Pat Thomas




Edith Cowan University, Australia


Patricia Thomas is a doctoral candidate and lecturer at the School of Communications and Arts, Edith Cowan University, Western Australia and is currently researching interpretation and representation of the visual/text dynamic moving from print to the Internet. Thomas incorporates traditional print techniques with digital technologies, retrieving images and text from television news and Internet news sites focusing on the events and consequences of September 11 2001. As a printmaker she is interested in the materiality of paper and books and their future in a digital world. The interpretation of information in each medium is key to her research. She teaches across the disciplines of Design and Cultural History and Theory. Thomas has exhibited work locally and nationally and her most recent exhibition was at the Brunswick Street Gallery in Melbourne in August 2010.

Paper title

Conventions of the book: Analysing the impact of digital technology on the interpretation of images and text in news media


The Internet is the modern manifestation of the book, so therefore its relationship is inherent. The history of the book and its effect on the emancipation of information from cultural institutions has been reflected in the expansion of electronic communications challenging similar institutional restrictions. However it is the way that the information is both disseminated and interpreted that differs radically. Each form of media has a role to play in the dissemination of information and each has inherent strengths and weaknesses which I will be discussing and developing in this paper.

Information in the twenty-first century is at our fingertips in an instant. Through the technology of the mobile phone, computer, and television, we are alerted to information of international, national, local, and personal significance. The focus in this paper will be upon interpretation and representation of the visual/text dynamic moving from print to digital technologies. By retrieving images directly from television I am examining the inclusion of objects, colours and repetition as signifiers of embedded codes (Sontag, 1977; Hall, 2006).

Through the methodology of creative praxis I examine the cultural implications of digital media for the future of print by challenging the concept of the book. Will print media decline or even disappear, or will digital printing techniques revitalise and redefine the book? My practice manipulates images and text directly retrieved from newspapers, television programmes, and the Internet to critique the hegemonic systems validated and expressed within them. To this end I am using the events and consequences of September the eleventh 2001 to make a cogent point regarding these issues.

Exposing and interrogating the cultural implications of the transformation of information access forms a key part of my paper.


Thursday 29 September


1:30pm - 3.00pm





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