Category Archives: New Media

MAKE

MAKE_2016title

As Solnit (2013) shares in in The Faraway Nearby, “to become a maker is to make the world for others, not only the material world but the world of ideas that rules over the material world, the dreams we dream and inhabit together.”

What are you making? What are you sharing? What’s your story?

MAKE: Creativity & Learning in a New Tonality is a collection of creative and intellectual works (artifacts, stories, poetry, photography, ethnodrama, and research) by a team of teachers engaged in the art of making meaning together. We welcome you to join us in our journey, “let us take what we have learned from our courses and from each other and fly on eagles’ wings to (s)p(l)aces beyond our imagination” (Stuart, 2016).

Authors: EDCP 508 Collective
Editor: Paula MacDowell
Publication Date: March 13, 2016
Format: Interactive, multi-touch eBook
Online: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1093003369

Critique of #Media & #Technology Workshop #mediastudies #history

CRITIQUE OF MEDIA & TECHNOLOGY WORKSHOP 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015
10:20-12:00     Scarfe 1209
Year of Research in Education event #yreubc

CRITIQUE OF MEDIA & TECHNOLOGY

Stephen Petrina
University of British Columbia

This workshop focuses on the Critique of Media & Technology. The first part of the workshop includes a presentation and discussion on a forthcoming chapter. The second part of the workshop focuses on the process of researching and writing with special attention to philosophical and historical research 2.0 and narrative. How can we or ought we write a (big) history of the critique of media and technology?

The chapter begins with the spiritual critique of media and technology and proceeds historically through cultural criticism and social, psychic, ontic, and identic critiques. Differentiated from the spiritual critique that precedes, cultural criticism of media and technology emerges in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries as a mode of describing and depicting the mechanical arts. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, spiritual critique is displaced through a rejection of religion and theology as sources of modern authority. With spiritual ground undermined, social, psychic, ontic, and identic critics of media and technology compete for defensible ground for leverage. The history of critique is a search for ground. This chapter historicizes the critique of media and technology as well as critique as a practice that has run out of steam. “Critical distance” from or “free relation” to media and technology— a seductive orientation since the 1940s— has been instrumental in critique’s gradual decline. The critique of critique has quickened the decline. The conclusion questions the short-term future of machinic critique and long-term renewal of spiritual critique.

Download the Critique of Media & Technology chapter.

Net Neutrality Is Dead. Here’s How to Get it Back

Craig Aaron, Reader Supported News, January 15, 2014– Three judges in D.C. just killed Net Neutrality.

This could be the end of the Internet as we know it. But it doesn’t have to be.

The big news: A federal appeals court on Tuesday struck down the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet Order. This decision means that companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon – which brought the lawsuit – are now free to block or slow down any website, application or service they like.

These companies will rush to change the Web and line their own pockets at our expense – creating new tolls for app makers, expensive price tiers for popular sites, and fast lanes open only to the few content providers that can afford them.

It didn’t have to be this way.

The FCC’s rules were designed to prevent Internet service providers from blocking or interfering with Web traffic. Instead of reversing a Bush-era decision that weakened the FCC’s authority over broadband, and establishing solid legal footing, former FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski issued the rules in 2010 under the complicated and shaky legal framework the court rejected today.

The rules the court struck down left much to be desired, but they were a step toward preserving Internet users’ freedom to go wherever they wanted, whenever they wanted.

Now, just as Verizon promised it would in court, the biggest broadband providers will race to turn the open and vibrant Web into something that looks like cable TV – where they pick and choose the channels for you. They’ll establish fast lanes for the few giant companies that can afford to pay exorbitant tolls and reserve the slow lanes for everyone else.

We could pay dearly for the previous FCC’s weak political will and wishy-washy approach. But today’s ruling leaves the door wide open to a better approach. It’s not too late for the FCC to reverse its terrible decisions and repair its doomed strategy.

That’s right. The FCC could make all this go away by simply reading the law correctly and reclaiming the authority it already has to protect Internet users for good. The agency had clear authority before the Bush administration abdicated it and the Obama administration failed to fix the mistake.

New FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler recently stated that the FCC must be able to protect broadband users and preserve the Internet’s fundamental open architecture. Now he has no other choice but to restore and reassert the FCC’s clear authority over our nation’s communications infrastructure….

Together we can fight back against these greedy Internet service providers. We can save the Internet we love. But we have to act now.

