International conference organised by MSH Paris Nord, MSH des Alpes, MSH d'Aquitaine, MSH de Paris, MSH Nord-Pas de Calais
and Gricis Université du Québec à Montréal, within the ACI programme
« Les mutations des industries de la culture, de l’information et de la communication : bilan, cartographie, observation ».
  Workshop 3.1 - Workshop 3.2 - Workshop 3.3 - Workshop 3.4 - Workshop 3.5
Workshop 3.2 Mediation and intermediation questions
  Chairman :
- Anolga Rodionoff, University Paris 8, CEMTI, France

Speakers :
Dominique Boullier, Université Rennes 2, UMS LUTIN, Cité des Sciences, France
«The Industries of Attention »

Marida Di Crosta, Université Paris 13 - LabSIC, France
« From cinema to Internet : narration, hypermediation, inter-narrative mediation »
>>> Download the communication (French)

Frédéric Huet, UMS Lutin - Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, Costech - Université de Technologie de Compiègne, France
«More pictures, less television ?»
>>> Download the communication (French)

Sofia Kocergin, UMS LUTIN, MSH Paris Nord, France
«Personal programming as a result of services and intermediation change on the TV over IP»
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Julien Mahoudeau, CNRS - Unité Toulousaine d’Archéologie et d’Histoire, Toulouse, France
«Archaeology and the challenges of the hypermedia cultural mediation»
>>> Download the communication (French)


«The Industries of Attention»

Dominique Boullier
Université Rennes 2, UMS Lutin, Cité des Sciences, France

Since 1997, with Michel Goldhaber, the expression "economy of the attention" allows to explicit a new rare good which underlies all the alleged information or knowledge economy. The general framework created by Andre Orléan helps not to focus on a purely media vision by displaying the mechanisms of contagion specific to the financial market which formats all the economic activities. Many investments and know-how of cultural industries rely on the production of the attention, via very fine media strategies but above all with financial strategies for premempting the public which can produce revenues. Finances+ media = industry of the attention, such could be the equation of the general framework for this question. But in order to explain it from an industrial point of view, it is necessary to make the precise table of the mediations which help sustaining this offer in various forms. To make the distinction between opinion, reputation, audience and attention is a preliminary task. That will enable us to differentiate two dominant strategies to generate attention.

One consists in focusing the memory task on some semiotics cues constantly repeated on all types of supports: it is the trademark model, which will be conveyed by the customers themselves, carrying this new attachment and vectors on all their goods displaying the trademark. This generalized semiotisation has all the advantages of the viral diffusion, of  contagion by imitation, even by distinction, which impacts the financial markets directly since the rule of shareholder creation value is from now on dominant (cf Rebiscoul or Aglietta). This helps us understanding why France Télecom can exhibit the creation of a new slogan as a major investment and a decisive innovation. In this context, the stakes of the measurement of audience are not only any more peripheral with cultural industry, they are not limited to television: any supports (Internet, mobiles, TV) from now on inter-connected and able to diffuse all the contents must account for which amount of attention they grasped, in order to explicit the tracks of the alleged produced value.

The second strategy, currently extending but yet underestimated, consists in attracting attention durably, against cognitive overload syndrom (COS), zapping, generalized unfairness. Only one cultural industry succeeds in capturing attention over unequalled durations, the industry of the video games. Immersion, directly required or not in the scenario and the interface, takes place of the supposed “performance society”. Its ability to create attachment is such that reorganization of the media offer (including movies) now turns around videogames and profits of genres confusion between play, information, performance and advertising (e.g.  car marketing combining video game and movie, etc.). For the moment, the support of  video games was the only one able to extend "the available brain time " to its profit and the analysis of some of its mechanisms, depending of the type of games, will make it possible to understand why. Deriving from our researches on this topic at the user lab (Lutin Game Lab project), it is possible to imagine a future reorganization of cultural offer around this model (information, training, fiction, etc.).

