recentpopularlog in

robertogreco : democratization   13

crap futures — counter-constraints
"In recent posts, starting with ‘how the future happens’, we have been exploring the factors that keep us to established paths or limit the potential for preferable futures. But as we aim in this blog (and in life generally) to go beyond mere critique, the next batch of posts will outline the concept of counter-constraints.

Counter-constraints take the identified constraining factors and invert, work around, or ignore them entirely to propose fresh perspectives and possibilities. The resulting new ways of thinking about technological futures may be more inclusive, imaginative, socially-orientated, non-corporate, or they might simply facilitate a more meaningful relationship between science and society.

For example, open-source everything can be seen as a series of counter-constraints to restrictive infrastructure such as copyright laws, gated knowledge systems, and complex production lines. Back in the 1970s, Italian designer Enzo Mari sought to democratize furniture construction with autoprogettazione?, a DIY approach to ‘making easy-to-assemble furniture using rough boards and nails’. Mari wrote:

In my job as designer, or rather as an intellectual who contradicts the actual state of things, I try within the network of commissions and projects to ‘smuggle in’ moments of research and ways of creating the stimulus to free oneself from ideological conditioning, standard norms, behaviour and taste.
The book is full of beautiful stuff - we’ve already made two ping-pong tables and a couple of chairs from his instructions. Taking Mari’s lead, it is possible for anyone - without sophisticated tools or machinery - to sidestep the usual trip to Ikea.

Well, almost anyone - you still need basic building skills. The Enzo Mari example also relates to another constraint we’ve discussed, that of education. We’ve used his book to teach students the kinds of skills that are becoming rarer these days thanks to over-digitalisation, the consequential focus on 3D printing and laser-cutting, and the rapid shift toward sealed-box design.

Time for coffee and toast. In our next post we’ll look at how to ‘counter-constrain’ progress dogma.

note: apologies to the Mari purists. We used screws rather than nails for dismantleability."
constraints  counter-constraints  enzomari  2016  diy  furniture  autoprogettazione  inversion  futures  future  design  crapfutures  democratization  1970s  science  society  technology  knowledgesystems  perspective  possibilty 
february 2016 by robertogreco
Eyeo 2014 - Leah Buechley on Vimeo
"Thinking About Making – An examination of what we mean by making (MAKEing) these days. What gets made? Who makes? Why does making matter?"



[uninscusive covers of Make Magazine and composition of Google employment]

“Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”

"I'm really tired of setting up structures where we tell young women and young brown and black kids that they should aspire to be like rich white guys."

[RTd these back than, but never watched the video. Thanks, Sara for bringing it back up.

https://twitter.com/arikan/status/477546169329938432
https://twitter.com/arikan/status/477549826498764801 ]

[Talk with some of the same content from Leah Buechley (and a lot of defensive comments from the crowd that Buechleya addresses well):
http://edstream.stanford.edu/Video/Play/883b61dd951d4d3f90abeec65eead2911d
https://www.edsurge.com/n/2013-10-29-make-ing-more-diverse-makers ]
leahbuechley  making  makermovement  critique  equality  gender  race  2014  via:ablerism  privilege  wealth  glvo  openstudioproject  lcproject  democratization  inequality  makemagazine  money  age  education  electronics  robots  robotics  rockets  technology  compsci  computerscience  computing  computers  canon  language  work  inclusivity  funding  google  intel  macarthurfoundation  opportunity  power  influence  movements  engineering  lowriders  pottery  craft  culture  universality  marketing  inclusion 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Yoko Ono and the Myth That Deserves to Die -- Vulture
"In Tokyo, in 1964, the 31-year-old conceptual artist Yoko Ono organized a happening in which she screened a Hollywood film and gave the audience a simple instruction: Do not look at Rock Hudson, look only at Doris Day.