Read More: RSN

Noam Chomsky: NSA Surveillance Is an Attack on American Citizens

Fiona Harvey, The Guardian, June 19. 2013– The actions of the US government in spying on its and other countries’ citizens have been sharply criticised by Noam Chomsky, the prominent political thinker, as attacks on democracy and the people.

“Governments should not have this capacity. But governments will use whatever technology is available to them to combat their primary enemy – which is their own population,” he told the Guardian.

In his first public comment on the scandal that has enveloped the US, UK and other governments, as well as internet companies such as Google and Microsoft, Chomsky said he was not overly surprised technology and corporations were being used in this way.

“This is obviously something that should not be done. But it is a little difficult to be too surprised by it,” he said. “They [governments and corporations] take whatever is available, and in no time it is being used against us, the population. Governments are not representative. They have their own power, serving segments of the population that are dominant and rich.”

Chomsky, who has strongly supported the Occupy movement and spoken out against the Obama administration‘s use of drones, warned that young people were much less shocked at being spied on and did not view it as such a problem.

“Polls in the US indicate there is generational issue here that someone ought to look into – my impression is that younger people are less offended by this than the older generation. It may have to do with the exhibitionist character of the internet culture, with Facebook and so on,” he said. “On the internet, you think everything is going to be public.”

Other technologies could also come to be used to spy more effectively on people, he added. “They don’t want people to know what they’re doing. They want to be able to use [new technology] against their own people.

“Take a look at drones, and what is developing. You will find new drone technology being used in 10 or 12 years from now. They are looking at [trying to make] tiny drones that can go in your living room, like a fly on the wall.”

He praised the Guardian’s revelations about the activities of the National Security Agency, and the whistleblower Ed Snowden, who has been taking refuge in Hong Kong. “We need this kind [of journalism],” he said. “We ought to know about it.”

Chomsky, a much-lauded academic and professor of linguistics, gained renown as a political critic when he vocally opposed the Vietnam war. Since then, he has written dozens of books on political power, capitalism and democracy and espoused a variety of activist campaigns, most recently the Occupy movement.

Read More: The Guardian

Banishing the Poor, Unemployed and Working Class from the Mainstream Media Implies That They are Worthless

Mark Karlin, Truthout, June 17, 2013–  How often do you come across an article or a television news story that presents a poor person in a positive light?  Or for that matter when do you read about or see a story on an unemployed individual or the challenges of a working class American whose salary is receding as the stock market soars?

Oh, yes every once in awhile there will be a hard luck formula piece of reporting about the plight of the economically left behind – but it’s comparatively rare and is often presented in a pitying, patronizing tone.

In short, if you are not a member of the economically made, political or corporate elite, you generally don’t appear in the news. You are voiceless, faceless. The reality is that you are not news; your existence is hardly worthy of note, with the obligatory exception of an occasional “gee it’s tough to live like this” profile of a “welfare mom” or person unemployed and looking for work for three or four years.

Otherwise, in urban areas, the only regular stories you see about the poor is the knife and gun coverage of violence, particularly on weekends, particularly on local television news.  These video accounts of weeping relatives, blood-stained crime scenes, and eyewitnesses only serve to reinforce stereotypes of the urban poor, particularly minorities. It’s voyeuristic catnip for suburbanites and the well-to-do who gain comfort in their racial views being reinforced by tawdry and sensationalistic “news delivery systems.”

Let’s face it, corporate mainstream news doesn’t – in general — adequately or appropriately recognize those with low or no incomes as having a stake in society or anything to contribute in discussions of public policy.  As far as economics is concerned, it appears that the only persons entitled to speak about financial policy options are those of the privileged class, and particularly those who have been enriched by the current system (including politicians).  Add to that at the ever present class of “journalistic punditry,” who if they are on national television (or major market local television stations) de facto belong to the entrenched wealthy.

Just look at unions.  Some union members are well into the middle class, but even labor gets short shrift by the corporate mainstream media.  Why? Many reasons, but one of the big ones is that the owners of news “machines” in America are generally not keen on unions.  They cut into their media conglomerate profits.  So why promote the union viewpoint?

But there’s another key point to remember.  News that relies on advertising for revenue and profit – which is almost all the news media (although Truthout/BuzzFlash are an exception because we accept no ads) – are shaped as conduits for advertisers to deliver to a defined market.  And guess what? Poor and low income people don’t have the money to make them a desirable advertising audience (with some exceptions) for big media. So why write articles about them in the corporate media?

They won’t deliver advertisers, after all – and the well-off don’t want to read about them for the most part.  The poor, the unemployed, the working stiffs are best left under the carpet – out of plain sight.

