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“It’s the Art, Stupid!”

Posted by lostincci on December 20, 2016

Beyond Value Event KCL at the  on the 13/12/2016. Photo: David Tett

The UK’s longest serving Culture Minister, the Rt Hon Ed Vaizey MP, together with current BBC Head of Arts Jonty Claypole, were among a prestigious list of speakers at “Beyond Value for Money”, a symposium on cultural value staged by us at the Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries.

The symposium investigated to what extent broadcasting, the arts, and cultural education have a value that is more than financial, and whether “good value for money” is therefore a sufficient measure of the full value of what many of us do.

The BBC charter renewal was a hot topic of conversation, as were the intrinsic versus the instrumental values of the arts and education. Former BBC World Service and Barbican Centre managing director Sir John Tusa gave the opening address, arguing that providing value for money should be an instrument and not end, concluding: “It’s the art, stupid!”

BBC Trustee and former Radio 4 controller Mark Damazer, CBE, argued that simply being distinctive was not the same as being excellent, while independent TV and film executive David Elstein made a spirited case for the “race to the top” in subscription television.

Other speakers at the day-long event included Georgina Born, OBE, Professor of Music at Oxford University; Lizzie Crump, Co-Director, The Cultural Learning Alliance; and John Holden, Associate and former Head of Culture at Demos.

The symposium convenor was CMCI’s Professor of Cultural Sociology Richard Howells, and the event was funded and supported by King’s College London’s Arts and Humanities Research Institute under their new World Service initiative.

A set of high definition photographs of the speakers in action at “Beyond Value for Money” is available at:

Our picture here shows Richard Howells chairing questions for Ed Vaizey at the event. Photo credit: David Tett photography.

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Arthur In Action

Posted by lostincci on December 15, 2016


There was a bumper turnout for our final CMCI research seminar of 2016, with Pulitzer Prize nominee Professor Arthur I Miller from UCL speaking on artificial intelligence– and the controversial question of whether computers can be creative.

We were very pleased to welcome a number of people from outside CMCI and indeed King’s who came along to enjoy Arthur’s illustrated talk.

Cultural and Creative Industries student Mallory MacDonald volunteered to photograph the event for us, and the CMCI blog was delighted to accept. We’ve put up another of Mallory’s photographs of the event here:


For more on Mallory’s work as a Seattle-based photographer, see her website: She specialises in photographing children –but was happy to work with academics on this occasion!

Picture credits: Mallory MacDonald

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Transforming the Digital Landscape

Posted by lostincci on December 14, 2016

Tall Signpost

As our term draws to a close in 2016, we are already planning ahead for our research symposium on “Digital Distribution and Entertainment” in January next year.

Music streaming, video-on-demand and downloadable games are just some of the signs of how digital distribution is transforming the landscape of entertainment media. Digital delivery dematerializes while rematerializing the means of disseminating entertainment. For media industries, the potential of digital distribution to disrupt traditional structures has been accompanied by the emergence of new power players as cultural gatekeepers.

It’s organized by CMCI Head of Department Paul McDonald and speakers include our own Virginia Crisp; Andrew Leyshon (University of Nottingham); Amanda Lotz (University of Michigan); Jeanette Steemers (CMCI); and Patrick Vonderau (Stockholm University).

It takes place on Wednesday 18 January 2017 from 13.30-18.00hrs, followed by a wine reception 18.00-19.00hrs in Room S-3.20, Strand Building, King’s College London.

For full details visit:

This event is free but as places are restricted booking is required. Please register at:

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Kevin Milburn Marks Canadian Memory

Posted by lostincci on December 14, 2016


This month sees the 99th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion of 1917 in Nova Scotia, Canada. Prior to the first test of an atomic bomb, this explosion caused by a collision in Halifax harbour involving a ship carrying munitions to WWI battlefields, was the world’s largest ever man-made blast and resulted in over 2,000 fatalities.

CMCI teaching Dr Kevin Milburn went to Canada to give a talk about the event and the responses to it, particularly artistic ones, at the 2016 Universities Art Association of Canada Conference at L’Université du Québec à Montréal. Kevin spoke in the ‘To Protect and Conserve: Memory, Art and Preservation’ session.

Interestingly, each year, as thanks for the help that the city of Boston, Massachusetts, gave to Halifax in the aftermath of the disaster, Halifax provides a Christmas Tree for Boston. Here’s is a picture of this year’s model being waved off as it starts its journey from Canada to the USA.

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Beyond Value for Money

Posted by lostincci on December 6, 2016


The Department of Culture Media and Creative Industries announces: King’s College London Symposium: “Beyond Value for Money” a symposium on cultural value taking place on Tuesday 13 December in the Council Room (K2.29), King’s Building, Strand Campus.