Like most of the countercultural riddles that appear in Grapefruit, Ono’s book from the same year, the instruction — titled Film Script 5 — was at once facile and mischievously impossible. (Other variations on the piece include asking the audience not to look at any round objects in a film, or to see only red.) It was also, in its way, autobiographical: As one of the few women associated with New York’s avant-garde music scene and the “neo-Dada” Fluxus movement, Ono was by then used to being overshadowed by the more powerful and self-serious men around her. (“I wonder why men can get serious at all,” she mused in Grapefruit. “They have this delicate long thing hanging outside their bodies, which goes up and down by its own will.”) The year she first staged Film Script 5, she’d already extricated herself from one failed marriage and her second was unraveling. She was still two years away from meeting the man with whom she would realize her dream of a completely egalitarian partnership — to symbolize this, they both wore white during their wedding ceremony — but the rest of the world wouldn’t see it that way. They would, of course, see only the towering, superior Him — what could he have possibly seen in Her?"



"Here is the tricky and brilliantly fearless thing about Yoko Ono’s art: It inherently makes peace with that teenage boy’s irreverent response. It invites it, even. Drawn to words like “incomplete,” Ono has always trusted the viewer to finish her work."



"When she was 13, her father — a failed classical pianist turned successful banker — advised her to give up playing the piano because her hands were too small. Yoko blurted out that she would rather be a composer than a pianist anyway, and he told her this was even less likely: Could she name a single female composer? She couldn’t, but even back then her idea of the profession was a tad unconventional. The homework assignment that most sparked her imagination had been one in which she was asked to translate a bird’s song into musical notation."



"Like that of her contemporaries in the conceptual-art world, Ono’s early work was all about blurring the line between art and everyday life. Every image is a painting; every sound is a song. More than the work of anybody she actually hung out with, Ono’s early art reminds me of Yves Klein, the impish French artist whose first piece was — in his imagination — to sign his name in the sky. It’s true that some of Ono’s ideas inspired George Maciunas to start Fluxus, but she never felt entirely included in this — or any — group. Accordingly, there’s a loneliness to the pieces from early in the period covered by the MoMA show: One subtitled Painting for Cowards instructs the artist performing the work to cut a hole in a canvas and shake people’s hands through it. Ono felt alienated by a certain stuffiness and elitism in the scene. “The avant-garde guys ... were all just so cool, right?” she recalled years later. “There was also this very asexual kind of atmosphere in the music. And I wanted to throw blood.”"



"In 1964, Ono began staging Cut Piece, still probably her best-known work, the tone of which depends entirely on the energy in the room. When she debuted it in Tokyo that year, the audience was polite, but in Kyoto, a man “took the pair of scissors and made a motion to stab [her].” Conversely, when the artist Charlotte Moorman performed Cut Piece in a convent, Ono says, “they bypassed the sexual connotation totally and just understood the philosophical connotation and the positive side, which was to be giving.”

Ono encourages other people to stage her pieces. As the film scholar Scott MacDonald writes of her Unfinished Film scripts: “For Ono, the concept of a film is, essentially, the film; once the concept exists, anyone who wants to can produce a version of that concept.” This is one of the aspects of her ’60s work that feel strikingly contemporary — in line with how we think of crowdsourced creativity in the YouTube era. Ono eventually helped Lennon translate this kind of openness into his post-Beatles identity too. Think of that famous motto: “You are the Plastic Ono Band.”

Yoko and John met when he swung by a preview of her show at London’s Indica Gallery in November 1966. He took a bite out of the apple she’d staged like a Duchamp readymade — at last, she’d found her Eve. After connecting with Lennon, it was easy for other artists to dismiss her as a sellout or a gold digger, but really Lennon completed her vision, gave her the populist audience she’d long desired. Ono’s art came alive when it broke out beyond the avant-garde, because her mission was to awaken the artist in everybody — not just those who were cool enough to know about the latest goings-on in that Chambers Street loft. “She came to think that the loss of the 4/4 beat by the art-music composers had set them up at the top of a building,” writes her biographer Barb Jungr in Woman: The Incredible Life of Yoko Ono. “Whereas for her the beat gave back the heart to the music, brought it down into the ground of human experience.” Maybe rock and roll was the birdsong she’d been chasing all along."



