The ANZCA2017 Communication Conference !

ANZCA2017! Communication Worlds !!!

(I also presented at and blogged on last year’s conference – ANZCA2016… here!)

And so, this year, ANZCA was held in July, at University of Sydney, Australia!

And it was great!

ANZCA2017 @USyd

I presented this year, on a Transmedia Panel, with: Matt Loads, Nic Velissaris & Christy Dena (thanks again Transmedia peeps! And thanks again also Matt, for organizing! Splendid job all round, Transmedia Team…!!! And what a splendid word, splendid is !!!)

A Transmedia `Mt Rushmore‘ @ ANZCA2017 (photo by Matt Loads [left], starring the Transmedia panel – Matt, Christy Dena, me [JTV], & Nic Velissaris ! )

ANZCA2017 – Transmedia Panel – `Building Engagement Through New Narrative Worlds: Perspectives on Emerging Storytelling Innovation’ ! (Photo by Matt Loads!)

And this photo is by Billie Wilcox!

JTV at ANZCA Transmedia panel - JTV photo opp

The Transmedia Panel – photo by Billie Wilcox!

And so – here’s an Extended Version (long-play, 1 hour and 15 mins – but it also has 3 short movies inserted in it) of my 15-minute presentation at ANZCA2017.

ANZCA2017 ppt title page

My PPT presentation, at ANZCA2017

Also – a definition of Transmedia that I am using:

Transmedia definition JT V

In the Encyclopedia article (2017) they asked us to define 10 key terms that we used, and so, this is the Transmedia definition that in 2017, I currently seem to like the best. I have a Maths (Computer Science) and Media (Communication) background, so I like definitions. They seem to remove: unnecessary ambiguity. (Necessary ambiguity is fine!)

Also see this diagram in my PPT below: vertical transmission (transmedia narrative extensions, eg. Episode/Chapter 1, 2, 3, 4, etc) versus horizontal transmission (adaptations / copying / replication in other media: Episode/Chapter 1 as a novel, or as a movie, as a game, etc! are all still: Episode / Chapter, 1).

Transmedia vs Adaptation - Family-Tree diagram-thingy - Velikovsky 2017 V2

Vertical transmission (i.e., Transmedia narrative extensions) vs Horizontal transmission (i.e., Adaptations: from, say novel-to-movie, and/or, movie-to-game, etc.)

At any rate – here is the Extended Abstract of my ANZCA2017 presentation:



Transmedia & Cultural Evolution’

(by JT Velikovsky Ph.D)

Transmedia narratives (stories told across multiple media) are as old as The Bible and The Epic of Gilgamesh (see: Velikovsky 2016c, p. 254).

Everyone knows the classic transmedia examples: Twin Peaks, Star Wars, LOST, The Blair Witch Project, The Matrix, and Harry Potter (Velikovsky 2013). Innovative Australian transmedia narratives have also included the LOST (the tv series) game, Find 815 (2007), the climate-change drama Scorched (2008) and Offspring: The Nurses (2010) (Velikovsky 2016c, pp. 254-7) to name a few.

Nonfiction (documentary) transmedia includes `The Living History of Fort Scratchley’ (2008) and `Go Back to Where You Came From’ (2011) (Kerrigan & Velikovsky 2016).

A case-study of two successful transmedia projects (the Top 20 R.o.I. movies The Blair Witch Project and The Devil Inside) also reveals many common elements (Velikovsky 2014b), while the related (2016) PhD study revealed that although two of the Top 20 Return-on-Investment movies were transmedia on launch, so too were two of the bottom 20 RoI movies-(!) (Velikovsky 2016a, p. 435). However audiences stayed away from the latter bottom 20 RoI movies – and also their transmedia extensions – in droves! Clearly some units of story become canon, and “multiply” in the socio-cultural systems environment, while many others go extinct, becoming “archive”…

So a deeper Question is: Why do narrative units appear to `speciate’ like this-? 

Do units of culture (e.g.: stories) also spread and adapt to fill “cultural ecological niches” in much the same (evolutionary) way that systems units in biology do..?

