Posted to the Ethnos Project by on March 4th, 2012


Digital Cultural Communication (DCC) is a new field of research and design which seeks to build a co­creative relationship between the cultural institution and the community by using new media to produce audience­focused cultural interactive experiences (Russo and Watkins 2005). By situating the development of cultural communities within DCC, the institution adopts a more representative curatorial practice and benefits through the creation of original community­derived content which can form new digital collections. The community benefits through improved ‘information literacy’ – the skills required to use digital technologies to engage in both cultural consumption and production (Russo and Watkins 2004) – and can go beyond being a stakeholder of an institutional exhibition. Information literacy skills enable the community to both produce and consume its own original cultural content, in the form of narratives, wikis, blogs, vlogs or any other medium which is supported by the institution and connects to the audience. The institution ceases to be the sole custodian of cultural experience; instead it provides co­ creative infrastructure for the community and distributes original cultural content to the audience via multiple platforms – physical, online and broadcast.

This article uses a number of examples from around Asia to demonstrate how individuals and communities can benefit from the economy and immediacy offered by new media to co­create and distribute distinctive cultural content to broader audiences.

Keywords: Digital Cultural Communication; community co­creation; information literacy; new media.

International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology (IJEDICT), 2005, Vol. 1, Issue 4, pp. 4­17.

About Dr. Angela Russo

From her RMIT website: Dr. Russo is currently the Director of Higher Degrees Research in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University. Her research focuses on explorations in media and their applications to cultural communication. She has spent the past six years leading two major Australian Research Council projects in conjunction with 10 national and international cultural organisations. This research investigated digital content creation and multi-platform distribution and the impact of social media on learning and communication. Over the past 2 years she has extended her research practice to include the impact of social media on design innovation, exploring the impact of these changes on media processes, programs and partnerships.

Angelina is former Head of Communication Design in the Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology (2003-2004). Between 1996 and 2002 she taught across schools of Design, Architecture, and Information Technology at University of South Australia, University of Queensland. Between 2008 and 2010 she was an Associate Professor in the School of Design at Swinburne University.

Angelina is a former Australian Research Council Post Doctoral Fellow (2007-2010) and Queensland Premiere’s Smithsonian Fellow (2005). She is a co-founder and Director of Museum 3, a not-for-profit organisation established to explore the future of cultural organisations.

For more about Dr. Russo and her research and activities, please visit her website.
Follow Dr. Russo on Twitter: @artech05

About Dr. Jerry Watkins

From his UWS website: Dr. Jerry Watkins is Associate Professor in Design. He has over 20 years’ high-profile international experience in communication and interaction design and he has led major projects for some of the world’s biggest companies, including AT&T Wireless, Bell Canada, Telecom Italia, and Vodafone Group.

His research focuses on strategic design considerations around broadband, mobile devices, digital content, social media, and information and communication technology for development (ICT4D). He has presented his methods and findings to conferences in China, India, Italy, Thailand, UK, and USA. Jerry has worked in three Tier 1 research centres including the Australian Research Council Centre for Excellence and Innovation and the Institute for Social Research. He is Chief Investigator of the Australian Research Council project ‘Opportunity Spaces’ (2011-14). Jerry has led a number of research projects for partners including UNESCO and Intel, and he is a UNESCO Invited Expert in Mobile Media. His recent fieldwork has included sites in India, Indonesia, Nepal, Thailand, and the Solomon Islands. Jerry has previously lectured at University College London, University of Westminster, Queensland University of Technology and Swinburne University.

For more about Dr. Watkins and his research and activities, please visit his website.

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