"The 2014 Grammys were the night I began to wonder whether millennials would be the ones to finally reject the Yoko Myth. Ono, then 81, strutted out in a jaunty top hat, presented the Album of the Year award to Daft Punk, and danced gleefully to “Get Lucky” from her seat. The internet approved, loudly. My Twitter feed was full of people freaking out about #Yoko; the Huffington Post declared, “Sorry Taylor, Yoko Ono’s the Grammys’ Real Dancing Queen.” Here, at last, she seemed liberated from the hate and punch lines that had plagued her entire public life. Look not at John Lennon; look only at Yoko Ono. It felt triumphant, but I also found myself wondering an inconvenient question: Is Ono’s art less subversive when we’re living in a world that loves her?

The MoMA show prompts that question, too: There is something a little dispiriting about an artist who once staged a protest against the museum being warmly welcomed within its ranks. (And it’s easy to be cynical about that embrace, given the institution’s celebrity-chasing — see the Björk debacle.) But whatever its reason, the show arrives at a moment that is, for once, in step with Ono’s vision. Her meditative instruction pieces feel perfectly aligned with our mania for so-called mindfulness. Her work is being lauded by people correcting a history of female erasure — looking anew at the Doris Days instead of the Rock Hudsons. Many of Grapefruit’s pieces have a sub-140-character brevity. They feel, now, like the 1960s version of a tweet.

“Last year,” Ono wrote in 1968, “I said I’d like to make a ‘smile film,’ which included a smiling face snap of every single human being in the world. But that had obvious technical difficulties and was very likely that the plan would have remained as one of my beautiful never-nevers.” Back then, the idea sounded like a whimsical lark; today, in the age of the selfie, it sounds almost banal in its achievability. Maybe she’s not a radical — or a martyr — anymore. Maybe we’re just beginning to inhabit the world that Yoko Ono always imagined."
yokoono  lindsayzoladz  art  moma  2015  selfies  gender  subversion  internet  online  remixculture  remixing  everyday  yvesklein  democratization  fluxus  georgemaciunas  unfinished  incomplete  lisacarver  internetasliterature 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Fred Moten Talk: "Blackness and Poetry" - YouTube
[30:47] “We've had a really hard time learning how to be on the earth. We're not doing such a good job. Or maybe a more precise way to put it would be we've had a hard time living in the earth or with the earth or living *as* the earth."
fredmoten  via:javierarbona  2015  poetry  blackness  race  sovereignty  democratization  democracy  demos  colonialism  colonization  settlers  phenomenology  subjectivity  objects  ownership  possession  possessiveness  poems  edouardglissant  extralegality  illegality  place  being  waysofbeing 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Oscillator | On Democratization
"In the early 1970’s, several Dutch universities created “science shops” (wetenschapswinkels) with the aim of democratizing science. The science shops connected public interest groups who had scientific questions with university students and researchers who could provide answers. Opening access to university research would help activist groups achieve their goals, and would also have an impact on the universities themselves. In an essay for the journal Science, Technology & Human Values, Joseph Wachelder writes about the more radical goals of the science shops early on:
The democratization of science in fact implied a general and even radical transformation of society. The aim was to reorient science toward the social needs of workers and disadvantaged groups and to fight the vested interest of the establishment and the so-called military-industrial complex. In those early days, the political Left pushed science shops as one means of transforming both science and society in radical ways. Unions, targeting issues such as occupational health, social security, and working conditions; environmentalists; patients’ groups; third-world activists; and, slightly later, women’s liberation groups considered themselves as partners in pursuit of a new and better society.
I read about the science shops for the first time over the holidays in Making Genes, Making Waves, Jon Beckwith’s autobiography about his research in molecular biology and his political activism. Given the current fad for “democratizing science” I was surprised that I’d never heard them mentioned before.


