Our work addresses urgent problems in technological, cultural and social change. We are a cross-disciplinary group, drawing on a range of disciplines and methods, and we work with partners across universities, government, and the non- government and industry sectors.

We aim to:

  • Develop positive solutions to problems in communications policy and industry
  • Generate useful evidence and analysis to inform public debate
  • Contribute to conceptual and theoretical innovation in media and communication

Our four priority areas are:

  • Digital inclusion
  • Spatial and locational dynamics of communication
  • Media and communication industry transformations
  • Automation and trust

Our Expertise

Our team consists of media and communications researchers with disciplinary trajectories and expertise drawn from architecture, political science, tv and cinema studies, cultural history, and law.

Together, we undertake:

  • Collaborative, community-oriented field studies
  • Aggregated data construction, interpretation and analysis
  • Policy, legal, historical and institutional analysis
  • Communications and cultural theory- building


  • Julian Thomas
    Julian ThomasLab Leader, Technology, Communication and Policy Lab


Current Projects

Indigenous media, eBook lending, Broadband and domestic technology practices, Sharing economy , Social media, Locative media, Wi-Fi , Informal economies, media piracy, Rural technology access, Domain names , Residual media, Digital inclusion data and schools , Online privacy and practices in remote communities, Australian Digital Inclusion Index 2017

Key Publications


Kennedy, J., Meese, J., Nansen, B., Wilken, R., Kohn, T., and Arnold, M. (forthcoming), Mapping the Melbourne Sharing Economy, Melbourne Networked Society Institute Report.

Podkalicka, A. and Rennie, E. (forthcoming), Using Media for Social Innovation, Bristol: Intellect.

Richardson, I. & Wilken, R. (forthcoming), Mobile Media and Mediation: The Relational Ontology of Google Glass In: S. Rodgers & T. Markham (eds), Conditions of Mediation: Phenomenological Approaches to Media, Technology and Communication, New York: Peter Lang.

Thomas, J. and Richardson, M. (forthcoming), Image Rights and Other Unorthodox Forms of Intellectual Property In: Rochelle Dreyfuss and Elizabeth Ng (eds), Framing Intellectual Property Law in the 21st Century: Integrating Incentives, Trade, Development, Culture, and Human Rights(Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2017).

Wilken, R. (forthcoming), Cultural Economies of Locative Media, Oxford UP

Wilken, R., Goggin, G. and Horst, H. (forthcoming), Location Technologies in International Context, Routledge

Wilken, R. (forthcoming), The Necessity of Geomedia: Understanding the Significance of Location-based Services and Data-driven Platforms In: K. Fast, A. Jansson, J. Lindell, L. Ryan-Bengtsson, and M. Tesfahuney (eds) Geomedia: Spaces and Mobilities in Mediatized Worlds, New York, Routledge.

Wilken, R. (forthcoming), Social Media App Economics In: J. Burgess, T. Poell, and A. Marwick (eds), The SAGE Handbook of Social Media, London, Sage.



Armitage, G., Kennedy, J., Nguyen, S., Thomas, J., and Ewing, S. (2017), Household internet and the ‘need for speed’: evaluating the impact of increasingly online lifestyles and the Internet of Things, CAIA Technical report 170113A.

Clemens, J. & Wilken, R. (2017), Posthumous News: The Afterlives of Georges Perec In: R. Wilken and J. Clemens (eds) The Afterlives of Georges Perec, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 1-19

Kennedy, J., Wilken, R., Nansen, B., Arnold, M., & Harrop, M. (2017), Overcoming the Tyranny of Distance? High Speed Broadband and the Significance of Place In: J. Holt & K. Sanson (eds) Making Publics, Making Places, Adelaide, University of Adelaide Press, pp. 193-216

McCosker, A. & Wilken, R. (2017), “Things That Should Be Short”: Perec, Sei Shōnagon, Twitter, and the Uses of Banality. In: R. Wilken and J. Clemens (eds) The Afterlives of Georges Perec, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 136-153

Rennie, E., Spurgeon, C. and Barraket, J. (2017), Community broadcasting and social impact research In: Communication Research and Practice, 1 – 13

Wilken, R. & Clemens, J. (eds) (2017)The Afterlives of Georges Perec, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Wilken, R. (2017), The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over the Lazy Dog: Perec, Description, and the Scene of Everyday Computer Use. In: R. Wilken and J. Clemens (eds) The Afterlives of Georges Perec, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 226-242



