Media matters, and media matter also matters.
As shown in Richard Maxwell’s and Toby Miller’s book Greening the Media, information and communication technologies are not ecologically benign. They leave behind plenty of residues — mountains of waste, toxic by-products that affect workers and consumers, and much else — and rearrange the materiality of the world in so many ways.
Here is where we can share our thoughts (between classes) about the project we’ve decided to take on as a class. The following are some initial ideas arising from our discussion in today’s class.
Project: Seedbomb Burlington
We are taking this week off from new readings. Instead the class is concentrating on critical analysis assignments and presentations.
Two of these — one on Banksy and the Critical Art Ensemble, the other on Greenpeace and the movement against the Keystone XL pipeline — were presented in class this past week. We are planning to present the remainder in next week’s class. We will also discuss how and what to share online from these analyses, and what form our final applied media projects will take.
Adbusters’ 2012 Meme of the Year video
This week we begin looking at some case studies of media uses — specifically, by “tactical media” activists such as “culture jammers” and other “hacktivists.”
Marshall McLuhan argued that the world was becoming a “global village.” For the theorists we are examining this week, the world has certainly become global, but it is less a village — which implies a stability and a taken-for-grantedness of “what’s what” and “who’s who” — than it is a tempest or a whirlwind. It is a world of ceaseless flux, flow, and modulation, a world of interconnected networks within which we might not know who we ourselves are, let alone who others are.