Indeed, today’s democratization looks a lot different from the democratization pushed by science shops and radical science movements of the 70s. Science for the People, an activist group of scientists and engineers founded in the early 1970s, organized against the misuse of science by military and corporate interests and advocated that science work for marginalized people rather than maintaining the status quo. A powerful symbol for the group was a fist raised in solidarity next to a hand holding a flask. Alice Bell notes in a recent article on activist science that, “The fist of solidarity stood in front of the chemist’s flask here, not simply used to hold science up high.”

[image]

Compare that with Science for the People, a Canadian radio program about science, which rebranded in 2013 from “Skeptically Speaking.” Their logo echoes the Science for the People cover image from 1970, but here the fist holds up a test tube—literally holding science up high. In a blog post about their rebrand, the producers discuss what “science for the people” means to them:
We’re about getting the word of something we love to people who might not hear about it anywhere else, in the hopes that maybe, just maybe, they’ll love it a little too. We’re about taking tough scientific concepts and teasing out what matters. We’re about taking the latest in scientific progress and relate it to people like our friends and our families, and our communities, and our society.


[image]

Telling people about your love for science is great, but as Bell notes (referring to the flask-toting fist on the cover of the Geek Manifesto), “Looking back at these earlier radicals, [it] seems to pale to a Che Guevara T-shirt in comparison.”

Other efforts seem similarly pale when you begin to examine their claims about democratization in light of what democratization meant to more political generations of scientists. Like the Science for the People radio program, many of these efforts are focused on the one-way transmission of science from the academy to the public, rather than a radical transformation of science itself to address public interests.

Open access publishing has made it easier to publish and read scientific articles, and is gradually (hopefully) chipping away at the tyranny of the impact factor in academic career advancement. These are worthy goals which I support whole-heartedly—I’ve published most of my papers in open access journals—but making papers open to download doesn’t necessarily make science democratic and open to everyone.

Likewise, recent efforts to get more people involved in scientific research have been branded “citizen science,” but unlike the science shops where the citizens dictated research directions, citizen science projects simply allow non-scientists to volunteer their time collecting or analyzing data for professional researchers. These projects can be great learning experiences, allowing non-scientists to get a better picture of the scientific process, as well as great research experiences, allowing scientists to explore topics that they couldn’t have done without the expanded team. But letting people do free work for you isn’t the same as doing work for people.

In synthetic biology, “democratization” has recently been used as a marketing ploy for companies that are selling DNA or DNA editing software. Cambrian Genomics and Genome Compiler both claim to “democratize creation,” an empty statement that helps drive press coverage and TED invitations in the crowded genetic engineering market. Both companies are selling slightly different, cheaper, or easier to use versions of things that have been sold to molecular biologists for decades, but claiming that their versions will suddenly make it possible for “anyone” to do genetic engineering. Making cheaper and more accessible laboratory tools is great, but it’s worth asking what else is necessary to truly make “creation” accessible (I’m not going to get into the differences between synthesizing DNA and “creating life” here, but suffice it to say that I don’t agree with that part of their phrasing either). There are many other tools, training, and above all a reason to do it that are all necessary in order to make a “creature.” It’s no surprise then that, according to SF Gate, Cambrian currently sells DNA primarily to biotech giants like Roche, GlaxoSmithKline, and Thermo Fisher. If you don’t work to really democratize science, you’re just making cheaper tools for the people who already had access to them. (Also hype, lots of hype.)

[image]

The contemporary projects that seems most like the 70s Dutch science shops are today’s hackerspaces and community labs, where non-expert scientists can explore techno-scientific questions on their own time (and usually on their own dime). While there are a huge variety of projects and educational goals in these spaces, a particular kind of “hacker” has gone mainstream (and even received DARPA funding). Tinkering in a garage is now seen as the first step towards starting the next multibillion dollar Silicon Valley company. Hackerspaces can be the site of anti-establishment thinking, but they are also becoming part of the military-industrial complex.

