Book launch at the Word Bookstore

I organized a book launch for “Performing Fantasy and Reality in Contemporary Culture” at the Word Bookstore in New Cross in London last Wednesday Oct 31st.

It was a success! Great people, great discussions, great space,great drinks and snacks 😀

See some picture below from the event.

 

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New book is out!

I am now a published author! ”Performing Fantasy and Reality in Contemporary Culture” is out, published by Routledge Advances in Sociology.

The book explores the concept and subjective experience of fantasy in contemporary culture, mapping out its use in recent history, providing an interdisciplinary overview of terminology, and focusing on the bodily performance of fantasy in today’s Western world. The book uses performance theory and theatre as a theoretical lens, and LARP as an empirical context to explore the performance of fantasy.

More info on the book and how to get it here: https://www.crcpress.com/Performing-Fantasy-and-Reality-in-Contemporary-Culture/Seregina/p/book/9781138088948 

Engaging the Audience through Videography as Performance

Consumer culture research aims to explore consumption as an element of contemporary culture that is intertwined with social life and its patterning, thus influencing our day-to-day lives and the logic of our reality on a fundamental level.1 To explore consumer culture as it is experienced by individuals, researchers have been developing a variety of so-called “alternative” research methods that allow for approaching knowledge and understanding from perspectives that have a different form and logic than the traditional academic research process and the traditional academic text that is its end-result. One of the the most popular “alternative” methods in consumer research has been videography. Simply put, videography uses the medium of video to conduct research, gather data, and present findings.

Being an avid proponent of non-textual research methods, such as art-based research,2 I have found the use of videography a thrilling aspect of consumer research!3 Yet, in engaging this method, I found that the audience is often left out in the process of creating and presenting research through video. Audiences tend to be approached as a passive entity and their experiences are largely shaped and guided by the researchers. Yet, non-textual media, such as video, have enormous potential for creating lived, co-created experiences for both researchers and their audiences, which would allow for engaging in bodily, sensory understanding of phenomena as well as activating audiences to reflect and take action.

To explore this potential, I have provided a perspective on using videography as a means of creating live performances and thus engaging the audience in active meaning-making. To do this, I first develop the notions of performance and performativity in the context of videography. Moreover, I contextualise videography historically as a recording medium, thus exploring the form of the medium through its position in contemporary Western culture and its connections to other recording media.

I suggest that videography as performance allows researchers to activate their audiences by creating video work that does not directly provide information, but rather creates a basis for interaction, meaning-making, and contemplation through open-ended stimuli. The result in a deeply contextualised, multi-sensory, co-created experience that focuses away from the video itself, and emphasises engagement, reflection, and interaction.

The approach causes both researcher and audience to step out of their comfort zone. Neither has a template to follow, but both are rather asked to make sense of things as they go. This is exactly what allows for heightened reflexivity and engagement to take place, activating individuals to make meaning. The approach is further useful for reaching wider audiences beyond limited academic contexts through foregoing delimiting aspects, such as the use of jargon, and tapping into the visual literacy individuals already possess.

The paper provides practical suggestions for creating videography as performance as well as for evaluating such work within an academic context.

 

To read the whole paper:
Seregina, Anastasia (2017). Engaging the Audience through Videography as Performance. Journal of Marketing Management. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.2017.1377753

 

Notes:

For more on the subject, see e.g., Bauman, Zygmunt (2007), Consuming Life, Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.
Slater, Don (1997), Consumer Culture and Modernity, Oxford, UK: Polity Press.

2 Seregina, Anastasia and Oscar Christensson (2017), “Art-based research of consumer culture,” Synnyt/Origins 1/2017: 74-84.

3 E.g., Seregina, Anastasia, Norah Campbell, Bernardo Figueiredo, and Hannu Uotila (2013), “A Pen”, Advances in Consumer Research, Vol. 41, eds. Simona Botti and Aparna Labroo, Duluth, MN, USA: Association for Consumer Research.

 

Upcoming exhibitions!

Heads up! I will have two art exhibitions in the near future!
“Mielen kipinöitä” (~ Sparks of the Mind) will be held 5.8-1.9. in Galleria 4-Kuus. See the invite below.
“Here we are!” will be held from 16.9 onwards in Red Conception Gallery. This exhibition will be officially a part of Helsinki Design Week. More info on the event here.
I will provide more info closer to the dates 🙂
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“Play at Any Cost” – Our Journal of Consumer Research article is officially out!

Many years of work have finally paid off, and my research project co-authored with Henri Weijo has been officially published in the Journal of Consumer Research. The research was done in the context of cosplay and focuses on themes of ludic experiences, communal experiences, and how individuals negotiate these in the face of various emotional, material, temporal, and competence-related complications.

Find the abstract below. More info here and here.

Play at Any Cost: How Cosplayers Produce and Sustain Their Ludic Communal Consumption Experiences

Communal consumption is often described as inherently playful, with previous research mainly focusing on successful ludic communal experiences, and largely disregarding its potential pitfalls. Moreover, the marketer is usually seen as the primary facilitator of ludic experiences, which has marginalized the role of the consumer. This article explores how consumers produce and sustain ludic consumption community experiences in the face of growing instrumental costs. It assumes a practice theory lens, and is based on an ethnographic inquiry into cosplay, which is a time and resource intensive form of pop culture masquerade and craft consumption. Prolonged engagement in the cosplay community leads to growing emotional, material, temporal, and competence-related costs, which hinder playful experiences. Consumers practice modularization, reinforcement, and collaboration to overcome these costs and maintain the important ludic sensations that motivate communal engagements.