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Subject: Art

Machinima – Socio-Cultural Disturbance

Tracy Gaynor Harwood, De Montfort University

September 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-273-9
Availability: Forthcoming

Since its birth in 1996, machinima (machine-cinema) has grown into a truly global phenomenon – and its latest transformation is evident in the Lets Play community. Machinima is the first digital culture to have emerged from the internet into a mainstream creative genre and it has taken shape as an important fan culture. Its impact has been felt across many aspects of popular culture and its influence can be found in contexts such as the arts and cinema, performance, creative technologies and social media, politics and citizenship. This book traces its history and impacts through a selection of the most culturally significant works. It firstly sets out to describe the key films, provides an overview of the creative processes and interviews with filmmakers and contributors involved in their development. It then traces their release and impact among fans, users and appropriators, supported with material and interviews. This important new work focuses on the specific disruptive socio-cultural impacts of key works identified by the community and Harwood research over a period of 10 years – from film and filmmaking to digital arts, practice and theory. The book will be of interest to machinima researchers and practitioners, including game culture, media theorists and digital artists, and those interested in how creative technologies influences communities of practice over time.

Cosmopolitan Ambassadors: Touring Exhibitions, Cultural Diplomacy and the Intercultural Museum

Edited by Lee Davidson, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand and Leticia Pérez-Castellanos, Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Mexico

May 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-174-9
Availability: Forthcoming

Cosmopolitan Ambassadors: Touring Exhibitions, Cultural Diplomacy and the Intercultural Museum critically examines international exhibitions, looking at both theoretical and practical implications. How are museums working internationally through exhibitions? What motivates this work? What are the benefits and challenges? What factors contribute to success? What impact does this work have for audiences and other stakeholders? What contributions are they making to cultural diplomacy, intercultural dialogue and understanding? In seeking answers to these questions, the book first provides an overview of the current state of knowledge about international touring exhibitions: their history, current practice, debates and issues. It then proposes an interdisciplinary analytical framework, encompassing museum studies, visitor studies, cultural diplomacy and international relations, intercultural communication/education, and theories of cosmopolitanism. Having laid the theoretical groundwork, it presents a comprehensive empirical analysis of an exhibition exchange involving two exhibitions that crossed five countries and three continents, connecting six high profile cultural institutions and spanning almost a decade from initial conception to completion. A detailed comparison of both the intercultural production of touring exhibitions by museum partnerships and by the interpretive acts and meaning-making of visitors, reveals the many complexities, challenges, tensions and rewards of international museum exhibitions and their intersection with cultural diplomacy. Key themes include the realities of international collaboration, its purposes, processes and challenges, including communication and relationship building; the politics of cultural (self-)representation and Indigenous museology; implications for exhibition design, interpretation, and marketing; intercultural competency and museum practice; audience reception and meaning-making; cultural diplomacy in practice and perceptions of its value. This first-ever detailed, empirically-grounded, theoretical analysis provides the basis of a critical theory of international touring exhibitions and guidelines for practice, including recommendations for successful international museum partnerships and exhibitions aimed at facilitating intercultural understanding for audiences and enhancing intercultural practices among museum professionals, and maximizing the potential contribution cultural diplomacy.

Looking-Glass Wars: Spies on British Screens since 1960

Alan Burton, University of Leicester, UK

January 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-290-6
Availability: In stock
$71 £53 €60

Looking-Glass Wars: Spies on British Screens since 1960 is a detailed historical and critical overview of espionage in British film and television in the important period since 1960. From that date, the British spy screen was transformed under the influence of the tremendous success of James Bond in the cinema (the spy thriller), and of the new-style spy writing of John le Carré and Len Deighton (the espionage story). In the 1960s, there developed a popular cycle of spy thrillers in the cinema and on television. The new study looks in detail at the cycle which in previous work has been largely neglected in favour of the James Bond films. The study also brings new attention to espionage on British television and popular secret agent series such as Spy Trap, Quiller and The Sandbaggers. It also gives attention to the more ‘realistic’ representation of spying in the film and television adaptations of le Carré and Deighton, and other dramas with a more serious intent. In addition, there is wholly original attention given to ‘nostalgic’ spy fictions on screen, adaptations of classic stories of espionage which were popular in the late 1970s and through the 1980s, and to ‘historical’ spy fiction, dramas which treated ‘real’ cases of espionage and their characters, most notably the notorious Cambridge Spies. Detailed attention is also given to the ‘secret state’ thriller, a cycle of paranoid screen dramas in the 1980s which portrayed the intelligence services in a conspiratorial light, best understood as a reaction to excessive official secrecy and anxieties about an unregulated security service. The study is brought up-to-date with an examination of screen espionage in Britain since the end of the Cold War. The approach is empirical and historical. The study examines the production and reception, literary and historical contexts of the films and dramas. It is the first detailed overview of the British spy screen in its crucial period since the 1960s and provides fresh attention to spy films, series and serials never previously considered.

And the Loser is: A History of Oscar Oversights

Aubrey Malone

January 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-322-4
Availability: In stock
$60 £46 €51

This is the first book of its kind. Aubrey Malone has gone back to the start of the Oscar ceremonies and discovered that mistakes have been made every year in the choice of what has been deemed “best” in the categories of acting, directing, producing and the subsidiary awards. He has identified all the great stars (Garbo, Montgomery Clift, Peter O’Toole, Barbara Stanwyck, etc.) who never held Oscars in their hands, and also iconic directors like Stanley Kubrick who were never thus honored. Why were some people over-rewarded by the Academy and why did others fall below the radar? The author outlines all of the extraneous factors leading to voting choices, and how Oscar pariahs have often been subsequently (or even posthumously) awarded for the wrong films to make up for omissions in a given year. With both wit and wisdom he has written an “alternative” history of the Oscars that will be required reading for both academics and film buffs alike. It tells the story behind the story. “If there were Oscars for research, Aubrey Malone would be right up there with the best of them.” (Film Ireland)

Memos from a Theatre Lab: Spaces, Relationships, and Immersive Theatre

Nandita Dinesh, UWC-USA

January 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-369-9
Availability: In stock
$56 £41 €47

Drawing from Dinesh’s findings in Memos from a Theatre Lab: Exploring What Immersive Theatre “Does”, this practice-based-research project – second in an envisioned series of Immersive Theatre experiments in Dinesh’s theatre laboratory -- considers the potential impact of pre-existing relationships between actors, spectators, and performance spaces when using immersive theatrical aesthetics toward educational and/or socio-political objectives. Memos from a Theatre Lab: Spaces, Relationships and Immersive Theatre explores the following questions: When audience members do not know the actors outside the milieu of a theatrical performance, does an immersive form hold different implications than if performers and spectators know each other in ‘real life’? When actors and spectators are strangers to each other, are performers more or less likely to judge the responses that are given to them within an immersive scenario? What kinds of immersive situations, especially in Applied Theatre interventions, might benefit from the presence or absence of a pre-existing relationship between performers, audience members, and the spaces in which these experiences occur? In describing the processes involved in: designing such an experiment, crafting the relevant immersive performances, and gathering/ analysing data from actors and spectators, this book puts forward strategies for students, researchers, and practitioners who seek to better understand the form of Immersive Theatre.