Setting you on fire

Posted: January 25, 2012 by Alan Hardcastle in FdA 11_13
Tags: , , , ,

it is 2012. We have access to more production technology than people dreamed possible even 10 years ago. We can shoot & edit on minimal equipment  – we don’t need specialist set ups, we just need a phone. Even operating systems on consumer computers have editing software in them.

We have a free distribution network that puts us in touch with the world. Yes, we have a global audience.

Never mind Nam Jun Paik getting excited about everyone being a film maker when he got hold of tape based video technology in the mid 60’s. Never mind Warhol’s claim of everyone getting 15 minutes of fame – both of those times have come and gone.

We can say what we want. We can use this to change the world – Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Iraq, Iran, Syria – there are people using the wide range of communication, distribution and communication technologies available to them. When America invaded Iraq, it was on the internet first.

So, why is this being watched by 65 million people?

There is a difference between being active and passive. If you are passive, you accept any information thrown at you. You do not want to think about it, you do not want to question it. You are the perfect consumer. You are the marketing persons dream. You will buy anything – form Sunny D to an election promise.

To be active is to question. Why am I watching this? Why are they saying this? Why in this way? To be active is to wonder why they are selling you a product, a discourse, an narrative or a dogma.It is also to have your own view – and to express that.

Marx talk about this – he argues that those who have access to the means of Production have control of a society. He also argued that the average person would rise up and seize the control back. Gramsci explained why this never happened, calling it Hegemony – that the reason people have control over the means of production is because the normal people don’t want to because they have been told that they don’t need it. They have been brainwashed into being passive consumers.

In my opinion, the means of production applies in a media sense. it no longer cost £2000 to make 30 seconds of film. We all have access to the means of production, the means of distribution and the means to criticize what we consume.

So, this is my question: if you have access to all of this, and you are excited about using it, what are you going to say?

Look at this funny cat?


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