We want to know: Is there more to culture, the arts, broadcasting and arts education than providing “good value for money”? Headline speakers include academics, professionals and policymakers: Georgina Born, OBE, Professor of Music, Oxford University and author of Rationalizing Culture and Uncertain Vision: Birt, Dyke and the Reinvention of the BBC; Jonty Claypole, Head of BBC Arts; Lizzie Crump, Co-Director, The Cultural Learning Alliance; Mark Damazer, CBE, former controller of Radio 4 now Master of St Peter’s College, Oxford; David Elstein, television and film executive; chairman of; John Holden, Associate and former Head of Culture at Demos, author of Cultural Value and the Crisis of Legitimacy;  Sir John Tusa, Managing Director of the BBC World Service, 1986-1993; former chair, Clore Leadership Programme, author of Pain in the Arts and Art Matters; and The Right Honourable Ed Vaizey, MP, Minister for Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy, 2010-2016

We are limiting the audience for this event to 65 to allow for full discussion, questions and answers, so please book your place as soon as possible at:

The event is organised by Richard Howells, Professor of Cultural Sociology, Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries, King’s College London.  Please forward any enquiries to

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Posted by lostincci on December 2, 2016


CMCI Professor Jeanette Steemers has a new article published. It’s called ‘International Sales of U.K. Television Content Change and Continuity in “the space in between” Production and Consumption’ and is appears in the December 2016 edition of Television and New Media.

In her article, Professor Steemers addresses key issues facing the international distribution industry arising from over-the-top (OTT) digital distribution and the fragmentation of audiences and revenues.

You can find the full article at:

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Creatives In Hampshire

Posted by lostincci on December 2, 2016


Dr Roberta Comunian was an invited speaker at a conference and networking event: ‘Growing Hampshire’s Creative Economy’ organised by the ‘Creative Industries Research Network South’ at The Point in Eastleigh (Hampshire).

She talked about talent progression and development, focusing on the relationship between creative graduates’ careers and location decision.

The presentations from the event can be downloaded from the organisers’ website

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Can Computers Be Creative?

Posted by lostincci on November 30, 2016


Pulitzer Prize nominee Professor Arthur I Miller will be speaking at CMCI: He claims that there is a revolution going on in the world of art, a new avant-garde pushing the boundaries farther than ever before. Art, science and technology, he says, are merging to form a “Third Culture”. He calls this exciting new art movement ‘artsci’.

Artsci sees artists, scientists and technologists rolled into one. But today this goes dramatically further because computers are playing an increasingly important role in producing art and music. The question naturally arises: Can Computers Be Creative?

Miller (pictured) is fascinated by the nature of creative thinking – in art on the one hand and science on the other. What are the similarities, what are the differences? He has published many critically acclaimed books, including Insights of GeniusEinstein, PicassoEmpire of the Stars and 137, and writes for the Guardian and The New York Times. His latest book Colliding Worlds: How Cutting-Edge Science is Redefining Contemporary Art tells the story of how art, science and technology are fusing in the twenty-first century.

This CMCI Research Seminar takes place from 16.00-17.30hrs on Wednesday7 December 2016; Strand campus room S-3.20. All are welcome.

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CMCI Asian Cultural and Creative Industries Research Society Event

Posted by lostincci on November 30, 2016


Our departmental Asian Cultural and Creative Industries Research Society have been in action again, this year determined to involve more PhD students in addition to the strong MA student membership.

So recently they held a PhD networking event which included a guest talk on Contemporary East Asian Studies, a PhD study experience sharing session with Dr Jocelyn Yi-Hsuan Lai who recently got her doctoral degree from CMCI, and a group discussion on how to develop their research network still further.

This event was co-organised by CMCI current PhD student Mengying Li, and attracted more than 25 PhD students and researchers from a variety of academic institutions in the UK.

The society’s academic adviser is CMCI’s Dr Hye-Kyung Lee (pictured in action at the event).  More information about the society can be found on the society’s own blog:

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Anna Reading and the “New East”

Posted by lostincci on November 21, 2016


CMCI’s Professor Anna Reading has been invited to join the Expert Committee for the Calvert 22 Foundation, which is addressing ways of developing a strategic approach to the Cultural and Creative Industries in Russia and Eastern Europe. Their next meeting will be opened by Vince Cable, the Former UK Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Anna Reading is our immediate past Head of Department at CMCI, and is currently on research leave following her term of office.

The Calvert 22 Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation that seeks to support and share the contemporary culture and creativity of the “New East”:  Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Russia and Central Asia.

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