Arnold, M., Nansen, B., Kennedy, J., Gibbs, M., Harrop, M., & Wilken, R. (2016), An Ontography of Broadband on a Domestic Scale. In: Transformations, 27

Dwyer, T. and Lobato, R. (2016). Informal translation, post-cinema and global media flows In: The State of Post-Cinema: Tracing the Moving Image in the Age of Digital Dissemination, Palgrave, United Kingdom

Hunter, D. and Thomas, J. (2016). Lego and the System of Intellectual Property, 1955-2015 In: Intellectual Property Quarterly, 1 – 21

Hunter, D. and Thomas, J. (2016). Lego and the system of intellectual property. In: Megan Richardson and Sam Ricketson (eds), A Companion to Intellectual Property. London: Edward Elgar

Kennedy, J. & Wilken, R. (2016), Disposable Technologies: The Halfwayness of USB Portable Hard Drives. In: Wi: Journal of Mobile Media, 10(1)

Lawrence, A. and Thomas, J. (2016), The Power of Observation: Making Research Visible, Accessible and Usable for the Asian Digital Economy. In: The Good Life in Asia’s Digital 21st Century, Digital Asia Hub, Hong Kong

Lobato, R. (2016). Introduction: The new video Geography In: Geoblocking and Global Video Culture, Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam

Lobato, R. (2016). The cultural logic of digital intermediaries: YouTube multichannel networks (MCNs) In: Convergence,22, 348 – 360

Lobato, R. and Meese, J. (2016). Australia: Circumvention goes mainstream In: Geoblocking and Global Video Culture,Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam

Morgan, B. A. (2016), ‘Developing cultural industries: learning from the palimpsest of practice’, Cultural Trends, 25(1), 48 – 49

Nansen, B., Wilken, R., Kennedy, J., Arnold, M., & Gibbs, M. (2016), Digital Ethnographic Techniques in Domestic Spaces: Notes on Methods and Ethics. In: Visual Methodologies, 3(2): 86-97

Nansen, B., Wilken, R., Kennedy, J., Arnold, M., & Gibbs, M. (2016), Methodological and Ethical Concerns Associated With Digital Ethnography in Domestic Environments: Participant Burden and Burdensome Technologies. In: M. Guillemin, D. Warr, S. Cox, & J. Waycott (eds), Ethics and Visual Research Methods: Theory, Methodology and Practice, Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 45-59

Rennie, E.,Hogan, E.,Gregory, R.,Crouch, A.,Wright, A. and Thomas, J. (2016). Internet on the outstation: The digital divide and remote Aboriginal communities, Institute for Network Cultures, Australia

Rennie, E., Hogan, E. and Holcombe-James, I. (2016). Cyber safety in remote Aboriginal communities and towns, Swinburne Institute for Social Research. DOI: 10.4225/50/578432D317752

Thomas, J., Barraket, J., Ewing, S., MacDonald, T., Mundell, M. and Tucker, J. (2016). Measuring Australia’s Digital Divide – The Australian Digital Inclusion Index 2016, Centre for Social Impact, Swinburne University of Technology.

Thomas, J., Richardson, M., Frankel, S. and Gervais, D. (eds) (2016). Pictorial Publics, the Visual Internet and Image Rights. In: The Internet and the Emerging Importance of New Forms of Intellectual Property, Alphen an den Rijn: Kluwer

Wilken, R. (2016). The De-gamification of Foursquare? In: M. Willson & T. Leaver (eds), Social, Casual, and Mobile Games: The Changing Gaming Landscape, London: Bloomsbury Publishing, pp. 179-192



Barreneche, C. & Wilken, R. (2015). Platform Specificity and the Politics of Location Data Extraction. In: European Journal of Cultural Studies, 18(4-5): 497-513.

Ewing, S., Rennie, E. and Thomas, J. (2015). Broadband policy and rural and cultural divides in Australia In: Digital Divides: The New Challenges and Opportunities of e-Inclusion, CRC Press, New York, United States

Humphreys, L. & Wilken, R. (2015). Social Media, Small Businesses, and the Control of Information. In: Information, Communication & Society, 18(3): 295-309.

