Issue 1 – fusion View Issue

February 2013

fu·sion (fy zh n) noun.

  1. The merging of different elements into a union.
  2. The blending of different elements to form a larger nucleus with the simultaneous release of energy.
  3. A combination of different ingredients and techniques from very different cultures or countries.

This issue contains articles on any aspect – past and present – of the communication, media and creative industries which explore, analyse or otherwise attend to issues of fusion and hybridisations.

Issue 2 – The Limits of Virtuality VIEW ISSUE

September 2013

In this issue of fusion the contributions explore matters at the limits of digital representation, issues of cross-media representation and the virtual practice of representation in research.

Issue 3 – ‘The Studio’   VIEW ISSUE

April 2014

In this special issue contributions explore the status of the studio as an active constituent of learning in the history of art, architecture and design education, but not integral to other learning platforms.

Issue 4 – ‘The Town and the City’ VIEW ISSUE

August 2014

In general the villages, towns and small to medium sized cities situated in the countryside have been derived from the agricultural landscape.  As such the relationship between the rural landscape and townscape is clearly defined by the historic boundaries between agriculture and urban culture creating rural islands of populations.  And the idea or concept or regional development, once imagined to be unlimited, is now on a collision course with new kinds of limits – limits to biodiversity, and the limits to the flows of energy and water – in contrast to increasingly unlimited digital flows (mostly methods of genetic experimentation and forms of entertainment), leaving rural islands to compete globally for population and productivity, and stretching the boundaries of regional identity.  This issue of fusion asks contributors to consider the historic agri/urban boundaries which once determined critical regionalism.

Issue 5 – “New Uses of Literacy” View Issue

November 2014

This issue comprises papers from the New Uses of Literacy Symposium initiated by the Cultural Studies Association of Australia (CSAA) and staged by the School of the Arts and Media at the University of New South Wales, and other specially commissioned contributions.  The symposium theme emerged from ongoing local and international debates about the different approaches to ‘literacy’ in contemporary Cultural Studies.  According to Stuart Hall, “there would have been no Cultural Studies” were it not for Richard Hoggart’s The Uses of Literacy: Aspects of Working Class Life (1957).  The importance of literacies as a topic reflects Graeme Turner’s concern that the research projects of many students (and many academics, we may add) “are too often reduced to their topic rather than situated with the broadest possible relation to a body of ideas, concepts and approaches” (What Become of Cultural Studies? 2012).  This issue of fusion asked contributors to return to Hoggart’s seminal text to (re)consider current scholarship in the intersecting disciplines of Literacy Studies and Cultural Studies, and other interrelated fields of research including Media Studies, Communication Studies, Screen Studies, and the Creative Industries.

Issue 6 – The Rise & Fall of Social Housing: Future Directions View Issue

June 2015

Not until the rise of modern industrial city in the mid-nineteenth century did the problem of housing become a serious issue for planners, architects, social reformers and state officials. With the divide between the city and country, the rise of the Metropolis and its subsequent transmutation into the Megalopolis put pressure on governmental agencies to establish housing policies to accommodate unprecedented urban migrations, and residual regional populations. The ideals underpinning early modernist architects’ concern with social housing projects and its relationship with the city were met with obstacles or ended up as a failure when transformed into reality. With the advent of globalization, the fluidity of capital investment and mass migration compromised the project of social housing together with its urbanity. The neo-liberal political order is unable to meet the crisis that is taking place in the margin of every megalopolis around the world. The essential role of social housing in the city keeps haunting architects, planners, governments and communities. In this situation, the relationship between the city, urbanity, social housing and quality of life are becoming fundamental issues for an increasing number of professions in the 21st century.

Issue 7 – MASK: Performance, Performativity and Communication

December 2015

The theoretical underpinnings of the MASK symposium on Performance, Performativity and Communication in the Professions and Creative Industries are found in the work of Erving Goffman, for example, Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (1959) and its application to professions; Bourdieu’s (Bourdieu, 1984; Bourdieu & Nice, 1977) concepts of practice, habitus and field in reproducing norms in social organisations, including professions; and  concepts of performativity, power and embodiment from Judith Butler (1997, 2013).  These scholars help explicate the formation and maintenance of identity in changing social conditions.

There is a renewal of interest in these questions as social pressures and digital media create a climate of permanent performance, at work, leisure and home. Together with aspects of surveillance in contemporary western cultures it is hard to know when one is ‘off’ camera. Some writers, (e.g. novelist Marilynne Robinson, 2010)  suggest this is leading to societies where inner experience is devalued in preference for the consumption and exchange of outward appearances; others (Finkelstein, 2007) point to time and places such as the French Imperial courts where similar pressures prevailed. There is also recent research on performance as methodology (Haseman, 2006; Hadley, 2013).

These debates have implications for scholars in the field of theatrical performance itself, however mediated, as well as cultural commentators and those researching professions, identity and the challenges of the changing communication environment.

