UC Arts Digital Lab hosts Minister

04 May 2018

Last week, the UC Arts Digital Lab, main office of the CEISMIC earthquake digital archive, hosted Hon Clare Curran, the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications, and Digital Media, and Minister of Government Digital Services.

  • Claire Curran and Leigh Huffine

    Hon Clare Curran and Private Secretary Leigh Huffine discuss the CEISMIC digital archive and contemporary issues in the world of digital media with the UC Arts Digital Lab team.

Last week, the UC Arts Digital Lab, main office of the CEISMIC earthquake digital archive, hosted Hon Clare Curran, the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications, and Digital Media, and Minister of Government Digital Services.

The Minister was welcomed to the University of Canterbury campus by Vice-Chancellor Dr Rod Carr and Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Arts Professor Jonathan Le Cocq to join Digital Humanities programme director Dr Christopher Thomson, Arts Digital Lab co-director Associate Professor Donald Matheson, Lab staff, and postgraduate students working in the field of Digital Humanities for a discussion about CEISMIC.

Ms Curran was interested in learning more about the successes and challenges of CEISMIC, the federated digital archive  established by UC in the wake of the 2010/2011 Canterbury earthquakes. She asked about the how the digital archive was established during a period of crisis and the legacy it has created for other communities that may be faced with disaster.  

“This was a great opportunity to communicate to the Minister the value of the CEISMIC digital archive, and to highlight the ways in which UC was able to coordinate a range of different consortium partners to contribute their data to a repository that has served as a key digital resource for both researchers and community organisations,” says Dr Thomson.

The CEISMIC programme, led by Professor Paul Millar in 2012, has grown into a broader initiative of Digital Humanities teaching and research at UC, as well as the establishment of the UC Arts Digital Lab.

“Through the successes of CEISMIC, UC Arts has been able to provide a programme of study that increases our students’ digital literacy while cultivating critical thinking and an understanding of culture and society,” Professor Le Cocq says.

The group also discussed issues facing the current digital landscape such as data governance, privacy issues, and the need for open and publicly accessible media. Ms Curran noted the increasingly dispersed nature of digital media spaces and the need to ensure that public digital media remain independent and separate from commercial practice.    

“The whole Facebook and Cambridge Analytica debacle is a great example of how our data can be misused without our knowledge,” Associate Professor Matheson says.

“The need to be able to understand and critically interrogate the underlying structures and frameworks of the contemporary digital world is increasingly pertinent.”

For further information please contact:

Margaret Agnew, Senior External Relations Advisor, University of Canterbury
Phone: +64 3 369 3631 | Mobile: +64 27 254 3949margaret.agnew@canterbury.ac.nz
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