Kennedy, J., Nansen, B., Gibbs, M., Wilken, R., & Arnold, M. (2015). Digital Housekeepers and Domestic Expertise in the Networked Home. In: Convergence, 24(4): 408-422

Lawrence, A., Thomas, J., Houghton, J. and Weldon, P. (2015). Collecting the evidence: Improving access to grey literature and data for public policy and practice In: Australian Academic and Research Libraries, 46, 229 – 249

Lobato, R. and Thomas, J. (2015). The informal media economy, Polity Press, United Kingdom

Meese, J., Wilken, R., Nansen, B., & Arnold, M. (2015). Entering the Graveyard Shift: Disassembling TiVo in Australia. In: Television & New Media, 16(2): 165-179

Moilanen, J., Daly, A., Lobato, R. and Allen, D. (2015). Cultures of sharing in 3D printing: What can we learn from the licence choices of Thingiverse users? In: Journal of Peer Production, 1 – 11

Morgan, B. A. (2015). Popular music as vehicle for cultural change intervention: Takun J’s cultural diplomacy in post-conflict Liberia In: Studia Europaea, 233 – 244

Morgan, B. A. (2015). Cultural Industries in International Development: Cultural Planning Spillovers in Liberia (MA Dissertation, Babeș-Bolyai University)

Nansen, B., Kennedy, J., Wilken, R., Arnold, M., Gibbs, M. & Carter, M. (2015). Proxy Users, Use by Proxy: Mapping Forms of Intermediary Interaction. In: OzCHI ’15: 27th Australian Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, University of Melbourne, Australia, 7-10 December, http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2838739.2838789.

Thomas, J., Ewing, S. and Rennie, E. (2015). Broadband Policy and Rural and Cultural Divides in Australia. In: Kim Andreasson (ed.) Digital Divides: The New Challenges and Opportunities of e-Inclusion. London: Taylor and Francis

Wilken, R. & Goggin, G. (eds) (2015). Locative Media. New York: Routledge.

Wilken, R. & Goggin, G. (2015). Locative Media: Histories, Economies, Politics. In: R. Wilken & G. Goggin (eds) Locative Media, New York: Routledge, pp. 1-19.

Wilken, R. & Bayliss, P. (2015). Locating Foursquare: The Cultural Economics of Mobile Social Software. In: R. Wilken & G. Goggin (eds) Locative Media, New York: Routledge, pp. 177-192.

Wilken, R. (2015). Mobile Media and Ecologies of Location. In: Communication Research and Practice, 1(1): 42-57.

Woodrow, N., Spurgeon, C., Rennie, E., Klaebe, H., Heck, E., Haseman, B., Hartley, J., Edmond, M. and Burgess, J. (2015). Community uses of co-creative media: Digital storytelling and co-creative media: The role of community arts and media in propagating and coordinating population-wide creative practice In: Cultural Science, 8, 150 – 243



Arnold, M., Apperley, T., Nansen, B., Wilken, R., & Gibbs, M. (2014). Patchwork Network: Spectrum Politics, The Digital Home, and Installation of the National Broadband Network. In: J. Choudrie & C. Middleton (eds), Management of Broadband Technology Innovation, New York: Routledge, pp. 25-42

Dias, M., Arnold, M., Gibbs, M., Nansen, B., & Wilken, R. (2014). Asynchronous Speeds: Disentangling the Discourse of “High-speed Broadband” in Relation to Australia’s National Broadband Network. In: Media International Australia, 151: 117-126

Ewing, S., Thomas, J. and van der Nagel, E. (2014). CCi Digital Futures 2014: The Internet in Australia In: ARC Centre for Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation Queensland, Australia

Lobato, R. (2014). The paradoxes of piracy In: Postcolonial Piracy: Media Distribution and Cultural Production in the Global South, Bloomsbury, United Kingdom

Lobato, R. and Thomas, J. (2014). Informal mobile economies. In: Gerard Goggin and Larissa Hjorth (eds.)The Routledge Companion to Mobile Media, Routledge, United Kingdom,114 – 122

McCosker, A. & Wilken, R. (2014). Rethinking “Big Data” as Visual Knowledge: The Sublime and the Diagrammatic in Data Visualisation. In: Visual Studies, 29(2): 155-164