Read More: Truthout

Michael Moore: Here’s How We Built a Movie Theater for the People

Michael Moore, michaelmoore.com, Reader Supported News, 8 June 2013– This past week, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the main federation of Hollywood’s six major studios, posted on their web site a list of what they believe are some of the best movie theaters in the world.

And listed as #1 is the historic State Theatre of Traverse City, Michigan, an incredible movie palace which I restored and now run as a nonprofit theater – along with a few hundred great volunteers!

This month, we will sell our one-millionth admission ticket since we opened five-and-a-half years ago. What makes this statistic even more remarkable is that Traverse City’s year-round population here in remote northern Michigan is only 16,000 people. And mostly we show only “smaller” indie and foreign films that open nationwide on less than 200 screens.

Even with those limitations, in the 289 weeks we’ve been open, for 78 of those weeks, the State Theatre has been the #1 grossing theater in the country for the movie we happen to be showing. We’ve placed in the top 10 grossing cities for 171 of those weeks (the other cities on that list are usually New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, D.C., Dallas, Boston, etc.).

So how in the name of trees that are right height does this happen?

Here is our basic recipe:

  1. We only show really good movies. Nothing that aspires to the mediocre is shown at the State.
  2. We reject the need to make a profit and, by doing so, we’ve been in the black since day one.
  3. We don’t rip people off. You can see a first-run movie for $8 and $6 (kids are less). Late night on the weekend is 2 for $5. We have 25-cent kids matinees on Saturday mornings (often packed with 580 people in attendance) and 25-cent classic movie matinees on Wednesdays. As for the concessions: No $10 popcorn at our place! Popcorn is as low as $2, soda $2 and candy as low as $1. We believe everyone should be able to afford to go to the movies.
  4. This is the community’s theater. Like in a co-op, everyone pitches in as a volunteer. Volunteers pop the corn, take the tickets and run the box office. Community groups pick the shift they’d like to work each month, which means on any given night you’ll have a county judge and a single mom working the concession counter, the high school English staff working as the ushers, and the Boy Scout troop on clean-up. Everybody gets free movies tickets for this – and the knowledge that they are the true “owners” of this theater. (The paid positions, like the theater managers and our professional projectionists, are paid a good livable wage with full health benefits.)
  5. This theater has perhaps the best projection and sound in the country. We show movies the way they were meant to be seen (and on a huge 50-foot screen). We have the most comfortable theater seats that you’ll ever sit in (made in Michigan, like many things in the theater). There’s a theater organ that rises out of the stage. A red velvet curtain ascends at the beginning of every movie, and the ceiling above you has 3,000 tiny lights that make up the constellations as they actually appear in the night sky over Traverse City in the fall.
  6.  Filmmakers from Wim Wenders to Paul Mazursky to David O. Russell have shown their films in person at the State, and they will tell you that the State Theatre is one of a kind. I tell them, “If they’d let us filmmakers design the theaters, the public would be amazed at the difference in the theater-going experience.”
  7. Other than our coming attractions, we will never show a commercial before any of our films. You came here to see a movie, not watch TV.
  8. Our cell phone policy is simple: If we catch you talking on the phone, texting or checking your mail, you will be banned from the theater for life. Zero tolerance for those who are there to annoy the people who are there to watch a movie in peace.
  9. Each summer we present the Traverse City Film Festival at the State Theatre and seven other venues. We have 100,000 admissions each year and and this year’s fest will take place July 30-August 4.

There’s a lot more, but you get the picture. We’ve created a comfortable, pleasant place to disappear into the dark and be transported by an excellent movie. Shouldn’t every town – especially the small ones – have this? We’d be happy to share with anyone who’d like our help.

In three years, in 2016, we’ll celebrate the 100th anniversary of movies being shown on the site of the State Theatre in Traverse City, Michigan. If you love the cinema and if you are ever in our area, please stop by to experience what going to the movie palace was like many, many years ago.

We offer our deep appreciation to the Motion Picture Association of America for this honor of being named one of the best places in the world to see a movie.

Sincerely,

Michael Moore
President, State Theatre and Traverse City Film Festival

Board of Directors

Terry George (director, ‘Hotel Rwanda,’ Oscar winner)
Larry Charles (director, ‘Borat’)
Christine Lahti (actress, Oscar winner)
Rod Birleson (co-producer, ‘Roger & Me,’ ‘Sicko,’ ‘Capitalism: A Love Story’)
Sabina Guzanti (acclaimed Italian filmmaker and satirist)
John Robert Williams (photographer)