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Here, There and Everywhere: Glocalising Identities in Transworld Transmedia Genius Loci

Here, There and Everywhere: Glocalising Identities in Transworld Transmedia Genius Loci

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Here, There and Everywhere:
Glocalising Identities in Transworld Transmedia Genius Loci
Patrick John Coppock, Department of Social, Cognitive and Quantitative Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
The principle question discussed in this essay is essentially a philosophical or existential one: in our increasingly remediated, interconnected, physically and virtually mobile contemporary world, is it is conceivable, or feasible, for us actually to be “here, there, and everywhere” at one
Here, There and Everywhere:
Glocalising Identities in Transworld Transmedia Genius Loci
Patrick John Coppock, Department of Social, Cognitive and Quantitative Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
The principle question discussed in this essay is essentially a philosophical or existential one: in our increasingly remediated, interconnected, physically and virtually mobile contemporary world, is it is conceivable, or feasible, for us actually to be “here, there, and everywhere” at one

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Published by: Patrick John Coppock on Jun 09, 2010
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Here, There and Everywhere:
Glocalising Identities in Transworld Transmedia
Genius Loci 
Patrick John Coppock, Department of Social, Cognitive andQuantitative Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
The principle question discussed in this essay is essentially a philosophical or existential one:in our increasingly remediated, interconnected, physically and virtually mobile contemporary world, is it is conceivable, or easible, or us actually to be “here, there, and everywhere” at oneand the same time? Have our predominantly “local” personal, proessional and collective narrative histories,and the various cultural traditions that have grown out o these, really urnished us withrelational identity skills that enable us to participate positively and actively in ongoing globali-sation processes and to play a constructive, active, ethical role in the global gameplay arena? Or do we need to work more with non-amiliar orms o otherness i we want to develop newtypes o “glocal” identities, able to mediate and transcend the emotional, conceptual, cultural and other divides that may hinder the identifcation, management and just balancing o “global” and “local” needs, rights and interests?  As a contribution to urther interdisciplinary debate on this and related themes, in mediastudies and elsewhere, this essay intentionally seeks to provoke
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 , by oering some engaged,inormed but clearly speculative considerations, regarding the valorisation, application and evaluation o new digital media designed to acilitate ludic transworld, transmedia cooperi-tion
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at-a-distance, to develop practical strategies to engage in responsible, ethical, ecological,mutually sustainable ways, with non-copresent, non-local others and their own past, present and uture actual, and possible, worlds.
“Here, There and Everywhere”
In 1963,
 
The Beatles, our mop-haired kids rom the gritty northern England port city o Liverpool,sang on their “Revolver” album: “To lead a better lie, I need my love to be here … here, there andeverywhere, changing my lie with a wave o her hand”
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. This popular lyric caught, and mirrored,a prevalent current o cultural change at that particular time in history, characterised by growingsocial, national and international mobility on the part o increasingly more educated young people,with an attendant growth o autonomy in relation to conventional norms and values espoused atthe time by their parents and their local and national communities. This beginning
 globalisation
o 
 
MEDIEKULTUR 478
 journal of media and communication research
Patrick John CoppockHere, There and Everywhere
youth culture
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was coupled with a growing sense – ed in part by burgeoning research in the envi-ronmental sciences
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– o how transitory and ragile the natural and cultural resources o our sharedlieworld may be. This increasingly widespread sentiment was in part a response to earlier ColdWar ears o a possible nuclear holocaust, the traumatic interventionist engagement o the UnitedStates o America’s powerul military machine in Vietnam, and the increasingly visible, oten wor-rying, eects o intense technological and economic growth in the West ater the Second WorldWar. Among many young people there was a growing, strongly elt need to ensure a uture inter-national, “global” consensus regarding a air and democratic management and distribution o ourvital natural and cultural resources. Positive orms o innovation on a global scale were seen as mosteciently uelled by small-scale experimentation and innovation processes taking place in localcommunities at the periphery o mainstream society. Here it ought to be possible to work togetherwith one another to develop responsible, ethical ways o living and relating to each other, and theworld we have inhereted. “Small is Beautiul”
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became a prevalent watchword, also or progressiveeconomists, scientists and politicians.The simple Beatles’ lyric noted above seems to reveal some o the favour o this broad yearningor a cultural return to more “basic” human values: a need to simpliy and
humanise
a seeminglycallous, increasingly unethical, over-technologised, over-commercialised world. As an antidote, hereis a call to ocus on our most local, intimate interpersonal experiences o engaging with
otherness assomething intrinsically meaningul 
. It seems to oer real hope or change, adds new colour and mean-ing to our lives, and represents a potential or personal growth and development – not only or our-selves, but also or those we love, and or those who love us too. This is an optimistic, almost childlike,idealistic view o lie, love and the world in general, which oregrounds, also in more generic, symbolic,terms, our ongoing relationship with co-present, or non co-present orms o 
alterity 
 , or
otherness
 , ina crowded, increasingly vulnerable natural and cultural environment. In accordance with some o the sentiments driving these rather euphoric, optimistic, currents o thought and transormationalorms o action o the 1960s, I oer here some more or less ree speculations – inormed by work bynumerous other authors rom various cultural and scientic domains, and by some previous work
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o my own o a more philosophical
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and semiotic
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bent on the
mind-body-world relation
 , and the trans-ormational potential inherent in the processual relationship between
 possibility and actuality 
. Thesecentral aspects o our embodied, phenomenal “being in the world”
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acilitate a subtle blending
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o sensorimotor, emotional and conceptualising percepts o varying degrees o tensivity
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during ourenactive
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experiences o engaging with past, present and uture ctional (and other)
 possible worlds
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.A key question here is to what extent lived, embodied
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 , personal experiences o non-local, at-a-distance orms o otherness through remediated encounters with non-present others in
transworld,transmedia
 
