Global Ecologies Research Projects

Short Video Project:

As part of the Global Ecologies module, we were tasked with creating a short video which explores Manuel De Landa’s idea of how a city (or in Cheltenham’s case, Cultural capital’ integrates itself with the surrounding area.

From conducting our own research around the topic, we discovered a book by Ruth Finnegan called The Hidden Musicians: Music-Making in an English Town. The book explores her study within Milton Keynes, a town of a similar size and structure to Cheltenham, with her aim of discovering the music culture within the town and the effect it has socially and politically for locals.

As she quotes in the preface of her text ‘At first, I just took this local music for granted and beyond a vague expectation that the necessary arrangements would be there for me and mine, did not think much about it.’ I mirror these feelings within Cheltenham and believe that as a music business student, I have good knowledge and access to the local music culture and take this for granted.

Therefore, we took this idea as our inspiration for our short video and took to the streets to compare the Cheltenham We See (as an outsider visiting the city perhaps) VS The Hidden Music Culture (we know that we have.) Below is the result of our research and I have embedded a preview to the book at the end of the document:

LongForm Project:

For our final project, we were tasked with demonstrating different themes discussed throughout the module through any format we liked. As I have struggled getting my head around a lot of the concepts within this module and have had to push myself to understand everything.

Therefore, I wanted my final project to reflect this and pushed myself to do something more creative and different to a traditional essay which would be within my comfort zone. I decided on doing a 10 minute illustrated video with accompanying voiceover as I believe this type of format is something that I would’ve found helpful to watch/listen to when I was trying to understand the subject.

For this I decided I wanted to focus on the implications of Blockchain as I believe it is becoming more relevant and significant every day so I really want to understand it better. I had to spend time researching around the topic and gathering different examples and views on Blockchain which I then compiled my research to record a voiceover for the video, then illustrated the idea alongside this and edited all the footage together.

Research Plan:

  1. Buckingham, D. Media and The Sharing Economy. [Blog] David Buckingham. Available at: [Accessed 12.12.18]

David Buckingham is a media theorist who regularly refers to political economy in his works which he publishes online. I aim to use his concept of the ‘sharing economy’ to understand the impact that the sharing of data and information (especially in relation to blockchain) can have on the economy itself.

2. De Landa, M. (1997) A thousand years of nonlinear history. New York: Zone Books (Swerve editions)

Following on from creating a short video project corresponding to De Landa’s ideas, I want to use further explore his idea of ‘Survival of the Fittest.’ I want to view his explanation of this in relation to the oligopoly within the music industry and question if perhaps those at the top are simply the ‘fittest?’ 

3. Finnegan, R., 2007. The hidden musicians: Music-making in an English town. Wesleyan University Press.

In this text, Finnegan discusses her extended study of music-making within Milton Keynes. I want to use this text to explore the impact that the changing economic trends in society are having on amateur music-making within society. 

4. Frey, C. B. and Osborne, M. A. (2017) “The Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs to Computerisation?,” Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 114, pp. 254–280. doi: 10.1016/j.techfore.2016.08.019.

As I will be basing my project on blockchain which relies on a digital and computerised network, I want to use this text to explore how computerisation (as referred to in the title) is affecting employment and what effect blockchain will have on this.

5. Lanier, J. (2014) Who Owns The Future? London: Penguin Books

In his book Who Owns The Future, Lanier discusses emerging economic and social trends and the significance of money and power. I hope to use his revolutionary and outward-thinking as a reference when building my ideas, especially in relation to how siren servers will affect data sharing within the industry. 

6. Tapscott, D. and Tapscott, A. (2016) Blockchain revolution : how the technology behind bitcoin is changing money, business, and the world. New York: Portfolio / Penguin.

I aim to use the ideas expressed in this text to further build my understanding of Blockchain and how it has and will develop. I want to broaden my understanding past the music industry and believe that the discussion of bitcoin within this text and the economics behind it will enable me to do this.

Additional Sources:

BBC. (2018) Facebook Scandal ‘hit 87 million users.’ Newspaper [online] Available at: [Accessed 12.12.18]

Beyoncé Tracks. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12.12.18]

Blockchain Disruption: How Bitcoin Technology Creates a Sharing Economy. (2016) [Video] Hamburg. Available at: [Accessed 12.12.18]

Comben, C. (2018) Mycelia’s Imogen Heap on Blue Skies, Astronauts and the Intersection of Music and Blockchain. Newspaper, [online] Available at: [Accessed 12.12.18]

Dale, B. (2016) Can Blockchains Disrupt the Internet’s Monopolies. Newspaper, [online] Available at: [Accessed 12.12.18]

Lanier, J. (2014) Who Owns The Future? London: Penguin Books.

Mycelia for Music. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12.12.18]

Walden, J. (2016) What a blockchain for music really means. Newspaper [online] Available at: [Accessed 12.12.18]

Wallach, D. (2014) Bitcoin for Rockstars. Newspaper, [online] Available at: [Accessed 12.12.18]

Link to The Hidden Musicians: Music Making in an English Town

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