None of these projects are necessarily bad. By and large, they all point towards a broader positive shift happening in the scientific community towards more transparency, accountability, diversity, and public involvement. But we shouldn’t let something as important as democratization become an empty label. We need to be critical of self-proclaimed democratizers—who is benefitting and who remains left out? Who is calling the shots and who is working for whom? Where does the money come from? How can we do science better?"
christinaagapakis  democratization  science  history  politics  1920s  netherlands  wetenschapswinkels  scienceshops  canada  scientificallyspeaking  transmission  citizenscience  scientificprocess  learning  education  accessibility  hackerspaces  communitylabs  labs  laboratories  darpa  tinkering  makerspaces 
january 2015 by robertogreco
MoMA | The Unmaker of Objects: Edgardo Antonio Vigo's Marginal Media
"This exhibition celebrates the mail art, visual poetry, performative works, and publications of the Argentine artist Edgardo Antonio Vigo (1928–1997). From his quiet hometown of La Plata, Vigo developed an extensive network of contacts in the Americas and Europe, making the city a hub of the international mail art movement—a loose network of artists who exchanged ideas, art, and poetry through the postal system. From his defiantly local position, Vigo developed an internationalism tempered by a sharp critique of the foreign policy of the United States, from its role in the Vietnam War to its support of authoritarian Latin American governments.

Interested in mass media and alternative channels of communication, Vigo nevertheless maintained an intimate human touch, producing handmade works that he bluntly called cosas, or “things,” to challenge the hierarchies of aesthetic tradition. Consistent with his embrace of mail art, which involves the participation of a recipient, he developed instructions, actions, and visual poems to be carried out or completed by others. He also published magazines that promoted an accessible, democratized art in place of the unique and valuable art object.

Vigo was active during the period when Argentina was ruled by a military junta, which, in 1976, “disappeared” his son Palomo. Vigo and the artist Graciela Gutiérrez Marx together adopted the pseudonym G. E. Marx Vigo and campaigned for Palomo's return; they often stamped the envelopes they sent out through the mail-art network with the English phrase “Set Free Palomo.” Despite government censorship, Vigo's moving letters and graphic works reached artists the world over, testaments to his dedicated ethical commitment."

[See also: http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2014/vigo/
edgardoantoniovigo  argentina  art  mailart  laplata  poetry  visualpoetry  objects  massmedia  communication  cosas  accssibility  democracy  democratization 
june 2014 by robertogreco
a brief history of participation
"These activities were not always congenial to the program of government reform towards democratization. Many of them used participatory methods instead to net poor peoples into networks of debt and reliance on hierarchical authorities.

The reasons for the failures of participatory technology are actually quite specific.

Participation was appropriated during the 1970s as a means of cheap development without commitment of resources from above. The theme of participatory ownership of the city, pioneered in discussions about urban planning in the West, remained strong in the context of the developing world, and even grew in a context of spiraling urbanization. In India, the Philippines, and much of Africa and Latin America, postwar economies pushed peasants off of the land into cities, where the poor availability of housing required the poor to squat on land and build their own homes out of cheap building materials. At first, the governments of these towns collaborated with the World Bank to take out loans to provide expensive, high-rise public housing units. But increasingly, the World Bank drew upon the advice of western advocates of squatter settlements, who saw in western squats the potential benefits of self-governance without interference from the state. In the hands of the World Bank, this theory of self-directed, self-built, self-governed housing projects became a justification for defunding public housing. From 1972 forward, World Bank reports commended squatters for their ingenuity and resourcefulness and recommended giving squatters titles to their properties, which would allow them to raise credit and participate in the economy as consumers and borrowers.

Participatory mechanisms installed by the Indian government to deal with water tanks after nationalization depend on principles of accountability at the local level that were invented under colonial rule. They install the duty of the locality to take care of people without necessarily providing the means with which to do so.

