real toads: in what ways have heritage and digital practices fused to form hybrid methods in moving image design?
  This thesis is a critical examination of my own creative practice through my published works in the moving image: a short film, commercials and a television series title sequence. My creative approach has been to use a hybrid of digital and heritage practices to create original works for television, advertising and film. I define ‘heritage’ as traditional, analogue and handmade practices that predate or overlap digital technology. I consider ‘digital’ as a description of the means of production and also a medium of communication. Educational research, as a qualitative and quantative study in lens-based media also contributes to this thesis and forms an argument for future directions in art and design practice.

The thesis explores the ways I fused heritage and digital practices to create works that were original at publication. A second aim is to recognise the different skills required by artists and designers to embrace a multiplicity of technologies, skills which can provide sites of resistance to technological and socio-economic change. Lastly, the thesis proposes a pedagogical imperative to ensure that heritage skills do not atrophy, but develop and are reinvigorated with new possibilities combined with digital practices and platforms of communication.

Many of my works have been broadcast to a global audience, but I have also published through traditional academic journals. In the thesis I analyse the production methods that created the range of work presented here. My narrative of production unmasks the processes of illusion and argues that hybrid techniques can offer a more ‘human’ expression that carries greater ‘authenticity’ and a broader capacity of meaning than an entirely digitally created technique. Stimulated by a range of theoretical discourse I examine human relationships with technology in the creative industries. I also examine the conditions of production from a political economy perspective.

The reflective and critical commentary on my published works argues for an urgency to this study. I conclude that to avoid ‘sleepwalking’ into a digital conformity, heritage processes must be celebrated and advocated as areas of difference particularly in education. Taken together, I consider my creative practice and my educational work as a pedagogic intervention to explore a multiplicity of creative expression rather than enclose moving image in a solely digital medium.

  • Dates:

    2011 to 2013

  • Qualification:

    Doctorate (PhD by published works)

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