Ringtone

Deger, Jennifer, and Gurrumuruwuy, Paul (2016) Ringtone. [Video]

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[img] Video (MP4) (Ringtone, Part 8 [Low Resolution]) - Supplemental Material
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View at Publisher Website: http://miyarrkamedia.com/projects/ringto...
 
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Abstract

Ringtone is a documentary film in which Australian Aboriginal families offer glimpses into their lives and relationships through their choice of cellular ringtones. From ancestral clan songs to 1980s hip hop artists and local gospel tunes, the ringtones of each individual situates them in a world of enduring connection and explores the intrusions and demands brought by mobile phones to a once remote community in northern Australia.

Research Statement

Research Background Much recent literature on the mobile phone, including that about Aboriginal communities, identify the device as a technology of social disruption and dislocation (Vaarzon-Morel, 2014; Vokes, 2016). But how might Yolngu ways of making and affirming relationships with the more-than-human world influence the ways they use mobile phones? A direct result of Deger’s ARC Future Fellowship, ‘Digital Relations: new media in Arnhem Land’, and the result of a decade-long collaboration as a member of Miyarrka Media – an arts-media collective based in Gapuwiyak, NT (Gurrumuruwuy et al., 2012; 2016; Deger, 2013; 2016) – this film challenges widespread presumptions that mobile phones detach their users from place-based relationships (Taylor 2014).
Research Contribution A 30-minute film directed by Deger and her long-term collaborator, Paul Gurrumuruwuy, a straight-to-camera style shows Yolngu participants as reflexive cultural agents who have a specific mastery of digital media, including the mobile phone. As ringtones play and stories accrue, the viewer is exposed to the ways in which digital technologies are used to amplify a local poetics of ancestral connection, thus affirming kin-based relations with country. At the same time, the film skilfully reveals the new kinds of anxiety, pressure and intergenerational change that these mobile phone users must now deal with.
Research Significance Supported by funding from the ARC, Arts NT and Screen Territory, the film premiered at the Virginia Film Festival. It featured in the Mead Dialogues, NYC; was awarded Best Short Film by the Society for Visual Anthropology; was commended by the Royal Anthropological Society; and has screened at many festivals and universities internationally, including New York University, RMIT, ANU, Goettingen University and the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. It was exhibited in the Group Therapy exhibition at UNSW, and the Sensefield exhibition in Taipei, and is internationally distributed by Ronin and RAI.
Item ID: 35873
Item Type: Video
Additional Information:

This film contains images of Aboriginal people. Hearing or seeing names or seeing images of deceased persons might cause sadness or distress, particularly to the relatives of these people. This work, however, has been created by, and with permission from, close relatives of these deceased people, with the specific intention of producing a culturally specific emotional response called warwuwyun (worry). The explicit aim in doing so is to ’share’ these difficult feelings and so generate the grounds of connection across time, generations and cultures.

Media of Output: Video
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Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Date Deposited: 29 Feb 2016 04:51
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1601 Anthropology > 160104 Social and Cultural Anthropology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9502 Communication > 950201 Communication Across Languages and Culture @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 30%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970119 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of the Creative Arts and Writing @ 20%
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