‘Mobilities’ Study Visit to Somerset House

Every year the MA in Global Media Management that I teach on sponsors a series of events and talks around a chosen theme. This includes an annual study visit.

This year’s theme was ‘Mobilities’—in the broad sense, but specifically looking at the ways technology, location, embodiment, and identity inform people’s access to and relationship with the wider world. And shortly before the pandemic closures began we took a study visit to London. The visit was organised into two parts, with the second part of the day involving exploring various locations as part of the module ‘Global Media 2: Industries and Technologies’.

The first part of the day involved a visit to the ’24/7: ‘ exhibition at Somerset House, including an introduction by one of the gallery curators. You can no longer visit the exhibition in person, but Somerset House has some very thorough information about it up on social media. According to the website, 24/7 is:

An essential exhibition for today, exploring the non-stop nature of modern life.

Many of us feel we’re working more intensively, juggling too many things, blurring our public and private lives, pushing the limits of our natural rhythms of sleep and waking.

24/7 takes visitors on a multi-sensory journey from the cold light of the moon to the fading warmth of sunset through five themed zones and contains over 50 multi-disciplinary works that will provoke and entertain.

If mobility is partly about movement, our study visit asked students to consider on how can we reflect on being always ‘on the move’ and being ‘switched on’. Other key themes of the visit were time and surveillance, and the ways these have changed (or stayed the same) in the digital age.

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We very much enjoyed exploring Somerset House together, although it is bittersweet to look back on it now, from lockdown. We are now certainly reflecting on our own mobilities in different ways than we did before!

You can view some pictures of our visit below.

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