Bowie Symposium

Tin Can Bluesx 02

Presentation files and some reactions from the Twitter-verse for my talk, Tin Can Blues: Moonage, Earthrise & Bowie, at the Stardom and Celebrity of David Bowie at ACMI in Melbourne. My talk focused on the virtuality of David Bowie via his network genealogy and the relationship between the Cold War space race and Bowie’s most fantastic creations – Space Oddity and Ziggy Stardust. Along the way the Apollo Mission, space food sticks, the Mars Curiosity Rover, the Higgs boson particle and Keith Richards all made guest appearances (full abstract below).

Presentation Files

PDF: Tin Can Blues (Slides)
PDF: Tin Can Blues (Slides & Notes)
PDF: Tin Can Blues (Text Only)

Chris Moore (2015-07-20) NetViz of a Twitter search #Bowiesymposium (from

Chris Moore (2015-07-20) NetViz of a Twitter search #Bowiesymposium (from

Chris Moore has created a net visualization image over on Flickr of the ‪#‎BowieSymposium‬ Twitter traffic. Picking up on Chris’s work Marc Smith has made the data Interactive :: (see:…) :: Courtesy of Chris Moore on Twitter (aka @CL_Moore)

Event Details

When:  10am, Saturday July 18, 2015
Where :: Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Federation Square, Melbourne
What :: Stardom and Celebrity of David Bowie Symposium

Bowie 02 (ARPANET)Tin Can Blues – Moonage, Earthrise & Bowie

David Bowie emerged during a period of intense space dreaming, the late 1960s. His multiple personas and genre hopping musical constructions at times took this on directly. His lyrical observation that “planet Earth is blue and there is nothing that I can do” and the NASA Earthrise image were iconic cultural objects of the early environmental movement. This sense of beauty and fragility and helplessness is something we still feel today as the Earth as cultural icon becomes a virtual icon of network culture.

In recent years however, our relationship with space has changed, as indeed has our relationship with Bowie. Both have been elusive and curious for some time – Bowie it would seem disappeared along with the Space Shuttle. Today however, the romance has re-emerged as we chase asteroids in slickly produced NASA animations and put robots on Mars. The virtuality of contemporary space exploration mirrors the virtuality of Bowie. Both exist most predominately online, both fulfil a strong nostalgic turn and now Bowie and Apollo and Endeavour are finding a new type of cultural immortality in the exhibition space.

Bowie 01 (Intro)

Stardom and Celebrity of David Bowie Symposium

Bowie’s cultural and artistic currency is presently at an all-time high with the release of his first album in almost a decade, The Next Day (2013), reviewed in The Independent as possibly “the greatest comeback album ever”.

The release of a series of momentous music videos that recall and reflect upon his artistic career, the record-breaking David Bowie is global exhibition tour, and the recently released ‘Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)’ from Nothing Has Changed (his forthcoming compilation album spanning 50 years of recorded work) continues to ensure David Bowie’s status as an agent of change and inspiration.

Experts in the field of Popular Culture, Celebrity and Media Studies will include Dr Will Brooker, Professor of Film and Cultural Studies at Kingston University; Angela Ndalianis, Head of Screen and Cultural Studies, Melbourne University; Sean Redmond, Media and Communications and Editor of Celebrity Studies, Toija Cinque, Media and Communications, both of Deakin University; and Dr Kathryn Johnson, assistant curator of David Bowie is (V&A, 2013) and Director’s Researcher, Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Also featuring a number of national and international academics and art practitioners, the conference will include keynote presentations, panel discussions, performances and workshops.


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