Mapping the Movies Reflections on the Use of Geospatial Technologies for Historical Cinema Audience Research [chapter]

Deb Verhoeven, Kate Bowles, Colin Arrowsmith
Digital Tools in Media Studies  
If space is rather a simultaneity of stories-sofar, then places are collections of those stories, articulations within the wider powergeometries of space. Their character will be a product of these intersections within that wider setting, and of what is made of them. And, too, of the non-meetings-up, the disconnections and the relations not established, the exclusions. All this contributes to the specificity of place. This chapter offers a reflection on the practical and conceptual
more » ... that arise when scholars from different disciplines collaborate on the historical investigation of cinema-going as a cultural practice. Our experience involves direct collaboration in a pilot study of Greek cinema-going in Melbourne, which we describe here in detail, as well as various shared conversations across our separate projects. What interests us is not only the practical detail about how such interdisciplinary mapping projects might best be undertaken, but also the broader scholarly implications of the application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software to the representation of historical data relevant to film studies. How might 'mapping the movies' for example, help us grasp the multiple cultural intersections which constitute each cinema-going experience? How might geo-spatial maps facilitate our understanding of cinema experiences in terms of the local specificities of place and time, as well as the flow of national and transnational media circulation? Our experience suggests that when film historians turn from the investigation of film content to evaluate the wider processes of cultural learning which take place in and around the particular venues where films are screened, two interrelated shifts occur. The first is that we start to collect different kinds of data, and as we do this, we begin to imagine new shapes to conventional "film
doi:10.14361/9783839410233-005 fatcat:4cb3vspuufes7pgxppdk3cs2xm