« From cinema to Internet : narration, hypermediation, inter-narrative mediation »

Marida Di Crosta
Université Paris 13 - LABSIC, France

>>> Download the communication (French)

If digital format has already spread widely over the whole audiovisual industry, the communication regime of interactivity is seeping into the cinematographic thinking in a slower and, at the same time, deeper way. From scriptwriting to shooting, from editing to sound design, the interactive dimension of the author-film-spectator relationship induces important mutations within the whole creative process. It goes as far as transforming the broadcast device and the reception modalities, as well as the spectator’s role and activities.

Whether filmmaker, producer, broadcaster or distributor, everybody in the audiovisual industry is concerned by these shifts, since they are increasingly modifying both the production tools and the business models. That means also the gradual converging of the trades: from computer science to cinema, throughout television, video games, publishing, telecommunication etc.

Few filmmakers have already dared entering the radical new field interactive fiction.

Nevertheless, new creative experiments, as original as audacious, are spreading around the so-called “interactive cinema”. Experiences which show how many mutations can be provoked by the merging of cinema and interactivity; works which arouse questions about the becoming of audiovisual narrative, at the time when storytelling is so much influenced by the pregnancy of the interactive media which carries it.

Along with video games, in fact, new forms of interactive narrative, descending more clearly from classic cinema art, are trying to establish themselves: from interactive short film on Internet to interactive film show at theatre, to hyper-series pilots for interactive television.

Yet, behind the different digital medias involved in their production and broadcasting, these cultural products have at least one thing in common: in order to be successful, their reception depends on the interactions with the spectator, that is on the effectiveness of their interactive communication strategy.

Most of these products are experimental, the first stammering steps of a hybridising project. As rare as un-standardised, they rarely exceed the boundaries of small research laboratories or “garage” web-production companies. With the exception of one series of works: the interactive films commissioned by the French Cinema Unity of the European TV network ARTE. Since 2001, this unit put a small percentage of its yearly budget to the development of new forms of fiction. Thus, ARTE has already produced five interactive fictions, among which three short movies (co- produced with the Pompidou Centre) are available on line, on the TV-network website.

Throughout the analysis of both the movies and the new practices – in production, broadcasting and spectatorship - they generated, our paper aims to point out the communication effects of these digital cultural products.

«More pictures, less television ?»

Frédéric Huet
UMS Lutin - Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, Costech -Université de Technologie de Compiègne, France

>>> Download the communication (French)

Were the nature and functions of TV channels gradually being challenged, they would end up being supplanted on the audiovisual network. This scenario of an “end of the television” as a content aggregator and a “clock master” would rely on the combined effects of three developments (cf. La fin de la television, J.L. Missika):

  • a “demediation” that would lead, in its most accomplished way, to a relation of direct trade between the producer and the consumer. Consequently, the supplanting of TV channels as selectors and aggregators of contents.
  • an economic dependency of the TV channels on newcoming actors, especially from the telecommunication industry.
  • a “deprofessionalization” of the edition and distribution of contents (based on the blogs model) that would make the boundary between professionals and amateurs extremely penetrable.

This transformation can be considered as a « paradigmatic breakage », since it works simultaneously on the technological innovations (digital convergence), usages (interactivity and delinearisation) and economic models of the area. The objective of this contribution is to provide a critical assessment to this scenario, based on a discussion over these three underlying hypotheses. The discussion and the analysis of the transformations and strategic repositioning rely on a data survey collected all along the European Passepartout project (ITEA): sub-quantitative and qualitative data. Therefore, the interviews conducted to the actors of the video and audiovisual networks cover the whole of the value line in order to investigate these hypothesis.
The transition from a “push” distribution, imposed by the content editors, to a “pull” distribution, driven by the consumer, could be more synonymous to redeploying and redefining the functions of prescription and intermediation than to supplanting the established actors and producing a “demediation” on the value line.