Evolutionary biologist Scott Sampson (2010) notes that in evolution and complexity (systems theory) a process of simultaneous diversity and  unification means that `at each higher, emergent stage, older forms are enveloped and incorporated into newer forms, with the end result being a nested, multilevel hierarchy’ (Sampson 2010, pp. 1-2)…

Canon vs Archive

These same nested, multilevel hierarchical structures are precisely what were discovered as the structure of units of culture during a 2016 PhD, and became the PhD Appendix after this remarkable discovery appeared in a chapter in Creative Technologies for Multidisciplinary Applications (2016).

The (2016) chapter was also reprinted in The Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology (July 2017). Many have compared it to the equivalent discovery in biology (namely Watson & Crick 1953) and it places the domains of Memetics, Cultural Evolution and Applied Evolutionary Epistemology on a new footing, establishing a new paradigm for understanding, measuring, tracking, predicting, and controlling units of culture.

This ANZCA2017 powerpoint presentation thus examines all Transmedia as a biocultural evolutionary systems-creativity process, whereby narratives (or units of story; units of culture – see the Encyclopedia chapter above) diversify `downwards’ into different media (e.g., into: novels, or films, or TV, games, websites, etc.) – and yet at the same time these story-parts integrate and unify (`upward’) into the narrative whole: a singular, transmedia story universe (Velikovsky 2014a).

The 3 laws of holon-partons

Three universal laws of Evolution and Physics (operating on both Biology and in Culture) (Velikovsky 2016b), explain WhyTransmedia Is Destiny – or in other words – inevitable‘.

3 laws in biology and culture

With the above in mind, and considering the ANZCA2017 Transmedia Panel theme: `Building Engagement Through New Narrative Worlds: Perspectives on Emerging Storytelling Innovation’ – an innovative artificial-writer computer program, “The Robo-Raconteur”, a Movie & Transmedia Story Pitch-Generator and Assessor, has been created by the author as an extension of the (2016) PhD research, and a research study is being conducted on the program’s efficacy, in terms of computational creativity.

ANZCA2017 represents the official launch of the computer-program and the study. (Please, download – and enjoy ! )

Robo-Rac Title Page 1 v2

Abstract’s References:

Kerrigan, S & Velikovsky, JT 2016, ‘Examining Documentary Transmedia Narratives Through `The Living History of Fort Scratchley’ Project’, Convergence, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 250-68.

Sampson, S 2010, ‘Evolution Changes Everything’, in J Brockman (ed.), This Will Change Everything: Ideas That Will Shape the Future, 1st edn, Harper Perennial, New York, NY, pp. xxiii, 390 p.

Velikovsky, JT 2013, ‘Brave New Storyworlds: An Introduction to Creating Transmedia Narratives’, Screen Education, vol. 68 no. Summer 2013.

Velikovsky, JT, 2014a, ‘Flow Theory, Evolution & Creativity: or, ‘Fun & Games’‘, in Interactive Entertainment 2014 (IE2014) Conference, Newcastle, Australia.

Velikovsky, JT, 2014b, ‘Two Successful Transmedia Film Case Studies: The Blair Witch Project (1999) and The Devil Inside (2012)’, in D Polson, A-M Cook, J Velikovsky & A Brackin (eds), Transmedia Practice: A Collective Approach, ID-Press (InterDisciplinary.Net), London, pp. 103-17.

Velikovsky, JT,  2016a, ‘`Communication, Creativity and Consilience in Cinema: A comparative study of the top 20 Return-on-Investment (RoI) Movies and the Doxa of Screenwriting’’, PhD Thesis, University of Newcastle, Australia.

Velikovsky, JT, 2016b, ‘The Holon/Parton Theory of the Unit of Culture (or the Meme, and Narreme) in Science, Media, Entertainment and the Arts’, in A Connor & S Marks (eds), Creative Technologies for Multidisciplinary Applications, IGI Global, New York.

Velikovsky, JT, 2016c, ‘Popular Transmedia, Australia’, in JA Murray & KM Nadeau (eds), Pop Culture in Asia and Oceania: Entertainment and Society around the World, ABC-CLIO, Santa Barbara, CA, pp. 254-7.

ANZCA2017 ppt title page

And so here is the “long-play version” of the above (short) ANZCA2017 Communication Conference presentation:

“WHY TRANSMEDIA IS DESTINY” – ANZCA2017 Communication Conference

(1 hour 15 mins… as opposed to: 15 mins)

But, it also does have this movie embedded in it…

Animated PPT of the socio-cultural systems model of creativity (16 mins)

From: The Evolution of the Systems Model of Creativity (1988-2015)

(As some folks are currently unaware of Systems Thinking…)

See my 2016 PhD (free online) for much, much more on Systems Models of the entire Multiverse…!

