Re: [-empyre-] Self-programmable media activism; just cheap talk?


I don't find new media communications (art making and receiving, for example) to be alienating. Perhaps, because in mapping the cultural terrain of my geographic location, I AM alienated.

There was an old computer about the house. Until yesterday, it was sitting in the cellar on a shelf, to which it retired after having been used by various family and friends. It is the machine on which people learned to operate a computer and the device that opened new worlds for each of its users. It's been an amazing process to record and to ponder.

One woman formed an online club for mothers and went on to finish her GED and acquire certification as a medical assistant. Another user, to whom I also passed along an old digital camera, learned to process and design images. His work recently won a photo contest and he loves his new hobby of documenting old industrial landmarks.

Yesterday, the computer went to a woman who will be 50 in March. She was a seamstress. When her factory closed, she became a baker for a supermarket chain. Her earnings are palty and her cost of living keeps increasing. During her recent visit, I introduced her to a computer. She visits to borrow print books from my library. I showed her ebooks and word processing. She got hooked and we set up the computer in her apartment yesterday.

This is hardly alienating. It is expanding experiences and learning for many in rural places who by circumstances (economic, social, cultural, etc ...) find themselves confined.

As to self-programmable media activism, have you been reading about so-called citizen journalists and their impact on Pennsylvania government? It is a fascinating case study. Essentially bloggers and podcasters brought about two historic changes in our political history.

Best to all,
Christine Goldbeck

----- Original Message ----- From: <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, November 28, 2005 3:26 PM
Subject: Re: [-empyre-] Self-programmable media activism; just cheap talk?

Christina Mcphee wrote...

" Still, are you saying that, beyond the self reflexive environment of the
list, that the live'ness - perhaps, the lived-ness,
of print media especially independent alternative press media, is still so
much a touchstone to the reality of physical
life: to touch / to read/ to hear/ to think/ to speak?.   The physical
presence of media made the hard way.  "

Yes, I am saying that...
I am wondering what we have lost by making digital media (as opposed to
more tacticle media made the hard way)  a (if
not the) central methodology in the activist/artist/media-practitioners
tool kit. Thinking like this may be antithetical
and counterhistorical, but I think it is an important question to ask. In
my post, and specifically, I touch on blogs vs
newspapers, because I have experience working in both media, but I think
these comparisons are legitimate  to make
between all older methodologies of social organizing and the new alienated
forms which have come
to replace them.

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