Chronicling the vernacular and the middlebrow in post-digital culture.

Middlebroware is a research project initiated by Dr. Frederik Lesage, an associate professor in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University. Digital media and creative practice are now inextricably entwined with the contemporary collective imagination. The goal of this project is to better understand this imagination and how it manifests itself as a new material and symbolic order. Specifically, we investigate how the design, marketisation, and use of digital tools — from Photoshop to PowerPoint, from Unity to the Google search engine — reify creativity.
Feb 20, 2024
Frederik Lesage

It’s finally out! Creative Tools and The Softwarization of Cultural Production is a book project that Michael Terren and I started to develop a few years back during COVID. As a collection, the book examines the rise of softwarization in creativity, where digital tools shape its design, marketing, and production. We argue that, as creativity has become a central element in contemporary power structures, software tools play a crucial role in its material and symbolic formation.

Aug 29, 2023
Frederik Lesage

Empirical research can be complicated! Covid 19 made this reality all-too clear by making fieldwork next to impossible. Fortunately for the team working on "Searching for Tasks", we were able to collect most of our data just prior to the lockdowns. The subsequent process of analysing and publishing the results took an inordinate amount of time but the outcome — a new set of methods for visualizing the performance of digital skills — has been amazing.

Sep 30, 2022
Frederik Lesage

I am excited to announce that Michael Terren and I have signed a contract to edit a book titled "Creative Tools and the Softwarization of Cultural Production" as part of Palgrave Macmillan’s “Creative Working Lives” series edited by Susan Luckman and Stephanie Taylor. We are currently sending out a call for chapter proposals.

the latest:

EDITED BOOK NOW AVAILABLE: Check out the new collection edited by Frédérik Lesage and Michael Terren with scholarly contributions from around the world!