Conference Paper

Geographies of Free Labor: Conceptualizing and Analyzing the ‘Transmediascape’

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Our contemporary popular culture is at the same time unprecedentedly intriguing and hard-grasped. When trying to describe the vast landscape of branded, interconnected commodities that largely constitute this culture, it is easy to run out of words. While we have grown accustomed to saying that new media accelerate the pace of this culture, we remain less prepared to talk about its spatiality. This paper suggests the notion of 'transmediascape' as an analytical framework for discerning the fuzzy geographies of present-day multi-platform – or transmedia – productions as well as ongoing changes in mediated forms of cultural production and consumption. Briefly put, the concept refers to the materialization of transmediality into a landscape of media platforms and augmented places and the routes between these. As an analytical concept for studying the spatiality of transmedia endeavors, the term can be applied to research with disparate foci. In this paper, we apply the notion of transmediascape to an actual case of cultural production within the music domain, with the specific intent to make manifest the ways in which consumers are invited into these landscapes as co-producers, or, as is our outlook here, as free labor. In doing so, we are ultimately able to go into a discussion about the power dynamics that play out between different agents involved in the making of transmediascapes.

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... Thus modern audience visualisations and metrics are linked to, but not limited to, earlier types of static audience metrics and measurements, but are more engaging for the users and may therefore extend the influence of the data, even as the data which is tracked and measured extends. Interactive elements are also often designed to trace a particular route or lead the user through a story (Fast et al., 2017), structuring the preferred route. ...
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