 genius loci 
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are capable o altering our undamental sense o sel – our own “personalidentities” as such – by nudging them to “mutate” into what I reer to here as glocal
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transworldidentities
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? In what ollows is a selection o more or less well-reasoned speculations regarding theeasibility o contemporary, digitally remediated cultural environments, arteacts and practicesbeing able to support and sustain such glocal identity development processes.
 
MEDIEKULTUR 479
 journal of media and communication research
Patrick John CoppockHere, There and Everywhere
Engaging Innovation in Transworld, Transmedia
Genius Loci 
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For a number o years now, new digitally remediated
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online environments, oten with explicitly
ludic
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characteristics, have been unctioning as a powerul “game engine”
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in a broader global con-text, by oering, especially to the mobile young (but not only), instruments to acilitate new modal-ities o transcultural communication, cooperation, transaction and innovation. Their infuence ispervasive and is gradually permeating and changing – “rom the bottom up”, so to speak – largerand smaller societies and cultures all over the world. My contention is that this is happening as aresult o opening up new opportunities or increasing
 glocalisation
o our personal and collectiveidentities – and more generally speaking, o our individual and shared “sense o place”
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. This is alsoinfuencing and changing the various meanings we attach to
 genius loci 
o actual world places andspaces (social or otherwise) we habitually requent in our everyday lives.Historically speaking, this “innovation game engine” – understood in its widest possible meta-phorical sense – is a man-made technological arteact that is emergent on, and at the same timean “active” participant in, the construction o complex historical cultural processes that oten haveinvolved extremely traumatic conrontations between very dierent understandings o what actually“counts” in terms o recognising and balancing ethically “local” and “global” interests, requirementsand needs. This has especially been the case in historical periods where there has been rapid techno-logical, economic and cultural development in some countries in the world, but not in others
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. Todayan increasing number o hybrid work/play social networking environments
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are oering opportuni-ties or instantaneous interactions with riends and colleagues – and even with complete strangers– at-a-distance, with a concomitant increase in the sharing o a vast fora o remediated cultural arte-acts that oer us
local 
engagements with past, present and uture actual and possible worlds
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withtheir origins in
other 
cultural realities and histories that are quite dierent rom our own.O course, close encounters with other actual and possible worlds have always been available tous, not only through simply encountering new people and cultures we have not encountered beore,but also by way o ace-to-ace storytelling, public rhetoric and theatre in the days beore writingand reading
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evolved. Nowadays, at least in developed countries, we have relatively easy access toexperiences o many kinds o actual and possible worlds through literature, art, photography, music,cinema, theatre, television and the popular press, not to mention all that can be dug up by wayo 
Google
and
Wikipedia
. The cultural institutions o science, religion, education, politics, nance,commerce, travel and tourism, through their various private and public spaces, places, rites and ritu-als, oer yet other opportunities or transworld-transmedia connections. Each in their own specialways, these institutions make available live (and increasingly too, at-a-distance) encounters and inter-actions with past, present and uture possible worlds that model alternative ways o conceiving o,and relating to, each other and the world we live in. This happens through open access to archives,museums, memorials, exhibitions, workshops, conerences and so on, which all serve to conrontus with narrative (or other) possible world depictions o historically and culturally valorised experi-ences, practices and values deriving rom our own and rom other more distant cultural traditions.Contemporary interactive digital media environments introduce extra layers o entanglement,intimacy and immediacy to close or not-so-close encounters with otherness in blends o actual and

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