We need developers who can learn from the history of futility, and historians who have the courage to constructively encourage a more informed kind of development. "
peertopeer  web2.0  joguldi  2013  conviviality  participation  participatory  government  centralization  centralizedgovernment  self-rule  history  1960s  democracy  democratization  reform  networks  mutualaid  peterkropotkin  politics  activism  banks  banking  patrickgeddes  urban  urbanism  urbanplanning  planning  self-governance  worldbank  dudleyseers  gandhi  robertchambers  neelamukherjee  india  thailand  philippines  gis  geography  latinamerica  1970s  squatters  economics  development  africa  cities  resources  mapmaking  cartography  maps  mapping  googlemaps  openstreetmap  osm  ushahidi  crowdsourcing  infrastructure 
march 2013 by robertogreco
China Miéville: the future of the novel | Books | guardian.co.uk
"With the internet has come proof that there are audiences way beyond the obvious."

"In fact what's becoming obvious - an intriguing counterpoint to the growth in experiment - is the tenacity of relatively traditional narrative-arc-shaped fiction. But you don't radically restructure how the novel's distributed and not have an impact on its form. Not only do we approach an era when absolutely no one who really doesn't want to pay for a book will have to, but one in which the digital availability of the text alters the relationship between reader, writer, and book. The text won't be closed."

"A collection of artists and activists advocating the neoliberalisation of children's minds. That is scandalous and stupid. The text is open. This should – could – be our chance to remember that it was never just us who made it, and it was never just ours."

"We piss and moan about the terrible quality of self-published books, as if slews of god-awful crap weren't professionally expensively published every year."

"There's a contingent relationship between book sales and literary merit, so we should totally break the pretence at a connection, because of our amplifying connection to everyone else, and orient future-ward with a demand.

What if novelists and poets were to get a salary, the wage of a skilled worker?"

"This would only be an exaggeration of the national stipends already offered by some countries for some writers. For the great majority of people who write, it would mean an improvement in their situation, an ability to write full-time. For a few it would mean an income cut, but you know what? It was a good run. And surely it's easily worth it to undermine the marketisation of literature for some kind of collectivity.

But who decides who qualifies as a writer? Does it take one sonnet? Of what quality? Ten novels? 50,000 readers? Ten, but the right readers? God knows we shouldn't trust the state to make that kind of decision. So we should democratise that boisterous debate, as widely and vigorously as possible. It needn't be the mere caprice of taste. Which changes. And people are perfectly capable of judging as relevant and important literature for which they don't personally care. Mistakes will be made, sure, but will they really be worse than the philistine thuggery of the market?

We couldn't bypass the state with this plan, though. So for the sake of literature, apart from any- and everything else, we'll have to take control of it, invert its priorities, democratise its structures, replace it with a system worth having.

