media, information, the contemporary

Social Media Research Workshop, November 06, 2015

Since March this year, short-term research fellows have been involved with The Sarai Programme, on  themes that relate to digital and social media. On Friday, 6th November 2015, we are organising a  workshop for the fellows to present and discuss their research with a select group of discussants. The workshop will be held at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, 29 Rajpur Road, Civil Lines.

Limited seats are available to take part in the workshop. To register, please fill up this form.

Below are the links to the research updates shared by the research fellows, and the schedule of the presentations.

Circulation, Consumption and Construction of the Nineties Romantic Imagination: Afterlife of the Nineties Romantic Film Song in the Virtual Public Sphere

Abhija Ghosh

“While the nineties romance genre emerged in the late eighties and grew into a significant cultural phenomenon and industrial force through the decade, it also coincided and circulated with the emergent technological sphere of the video and audio cassette boom, informal and formal cable, and satellite television networks. Significantly, as the genre invested in constructing and cultivating a modern romantic imagination of urban and youthful display of heterosexual love, its circulation and popularity through various media formats gained parallel momentum through the romantic film song. Lastly, whether located as a liminal form in the early nineties, or as the spectacular Bollywood form towards the end of the decade, the nineties romance genre and its affective overtures have remained marginal to the concerns of Indian film studies. However, given its extensive life and circulation across older and newer technological and media formats, this recent energized activity on various social media platforms around this decade of cinema and music creates the possibility to address this curious and ubiquitous presence of nineties romantic imagination in the contemporary cinematic public sphere…”

Afterlife of the Nineties Romantic Film Song in the Virtual Public Sphere

Streaming Nostalgia: Listening to Nineties Film Music Online

From Popular to Viral: The HAHK-DDLJ Media Swirl

Media Encounters of the Nineties Romantic Song


Law’s Role in Development of the Internet

Smarika Kumar

“The idea that the internet needs regulation, and that in fact it can be regulated, is relatively new. In the beginning of the 1990s, the internet was thought of as a space which by design, cannot be regulated by the State or law. There was thought to be something inherent about internet as a technology which resisted any attempts at regulation. In this, internet was posited as the ideal anarchist and the more effectively libertarian space which existed beyond the reach of law …”

Law’s Role in Development of the Internet

Creating Authority of Law Over a New Technology: Reflections from Shreya Singhal

The Role of Classification in Facilitating Identities for the Internet: The Case of VoIP Regulation

Making a Classification Choice for the Internet: Between the Visible Car Parts and the Invisible Pizza Delivery


Khabar Lahariya: Rural Empowerment Goes Digital

Mrinalika Roy

“The use of technology has also changed the way women reporters work on the field. Smartphones help in gathering and documenting information more quickly and efficiently. It has reduced the time it took the reporters to send their stories to Allahabad from where the newspaper is printed. The smartphone also works as a safety device in remote hinterlands where these women travel often. Recently, the organization has also started workshops to increase internet literacy among its reporters. This in turn has resulted in spreading the internet literacy among the womenfolk in the villages…”

Khabar Lahariya: Rural Empowerment Goes Digital

Charting e-Territory: How Khabar Lahariya made the Digital Transition

Fielding Technology: Notes From Hinterland

Khabar Lahariya’s Online Foray: Successes and Failures

Lovely Interfaces: The Many Lives of the Item Number in Social and Digital Media

Silpa Mukherjee

“As an intermedial form, the item number has many screen lives: as a YouTube promotional on the personal screen of the gadgets (often shared on Facebook) and the small screen of television to its release on the big screen and finally as the “Full Video Song” back on YouTube, music channels, and the playlist in the Emulator (transparent touchscreen digital mixing screen) touched by the DJ in clubs that host Bollywood Nights. Some of the contemporary item numbers, through their visual and sonic registers, playfully acknowledge this intermedial structure and work towards foregrounding the mechanisms of its dispersion by citing multi-format music players on personal gadgets, the ubiquitous presence of cell phones in clicking and creating sensations out of every moment and the viral dispersion of image data through Instagram …”

Lovely Interfaces: The Many Lives of the Item Number in Social and Digital Media

Starlets as Item Girls #OBSCENITYDEBATES

Item Numbers and Loudness

Item Numbers in the Digital Age: From Cinema to a Landscape of Techno-Tactile Sensations


Imago Aevitas: Engagement with Net Art Projects

Charu Maithani

“Net/Web-based art projects are not simply digitised forms of art that are uploaded on the internet to be viewed. These are made specifically and only to be viewed on the internet, generally on a web browser. They use the properties of the browser that is it viewed in and employ interactivity via mouse, keyboard and now gestures through technologies like Kinect. Outreach and quick dissemination is a recognisable achievement by the virtue of the project being on the internet. Other factors like sub-culture and local culture are also employed to its advantage. Combining artistic and creative skills with website/software coding enables these projects. Net art projects may not always be participatory and have a diverse way of dissemination through the internet. The modes and techniques used to create these vary from glitch, hacktivism, software coding, text, multi-media, flash files, animation, graphics, photographs, audio and video. They allow a collaboration between technical development of computer programming/software development and aesthetic reification in form of website, email, digital photographic print and newer versions like gif and apps…”

Imago Aevitas – Brief Introduction to the Genesis of the Project

Imago Aevitas: Beginnings of Art Projects on the Internet in India and the World

Works of Three Net Artists in India: 1999 Onwards

Imago Aevitas: Forms of Web based Art Projects


Video Forensics

Pallavi Paul

“My project will stage the idea of the digital trace in the context of crime and forensics. I will be looking specifically at the ways in which the forensic practices of audio and video lend a specific charge to the notions of time, spatiality, evidence, animate and inanimate life. Audio and video recordings are markedly different from other forms of forensic evidence as they deal with ‘real time’ and claim to sequentially capture what transpired on the scene of crime. Therefore, once authenticated, the video/ audio recording can recreate with a greater degree of certainty the role of and interaction between human bodies, objects, spaces and passage of time in any given event. Through the project I would like to engage with these processes of authentication, as a way of encountering this practice …”

Video Forensics: Post 1

Can Speak? Will Speak: Interpreting Digital Forensics

Phantasmal Tidings: Cell Phone Technology and Forensics

Objects as Exhibits: Performance of the Forensic


Workshop Schedule

Date: 06 November, 2015

10:00 to 10:15 am – Opening remarks

10:15 to 11:15 am – Mrinalika Roy, Khabar Lahariya: Rural Empowerment Goes Digital

11:15 to 12:45 – Pallavi Paul, Video Forensics | Smarika Kumar, Law’s Role in the Development of the Internet

12:45 to 1:45 pm – Lunch

1:45 to 2:45 pm – Charu Maithani, Imago Aevitas

2:45 to 4:15 pm – Abhija Ghosh, Afterlife of the Nineties Romantic Film Song in the Virtual Public Sphere |  Silpa Mukherjee, Lovely Intefaces*The Many Lives of the Item Number in Social and Digital Media

4:15 to 4.30 pm – Concluding Remarks