Jonathan Roberge

Canada Research Chair in New Digital Environments and Cultural Intermediation

Tier 2 - 2017-11-01
Renewed: 2017-12-01
Université du Québec, Institut national de recherche scientifique
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council


Research involves

Better understanding the nature of new digital environments and their impact on cultural production, practice and policy in Canada.

Research relevance

The challenges posed by the latest technologies are significant, and all sectors of the creative industry (cinema, publishing, music, etc.) must adapt to them.

Understanding and Innovation in a Digital Culture

The dematerialization of digital media has created a flurry of cultural offerings. This shift challenges the old business models, blurring the lines between production, distribution and consumption. Innovative intermediary devices gain ground with each new feature introduced. How will they formats shape the future? What will be their economic, symbolic and political impact? In what way will it become possible to reinvent the distribution of cultural products and the creation of audiences? These questions encourage us to take our positions now, proposing multidisciplinary and innovative analytical tools. 

The jump to Web 2.0 is one of the most undeniable indications that our culture is going digital. From the artists and producers leveraging it as a new form of promotion to the distributors and content aggregators engaging in fierce competition, Web users respond through increased communications, shaping new modes of usage and criticism. Cultural referral processes over which none of these intermediaries have control are being put into play.

But Web 2.0 is not the only manifestation of digital culture. Areas like the music industry, for example, have adopted a concert economy in order to make money. Festivals have become more numerous, cities seeing them as a means of competing with each other. This raises questions of governance and cultural politics: how can—and how must—different levels of government support participation in and access to culture in the new digital environment? 

As Canada Research Chair in New Digital Environments and Cultural Intermediation, Dr. Jonathan Roberge seeks to put forward diagnostic and dynamic solutions for the various partners and public decision-makers involved in developing digital culture.