So an unresentful sense of writers as people among people, and a fidelity to literature, require political and economic transformation. For futures for novels – and everything else. In the context of which futures, who knows what politics, what styles and which contents, what relationships to what reconceived communities, which struggles to express what inexpressibles, what stories and anti-stories we will all strive and honourably fail to write, and maybe even one day succeed?"
writers  writing  publishers  democratization  democracy  futures  politics  selfpublishing  self-publishing  neoliberalism  copyright  hypertextnovels  fiction  literature  weirdfictionreview  ubuweb  lyricalrealism  zadiesmith  jamesjoyce  poulocoelho  oulipo  modernism  brunoschulz  lawrencedurrell  borges  ebooks  hypertext  hypertextfiction  text  cv  economics  publishing  leisurearts  bookfuturism  futureofbooks  2012  chinamieville  collectivity  money  artleisure 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Noreena Hertz: How to use experts -- and when not to | Video on TED.com
"We make important decisions every day -- and we often rely on experts to help us decide. But, says economist Noreena Hertz, relying too much on experts can be limiting and even dangerous. She calls for us to start democratizing expertise -- to listen not only to "surgeons and CEOs, but also to shop staff.""
experts  specialization  specialists  tunnelvision  generalists  listening  patternrecognition  decisionmaking  ted  noreenahertz  economics  infooverload  confusion  certainty  uncertainty  democratization  blackswans  influence  blindlyfollowing  confidence  unschooling  deschooling  trust  openminded  echochambers  complexity  nuance  truth  persuasion  carelessness  paradigmshifts  change  gamechanging  criticalthinking  learning  problemsolving  independence  risktaking  persistence  self-advocacy  education  progress  manageddissent  divergentthinking  dissent  democracy  disagreement  discord  difference  espertise 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Thinking about democratised curation – confused of calcutta
"Production, consumption and distribution of information have already been democratised. There’s no turning back. Curation will go that way. Which means that the very concept of the expert, the professional, the editor, the moderator of all that is great and good, changes."
curation  authenticity  2010  democratization  ericschmidt  filtering  growth  information  jprangaswami  editing  content  data  curating 
july 2010 by robertogreco
"Streams of Content, Limited Attention: The Flow of Information through Social Media"
If folks are going to try to get in-flow with information, we need to understand how information flows differently today. Let me highlight four challenges, points where technological hope and reality collide. Four Core Issues: 1. Democratization. 2. Stimulation. 3. Homiphily 4. Power."
flow  danahboyd  twitter  attention  homophily  socialmedia  network  internet  web  social  research  web2.0  information  continuouspartialattention  networks  streams  media  content  power  democratization 
november 2009 by robertogreco
the show: 07-14-06 - zefrank
"Over the last 20 years...cost of tools related to the authorship of media has plummeted. For very little money, anyone can create & distribute things like newsletters, videos, or bad-ass tunes about "ugly." Suddenly consumers are learning the language of these authorship tools. The fact that tons of people know names of fonts like Helvetica is weird! & when people start learning something new, they perceive the world around them differently. If you start learning how to play the guitar, suddenly the guitar stands out in all the music you listen to...throughout most of the history of movies, the audience didn't really understand what a craft editing was. Now, as more & more people have access to things like iMovie, they begin to understand the manipulative power of editing. Watching reality TV almost becomes like a game as you try to second-guess how the editor is trying to manipulate you."

[via: http://schulzeandwebb.com/2009/scope/slides/?p=41 ]

[Updating with lengthier quote and with a new link to the video since Mandy Brown referenced it here: http://aworkinglibrary.com/writing/hypertext-for-all/

video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xSW_NlrVBY

"For a very long time, taste and artistic training have been things that only a small number of people have been able to develop. Only a few people could afford to participate in the production of many types of media. Raw materials like pigments were expensive; same with tools like printing presses; even as late as 1963 it cost Charles Peignot over $600,000 to create and cut a single font family.

The small number of people who had access to these tools and resources created rules about what was good taste or bad taste. These designers started giving each other awards and the rules they followed became even more specific. All sorts of stuff about grids and sizes and color combinations—lots of stuff that the consumers of this media never consciously noticed. Over the last 20 years, however, the cost of tools related to the authorship of media has plummeted. For very little money, anyone can create and distribute things like newsletters, or videos, or bad-ass tunes about “ugly.”

Suddenly consumers are learning the language of these authorship tools. The fact that tons of people know names of fonts like Helvetica is weird! And when people start learning something new, they perceive the world around them differently. If you start learning how to play the guitar, suddenly the guitar stands out in all the music you listen to. For example, throughout most of the history of movies, the audience didn't really understand what a craft editing was. Now, as more and more people have access to things like iMovie, they begin to understand the manipulative power of editing. Watching reality TV almost becomes like a game as you try to second-guess how the editor is trying to manipulate you.

As people start learning and experimenting with these languages of authorship, they don't necessarily follow the rules of good taste. This scares the shit out of designers.
In Myspace, millions of people have opted out of pre-made templates that “work” in exchange for ugly. Ugly when compared to pre-existing notions of taste is a bummer. But ugly as a representation of mass experimentation and learning is pretty damn cool.

Regardless of what you might think, the actions you take to make your Myspace page ugly are pretty sophisticated. Over time as consumer-created media engulfs the other kind, it's possible that completely new norms develop around the notions of talent and artistic ability." ]
zefrank  design  learning  participatory  authorship  editing  understanding  culture  society  change  democratization  music  video  film  myspace  graphics  fonts  ugly  medialiteracy  tools  webrococo 
june 2009 by robertogreco

Copy this bookmark:





to read