Binge-watching, commonly known as the practice of watching television for an extended period, is a phenomenon that has exploded recently due to innovations in technology and increasing levels of content creation. However, it is something that many do in secret as it can be perceived to be a shameful activity, and associated with low productivity and possible depression.
Brian's residency project, 'Binge Responsibly: Binge Television Watching from Quantitative and Qualitative Perspectives', will explore the links between marathon TV consumption and addiction, mental health and content consumption habits that remain uncaptured by current statistics. The project team will test interventions in binge-watching behaviour with the goal of answering questions such as:
How is binge-watching defined and what methodologies are appropriate for assessing whether it is a harmful or healthy activity?
What are the connections between binge-watching behaviour, addiction and mental health? And, if binge-watching is considered an addiction, how might we encourage "safer" bingeing?
As an artist, Brian’s recent performance installations playfully and emotionally consider how, why and where people binge-view TV. Whilst these past performances have captured artistic and personal data from audience members, this new project seeks to find innovative ways to capture data. The project will expand on the Informatics Department’s tested data collection methodologies to enable more responsive, therapeutic and emotional data about binge-watching behaviour.
Brian will create a new durational installation in collaboration with the Department of Engineering involving a 12-hour binge of various TV shows. The installation will feature various points of interaction with audiences in order to capture both quantitative and qualitative data about binge habits. This installation will then be expanded into a 24-hour performance with other artists, binge-viewers, and researchers to increase the dataset. The team will also develop an app or online survey allowing users to connect with others about their marathon-watching behaviour.
Brian Lobel is an artist based in London. He creates performances about bodies: politicized bodies, marginalized bodies, dancing and singing bodies, happy bodies, sick bodies. After being ill as a young adult, he became fascinated with unique bodily experience and how it is conceived, discussed and witnessed by others, leading him directly into his current performance practice.
His work has been shown throughout the UK and in more than 25 countries internationally, with highlights including shows at National Theatre, Sydney Opera House, Lagos Theatre Festival and Harvard Medical School. He currently works as Knowledge Exchange Fellow at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and was previously a Reader in Theatre at the University of Chichester and is a Wellcome Trust Public Engagement Fellow.
Dr Nishanth Sastry is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Engineering. He holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge, a master’s degree from The University of Texas at Austin, and a bachelor’s degree from Bangalore University, all in Computer Science. Previously to King’s, he spent over six years in the Industry (Cisco Systems, India and IBM Software Group, USA) and Industrial Research Labs (IBM TJ Watson Research Center).
His research focuses on the structures and architectures used for disseminating and consuming content online, with research interests in network mobility, video streaming, content distribution and delivery as well as social networks and social media.
Dr Petr Slovak is an Assistant Professor in Human-Computer Interaction, Department of Informatics. He holds a PhD in Human Computer Interaction from the University of Technology in Vienna, Austria as well as an MSc and two BSc degrees from Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic. Currently Petr is an External Researcher on the Committee for Children based in Seattle, USA where he advises on the potential of technology use in social-emotional learning.
His research is positioned at the intersection of Human Centred Interaction, mental health intervention, and learning sciences, exploring how technology can help support promote mental health.