Is the hypothesis of an end of the economic independence of the TV channels similar to their dilution or takeover by newcomers that are financially more powerful (telcos)? The transformations observed in some other industrial area (the pharmaceutical industry for instance) often show that cooperation and partnerships between actors (eventually in competition) are more capable of answering the radical institutional and technological changes.

Finally, can the increasing importance of “amateur” content edition and the development of personal media not be subject to an appropriation by professional editors and content producers, and integrated in alternative business models? As already observed for Internet, the creation of value would then rely on the interactions and externalities produced between the market and non market sectors.

«Personal programming as a result of services and intermediation change on the TV over IP»

Sofia Kocergin
UMS Lutin, MSH Paris Nord, France

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The renewal of the audio-visual offer related to the development of TV over IP (audio-visual contents carried by the Internet protocol) and more particularly offers known as "quadruple triple/play", are likely to modify the financing and valorization modes of the audio-visual sector.

The new services bundle the standard free-to-air TV offer, TV channels network package, on demand channels, local channels, event-driven channels, Pay Per View, Video on Demand and propose DVR (Digital Video Recorder) equipment.

The audio-visual offer is getting richer thanks to the two main groups of factors: First there is “granularisation” and “multimediatisation” of contents and services carried by contents catalogue holders. Second there is the “complexification” of the value chain, based on integration of new actors who contribute dissociating media and contents.

Thus, audio-visual operator production as well as programming and assembly competencies should be completed by new ones. For example operators have to offer electronic program guides (EPG) often integrating contents coming from various suppliers, proposing creations and personal multimedia catalogs, carried out for family or community use. Two complementary examples will be explored:

OnDemand Group in the UK positions itself between the content providers (studios, TV channel, producer of music and video games editors) and the suppliers of broadband services (over cable, telecom, 3G mobile, optical fiber networks) by offering services such as rights acquisition and management, invoicing, content aggregation and program marketing, broadcasting preparation (encoding) and meta data publishing.

Further down in the value chain, gatekeepers such as Google and Yahoo take strategic positions in the audio-visual sector. Currently, these actors confine themselves to offer their video services exclusively over the Internet, but also propose original functionalities of access to the digital contents. They are to become true competitors to the traditional TV and audio-visual actors.

We think that TV and video services over IP, based on the final user demand, privileging horizontal and personal programming, should, in the long term, replace programming carried out vertically through each channels specific program grid. This individualization of TV consumption would then rely on services, know-how and new intermediaries allowing the contents enrichment and exploiting personal productions.

To explore these questions, we will be using data from the research undertaken over 2005-2006, within Information Technologies for European Advancement (ITEA) consortium “Passepartout” European project. Its aim was to investigate industrial, legislative, economic and uses related issues concerning TV and video over IP.

«Archaeology and the challenges of the hypermedia cultural mediation»

Julien Mahoudeau
CNRS - Unité Toulousaine d’Archéologie et d’Histoire, Toulouse, France

>>> Download the communication (French)

The professional practices of popularization of archaeological contents are deeply modified by the hypermedias, perceived like technico-cognitive devices based on symbolic systems of representation. The problems of the digital mediation aim at establishing which are the changes of the contents, the modes of valorization and the modes of use of the developed contents.

These changes are induced by the political and strategic injunctions of inclusion of the new media in the activities of research and mediation, as well as by the progressive recognition of the potentials of the hypermedia for the diffusion and appropriation of scientific contents.

While presenting examples of hypermedias of archaeological mediation, we propose a reflexion on the new informational practices and the changes which result from this. We will endeavour to show the "endogenous" complexity of the technical devices and the "exogenic" complexity of the environments of design and use of those hypermedias. The reflexion engages a transdisciplinary approach, studying the digital mediation of archaeological heritage as a multidimensional process.

We will then propose to recognize that epistemological interrogations appear necessary to research whose project is the study of the hypermedias in the whole of their anthropo-socio-technical dimensions.