Multimedia Framed

Elizabeth Churchill

Speaker:    Dr. Elizabeth F. Churchill (eBay Research Labs)

When:    October 23

Multimedia is the combination of several media forms. Information designers, educationalists and artists are concerned with questions such as: Is text, or audio or video, or a combination of all three, the best format for the message? Should another modality (e.g., haptics/touch, olfaction) be invoked instead to make the message more effective and/or the experience more engaging? How does the setting affect perception/reception? How does framing affect people’s experience of multimedia? How is the artifact changed through interaction with audience members?

In this presentation, I will talk about people’s experience of multimedia artifacts like videos. I will discuss the ways in which framing affects how we experience multimedia. Framing can be intentional–scripted creations produced with clear intent by technologists, designers, media producers, media artists, film-makers, archivists, documentarians and architects. Framing can also be unintentional. Everyday acts of interest and consumption turn us, the viewers, into co-producers of the experiences of the multimedia artifacts we have viewed. We download, annotate, comment and share multimedia artifacts online. Our actions are reflected in viewcounts, displayed comments and content ranking. Our actions therefore change how multimedia artifacts are interpreted and understood by others.

Drawing on examples from the history of film and of performance art, from current social media research and from research conducted with collaborators over the past 16 years, I will illustrate how content understanding is modulated by context, by the “framing” of the content. I will consider three areas of research that are addressing the issue of framing, and that have implications for our understanding of ‘multimedia’ consumption, now and in the future: (1) The psychology and psychophysiology of multimedia as multimodal experience; (2) Emerging practices with contemporary social media capture and sharing from personal devices; and (3) Innovations in social media and audience analytics focused on more deeply understanding media consumption.

I will conclude with some technical excitements, design/development challenges and experiential possibilities that lie ahead.

About the speaker:

Dr. Elizabeth Churchill is Director of Human Computer Interaction at eBay Research Labs (ERL) in San Jose, California. Formerly a Principal Research Scientist at Yahoo! Research, she founded, staffed and managed the Internet Experiences Group. Until September of 2006, she worked at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), California, in the Computing Science Lab (CSL). Prior to that she formed and led the Social Computing Group at FX Palo Laboratory, Fuji Xerox’s research lab in Palo Alto.

Originally a psychologist by training, throughout her career Elizabeth has focused on understanding people’s social and collaborative interactions in their everyday digital and physical contexts. With over 100 peer reviewed publications and 5 edited books, topics she has written about include implicit learning, human-agent systems, mixed initiative dialogue systems, social aspects of information seeking, digital archive and memory, and the development of emplaced media spaces. She has been a regular columnist for ACM interactions since 2008.

Elizabeth has a BSc in Experimental Psychology, an MSc in Knowledge Based Systems, both from the University of Sussex, and a PhD in Cognitive Science from the University of Cambridge. In 2010, she was recognised as a Distinguished Scientist by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). Elizabeth is the current Executive Vice President of ACM SigCHI (Human Computer Interaction Special Interest Group). She is a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Stanford University’s Media X, the industry affiliate program to Stanford’s H-STAR Institute.

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