And for more background (if desired), see also:

  1. StoryAlity #71 – On Consilience in the Arts / Humanities / Communication
  2. StoryAlity #71B – Invalid criticisms of Consilience
  3. StoryAlity #71C – Consilience and Vertical Integration


And, the “in-a-nutshell” summary of my PPT presentation (above) is, two key points:

Point, The First:

1 ) I have a new Encyclopedia-chapter out now… (@ July 2017) on Transmedia & Cultural Evolution in: The Encyclopedia of Information Science & Technology ( i.e., “The structure of the meme, the unit of culture”, 2017).

Encyc IS&T title page

The Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology (2017)

The (encyclopedia) Chapter-Trailer:

and the EncyclopediaTrailer:

…and also…

Point, the Second:

2 ) I have built an artificial-writer Movie Pitch & Transmedia-Generator robot – and – YOU can test it out – and can participate in a survey about it! (i.e, `Can computers do creativity?‘) – Computational-Creativity! …Algorithms-Ahoy !!!

So please do!

Some other related posts:

  1. StoryAlity #100 – The Holon-Parton Structure of the Meme – the Unit of Culture (Velikovsky 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017)
  2. StoryAlity #100A – The 3 Universal Laws of Holon/Partons (Velikovsky 2015, 2017)


ANZCA splash page.png

ANZCA2017 !!!

And of course, the other presentations were all fab too!

Matt Loads! Production of New Narrative Worlds in Australian Television: `OFFSPRING’ and Multi-Platform Storytelling


Nic Velissaris! Theatre, Live Art & the Possibilities of Transmedia Storytelling



Dr Christy Dena! Comparing World Recentering Practices in Australia and the USA

Also, JTV takes a photo opp… (the above is the photo!)

JTV at ANZCA Transmedia panel - JTV photo opp

Photo by Billie Wilcox, UoN

In the Q&A after, Dr Mel James (who also presented at last year’s ANZCA on telepresence) also raised a great point about the silo-ization of academic knowledge.

Mel James JTV Paula Gardner.png

Later! JTV asks keynote speaker Dr Paula Gardner, when her documentary’s planned release-date is…! (Photo by: Matt Loads 2017)

And as promised, here’s one diagrammatic representation of a solution to the “silo-ization of academic knowledge” problem… (Consilience! The vertical integration of knowledge.)

Silo-ization and Consilience framed

Wow, this visual metaphor that I used for “Transmedia” also apparently has many other uses.                e.g., Also – a solution to the problem of academic “silos”…!!!

Another diagrammatic representation of vertical integration (consilience):

Vertical Integration of the Sciences - Velikovsky 2017 - with Laws of Physics

And, on consilience, just to cite from the great book Creativity (Csikszentmihalyi 1996):

`Creative people are ever alert to what people over the fence are doing… A large majority of our respondents were inspired by a tension in their domain that became obvious when looked at from the perspective of another domain.

Even though they do not think of themselves as interdisciplinary, their best work bridges realms of ideas.

Their histories tend to cast doubts on the wisdom of overspecialization, where bright young people are trained to become exclusive experts in one field and shun breadth like the plague.’    

(Csikszentmihalyi 1996, pp. 88-9)

E O Wilson was one of the 91 eminent creatives in the study that resulted in that (1996) book. See also:

Also at ANZCA2017 this year, documentary filmmaker & current ICA President Dr Paula Gardner gave two great keynotes!

Dr Paula Gardner PhD – President, ICA (International Communication Association)

Here is one of them!

And – here’s the ANZCA2017 Conference Welcome:

And – here’s a random movie I made impromptu, about ANZCA2017 Bin Chickens.

More, on Bin Chickens:

And now…

Lots of semi-random ANZCA2017 photos:

ANZCA2017 !

Bin Chicken – Detail… (viewed from rear, 3/4 view)

The Hot Tub Cinema! …And the bar we all went to!

ANZCA2017 ECR (Early Career Researcher) Conference!

A photo of Matt Loads, taking a photo! And, Nic! – Looking at, something… er, OVER THERE..!!!!

Oooooh, nice bokeh! That’s a real word, in photography. (…I’ve no idea what it means.)