Meese, J. & Wilken, R. (2014). Google Street View in Australia: Privacy Implications and Regulatory Solutions. In: Media & Arts Law Review, 19: 305-324

Rennie, E. and Podkalicka, A. (2014). Youth development or media innovation? The outcomes of youth media enterprise. In:Cultural Science, 7, 98 – 110

Thomas, J. (2014). Recording Technologies In: Bridget Griffen-Foley (ed), A Companion to Australian Media, Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing

Thomas, J. (2014). Technology reporting In: Bridget Griffen-Foley (ed), A Companion to Australian Media, Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing

Thomas, J., Lawrence, A., Houghton, J. and Weldon, P. (2014). Where is the evidence: Realising the value of grey literature for public policy and practice,Swinburne Institute for Social Research

Wilken, R. (2014). Mobile Media, Place, and Location. In: G. Goggin & L. Hjorth (eds), The Routledge Companion to Mobile Media, New York: Routledge, pp. 514-527

Wilken, R. & McCosker, A. (2014). Social Selves In: S. Cunningham & S. Turnbull (eds), The Media and Communication in Australia, 6th edition, Sydney: Allen & Unwin, pp. 291-295

Wilken, R., Kennedy, J., Arnold, M., Gibbs, M., & Nansen, B. (2014). Framing the NBN: An Analysis of Newspaper Representations. In: Communication, Politics & Culture, 47(3): 55-69

Wilken, R. (2014). Places Nearby: Facebook as a Location-based Social Media Platform. In: New Media & Society, 16(7): 1087-1103

Wilken, R. (2014). Peter Carey’s Laptop. In: Cultural Studies Review, 20(1): 98-118



Howard, S. and Rennie, E. (2013). Free for all: A case study examining implementation factors of one-to-one device programs In: Computers in the Schools, 30, 359 – 377

Podkalicka, A., Meredyth, D., MacKenzie, D., Rennie, E., Staley, J., Thomas, J. and Wilson, C. (2013). Youthworx media: youth media and social enterprise as intervention and innovation In: Australian Research CouncilMelbourne, Australia

Rennie, E. (2013). Co-creative media in remote Indigenous communities In: Cultural Science, 6, 22 – 36

Rennie, E. (2013). Unintended consequences: Satellite policy and Indigenous television In: Media International Australia, 92 – 103

Rennie, E., Crouch, A., Wright, A. and Thomas, J. (2013). At home on the outstation: Barriers to home internet in remote Indigenous communities In: Telecommunications Policy, 37, 583 – 593

Thomas, J., Richardson, M., Lobato, R. and Hunter, D. (eds) (2013). Amateur Media: Social, Legal and Cultural Perspectives. London: Routledge

Thomas, J., Lobato, R. and Hunter, D. (2013). Histories of User-generated Content: Between Formal and Informal Media Economies. In: Julian Thomas, Megan Richardson, Ramon Lobato, and Dan Hunter (eds). Amateur Media: Social, Legal and Cultural PerspectivesLondon: Routledge

Thomas, J. and Richardson, M. (2013). “Privacy” of Social Networking Texts. In: Julian Thomas, Megan Richardson, Ramon Lobato, and Dan Hunter (eds). Amateur Media: Social, Legal and Cultural Perspectives.London: Routledge

Thomas, J., Trabsky, M. and Richardson, M. (2013). The Faulty Door of Cyberspace and Implications for Privacy Law. In: Law in Context, 29(1), 13-25

White, G.,Thomas, J.,Weldon, P.,Lawrence, A., Galatis, H. and Tyndall, J. (2013). Grey literature in Australian education In: The Grey Journal: an international journal on grey literature, 9, 103-108

Wilken, R. (2013). Twitter and Geographical Location. In: K. Weller, A. Bruns, J. Burgess, M. Mahrt, & C. Puschmann (eds), Twitter and Society, New York: Peter Lang, pp. 155-167

Wilken, R. (2013). Proximity and Alienation: Narratives of City, Self, and Other in the Locative Games of Blast Theory. In: J. Farman (ed), The Mobile Story: Narrative Practices with Locative Technologies, New York: Routledge, pp. 175-191

Wilken, R. & McCrea, C. (2013). University Life, Zombie States, and Reanimation. In: A. Whelan, C. Moore, & R. Walker (eds), Zombies in the Academy, Bristol, UK: Intellect Books, pp. 39-52 [peer reviewed chapter].