Issue 8 – Professional education in the e-learning world: Scholarship, practice and digital technologies

June 2016

We live in a time in which education in every form is increasingly exploring the possibilities of e-learning. In the higher education context discussions about the nature of online technologies, and how to utilise its affordances, proliferate. Such discussions are tied to the central question of ‘what is the project of a contemporary university?’ This leads to a myriad of questions such as: In this era of MOOCS, digital platforms and pre-prepared online interactions, what is it that is of value? What is the currency of universities? Is this current movement a crisis or can it be seen as a liberating force, creating spaces for innovation and creative practice? Does change allow us to let go of previous ways of thinking and address issues of the local, national and global world? Does it allow us to blur the boundaries of disciplines and ideas and see through the lens of hybridisation? How do we work in a fragmented and modularised yet also connected world? How do we conceptualise our practice and work with students in these environments? How do students experience these environments and translate their experiences? And how do these questions and their implications alter our approaches to practice and scholarship?  This special issue of fusion includes articles that focus on these questions and explores the possibilities of education in an e-learning world.

Issue 9 – Anonymous: The Void in Visual Culture

September 2016

Ever since Vasari published the Vite in 1550, art history has been skewed in favour of named individuals whose biographies can be unveiled or re-evaluated. However, the majority of contributions to visual culture do not fit this criterion. If it is impossible to determine an artists’ name, some of the most significant cultural and commercial imperatives for new scholarship are lost. Due to related methodological prejudices, analyses primarily drawn from material culture have been reserved for ‘inferior’ contributions to visual culture. The presentation of anonymous objects has been avoided or maligned by art galleries, because the public wants names. Museums, by contrast, do not appear to have this problem.

The distinction between high art and low art may no longer be a concern for researchers, but anonymous visual culture remains the preserve of a brave few. This issue of fusion  includes articles that consider the roles played by anonymous creators, the ways in which the problem of anonymity has shaped visual culture, and the consequences (or benefits) of anonymity for contemporary art, communications, and design.

Issue 10 – Land Dialogues: Interdisciplinary Research in Dialogue with Land

December 2016

Selected  and collated writing and creative/other works from the inaugural Land Dialogues Conference in April, 2016.  The Land Dialogues conference was three days of presentations of interdisciplinary scholarship by researchers and artists working in dialogue with, within or about land.  The conference covered diverse and divergent approaches to the key thematic phrase ‘Land Dialogues’ and especially encourage interdisciplinary attitudes to place/space and human/non-human convergence discourses.

Issue 11 – Dangerous Journalism

May 2017

This issue honours the 40th Year Anniversary conference of the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia (JERAA), “Dangerous Journalism”, held at Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, NSW.  The 2015 JERAA conference, held at Charles Sturt University, Bathurst Australia, considered the theme Dangerous Journalism: as journalism seeks to define itself within the information milieu, it can be increasingly associated with danger. Whether in unstable political environment, hostile legal environments or through financial risk, journalism is re-emerging as a practice that is defined by the threats that shape its substance.  Conversely, journalism must continue to distinguish itself from bias, including the menace of what is termed ‘brand journalism’ and such other trends as ‘native advertising’.

Issue 12 – Towards an Ecology of Care

November 2017

The Ecology of Care (EoC) as a field of research and practice originated in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Southern Denmark. It was designed to research and promote the concept of Care (the prioritising of Human needs). Care is essentially about tackling societal challenges from a human and ecological point of view, something of a reversed perspective on the current paradigm driven by liberal Capital. We see this as an extraordinary opportunity for real and useful innovation on a global scale. An Ecology of Care examines the fundamental reasons why and how we do what we used to do naturally in an increasingly unnatural world. In this artificial condition the Ecology of Care provides many new opportunities before the future is foreclosed. This special issue stems from the Ecology of Care Congress in 2016 where very different professional fields were brought together to share how they see care operating within their disciplines (or how in their fields care is disciplined). This issue of fusion presents five very diverse ways of observing care.

Issue 13 – Object Subject 2017

June 2018

This special issue publishes a collection of papers from Object Subject, the inaugural national design writing conference held in Canberra in November 2017 as part of the DESIGN Canberra festival. The flagship event brought together academic, curatorial, practitioner and commercial design perspectives. The most important discussion which arose from the conference related to the responsibility of design as an agent for positive change in society and its potential to create a better world.

Issue 14 – Intersections in Film and Media Studies

December 2018

This special issue publishes a collection of articles exploring film and media intersections, offering innovative ways of understanding how hybridisation processes inform what and how we consume, produce, teach, learn and enjoy about the screen.

Issue 15 – AusAct 2018

March 2019

This special issue publishes a collection of articles from the first AusAct: The Australian Actor Training Conference held in 2018.

Issue 16 – Engaging Technologies in Practices

December 2019

This special issue focuses on how researchers engage with technologies in their practices.

Issue 17 – AusAct 2019

April 2020

This special issue publishes a collection of articles from the second AusAct: The Australian Actor Training Conference held in 2019.

Issue 18 – Object Subject 2019

July 2020

This special issue publishes a collection of articles from the national design writing conference Object Subject held in Canberra in November 2019 as part of the DESIGN Canberra festival.

Issue 19 – Listening in the Anthropocene 2020

February 2021

In this edition of Fusion Journal we wish to explore the act of listening to the land, to others, to difference, as encountered in embodied and virtual spaces.

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