Some… Dark Stuff !

More dark stuff! …The Hot Tub Cinema! And… the bar we all totally went to !

Dr Mike Meany, PhD !!! On: Creativity and Curriculum Design – An Integrated Model – Innovation in Pedagogy!

More Mike!

Still More Mike Meany! From University of Newcastle, NSW!

…NOT Mike Meany!!!

Pizza and stuff, at the Bar! …Totally, right next to the Hot Tub Cinema!

Innovation in Pedagogy !!!!

The “Rule of Thirds” in Photography! Where is photographic genius Stanley Kubrick when you need him ??!! Oh wait, yeah; he’s dead. …Oh well, we still have his movies. Even his crappy ones are good in various ways.

Gotham City. No wait, Sydney Uni!

Transmedia-peeps basking in the afterglow, after the show !

Two large upright stone things, and, a whole lot of yellow!

Gothic, architectural, stuff!

USyd Law Library! This is what happens if you don’t pass the Bar.

Blue stuff, at USyd !!!

Still more blue stuff at USyd !!!

Oooh – nice purple lens-flare!

Green and blue stuff !    At USyd  !!!

Transmedia Mt Rushmore @ ANZCA2017!


Thanks yet again to all the ANZCA2017 organizers & delegates for another fab conference!

…Thanks also, to the humble Bin Chicken: a marvel of modern-day evolution.

And that was… ANZCA2017 @ USyd !!! Terrific conference, thanks all!

As an aside – I am also an Associate Editor at the International Journal of Art, Culture and Design Technologies. If any delegates from ANZCA have any articles you might like to propose, please keep the journal in mind!

IJACDT cover

The International Journal of Art, Culture and Design Technologies (IJACDT) links art, design, science, and culture with new developments and issues in technology.

IJACDT provides a forum for exchanging ideas and findings from researchers, practitioners, and professionals across arts, design, and technology disciplines. This interdisciplinary journal incorporates theory and practice among industrial design fields, architecture, art, computer science, psychology, cognitive sciences, humanities, and related fields.

IJACDT presents diverse arguments from critical, philosophical, creative, and professional points of view.

Topics Covered

  • Aesthetics of technology
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computational creativity
  • Cybernetics
  • Design and professional applications
  • Digital humanities, identity, and heritage
  • Human issues and cultural impacts of technology
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Information visualization and sonification
  • Internet culture
  • Music and sound art, new media art, net art, performance art, and visual arts
  • Psychology and cognition
  • Social and ethical issues
  • Technology in arts and humanities education
  • Video games
  • Virtual, augmented, and mixed realities
  • Visual, aural, and other modes of communication or expression

Mission and Scope

The mission of the International Journal of Art, Culture and Design Technologies (IJACDT) is to promote interdisciplinary research concerning the influence of technological innovation on creativity and other human issues.

IJACDT bridges the humanities, artistic, scientific, and technical disciplines. It is a nexus for information exchange among academia and industry addressing theory, criticism, and practice.

Also, very much on-topic with this Systems Theory ANZCA PPT presentation above, the free sample issue of the IJACDT has an excellent Systems Theory article:

`Becoming Creative Through Self Observation: A (Second Order) Cybernetic
Learning Strategy for the Metaverse’ by Elif Ayiter, Sabanci University and Planetary Collegium, Turkey (2011)

~ Comments, always welcome!


JT Velikovsky, PhD

Evolutionary Systems Analyst

& High-RoI Story/Screenplay/Movie & Transmedia Researcher

& Human & Computer Creativity Researcher

The above ANZCA presentation is an extension of the research in my 2016 doctoral thesis: “Communication, Creativity and Consilience in Cinema”. It is reproduced here for the benefit of fellow bio-cultural scholars, and screenwriting, filmmaking and creativity researchers. 

For more, see https://aftrs.academia.edu/JTVelikovsky

JT Velikovsky is a million-selling Transmedia writer-director-producer and game designer & writer. He has also been a professional story analyst for major film studios, film funding organizations, and for the national writer’s guild. For more, see the Transmedia weblog: http://on-writering.blogspot.com/


Velikovsky, J. T. (2017). Chapter 405: The Holon/Parton Structure of the Meme, or, The Unit Of Culture. In M. Khosrow-Pour (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Fourth Edition (pp. 4666-4678). New York: IGI Global.

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