Wilken, R. (2013). An Exploratory Comparative Analysis of the Use of Metaphors in Writing on the Internet and Mobile Phones. In: Social Semiotics, 23(5): 632-647

Wilken, R., Nansen, B., Arnold, M., Kennedy, J. & Gibbs, M. (2013). National, Local and Household Media Ecologies: The Case of Australia’s National Broadband Network. In: Communication, Politics & Culture, 46: 136-154

Wilken, R. (2013). The Critical Reception of Christian Norberg-Schulz’s Writings on Heidegger and Place. In: Architectural Theory Review, 18(3): 340-355



Cairo, A. & Wilken, R. (2012). The Australian Government Internet Filter: Its Scope, and Its Potential Civil Liberties Implications. In: Telecommunications Journal of Australia, 62(2): 25.1-25.15.

Hjorth, L., Wilken, R., & Gu, K. (2012). Ambient Intimacy: A Case Study of the iPhone, Presence, and Location-based Social Media in Shanghai, China. In: L. Hjorth, J. Burgess, & I. Richardson (eds), Studying Mobile Media: Cultural Technologies, Mobile Communication and the iPhone, New York: Routledge, pp. 43-62

Lobato, R. (2012). Shadow Economies of Cinema: Mapping Informal Film Distribution, British Film Institute/Palgrave, London

McCosker, A. & Wilken, R. (2012). Café Space, Communication, Creativity and Materialism. In: M/C Journal, 15(2)

Nansen, B., Wilken, R., Arnold, M., & Gibbs, M. (2012). Digital Literacies and the National Broadband Network: Competency, Legibility, Context. In:Media International Australia, 145, November: 64-74.

Richardson, I. & Wilken, R. (2012). Parerga of the Third Screen: Mobile Media, Place, and Presence. In: R. Wilken & G. Goggin (eds), Mobile Technology and Place, New York: Routledge, pp. 181-197

Thomas, J., Bosland J. and Kenyon, A. (2012). Audiovisual Property, Code and Policy: Content Management and Digital Television. In: Manuel Puppis and, Natascha Just, (eds), Trends in Communication Policy Research: New Theories, Methods and Subjects, Intellect Books

Thomas, J. and Ewing, S. (2012).The Internet in Australia 2012: CCi Digital Futures,CCI

Thomas, J., Goldsmith, B. and Cunningham, S. (2012). Convergence and Australian content: The importance of access. In: Media International Australia, 144

Thomas, J. and Goldsmith, B. (2012). The Convergence Review and the future of Australian content regulation. In: Telecommunications Journal of Australia, 62(3), 44.1 – 44.12.

Thomas, J. and Lobato, R. (2012). The Business of Anti-Piracy: New Zones of Enterprise in the Copyright Wars, In: International Journal of Communication,6, 2012.

Thomas, J. and Lobato, R. (2012). Transnational Piracy Research in Practice: A Roundtable Interview with Joe Karaganis, John Cross, Olga Sezneva, and Ravi Sundaram. In: Television and New Media

Thomas, J. and Lobato, R. (2012). Informal Media Economies In: Television and New Media

Thomas, J. and Richardson, M. (eds) (2012). Fashioning Intellectual Property: Advertising, Exhibition and the Press, 1789-1918. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Thomas, J., Richardson, M. and Trabsky, M. (2012). The internet imaginary and the problem of privacy. In: Media and Arts Law Review, 17, 257

Wilken, R. and Goggin, G. (eds) (2012). Mobile Technology and Place, Routledge, United Kingdom

Wilken, R. (2012). Mannheim’s Paradox: Ideology, Utopia, Media Technologies, and the “Arab Spring”. In: Fibreculture Journal, 20.

Wilken, R. & McCosker, A. (2012). The Everyday Work of Lists. In: M/C Journal, 15(5).

Wilken, R. (2012). “Unthinkable Complexity”: The Internet and the Mathematical Sublime. In: G. B. Pierce (ed), The Sublime Today,Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. 191-212

Wilken, R. & Goggin, G. (2012). Mobilising Place: Conceptual Currents and Controversies. In: R. Wilken & G. Goggin (eds), Mobile Technology and Place, New York, Routledge, pp. 3-25.

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