Alternative and activist new media by Leah Lievrouw

By Leah Lievrouw

Alternative and Activist New Media presents a wealthy and obtainable evaluation of the ways that activists, artists, and citizen teams worldwide use new media and knowledge applied sciences to achieve visibility and voice, current substitute or marginal perspectives, proportion their very own DIY details structures and content material, and differently withstand, speak again to, or confront dominant media tradition. this present day, a full of life and contentious cycle of trap, cooptation, and subversion of data, content material, and process layout marks the connection among the mainstream ‘center’ and the interactive, participatory ‘edges’ of media culture.
Five vital varieties of replacement and activist new media tasks are brought, together with the features that lead them to diversified from extra traditional media types and content material. The ebook strains the ancient roots of those tasks in substitute media, social routine, and activist artwork, together with analyses of key case experiences and hyperlinks to appropriate digital assets. Alternative and Activist New Media can be an invaluable addition to any direction on new media and society, and crucial for readers attracted to new media activism.

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The emerging media culture from the teens to the 1930s (a period made famous by the critic Walter Benjamin as the “age of mechanical reproduction”) grew up around radio and the wireless telegraph, illustrated newspapers and magazines, newsreels, propaganda, and marketing techniques, all of which were used to present the war with a new and disturbing immediacy, and consumer goods as the fulfillment of irresistible desires. Consequently the Dadaists rejected idealistic notions of “art for art’s sake” and transcendence, in favor of an “anti-art” stance that proclaimed art to be inseparable from the subjective experience of everyday life: “the implicit question the dadaists posed for themselves was how to reimagine artistic practice in this age of media and technological warfare” (Dickerman, 2005, p.

Social/political roots: social movement theory A second important resource for understanding contemporary alternative and activist new media projects is social movement theory, and particularly the emergence of new social movement theory and subsequent, related perspectives on collective action developed since the 1960s. , the women’s movement, gay rights, national/ 41 42 The Roots of Alternative and Activist New Media ethnic/language/ cultural/religious identity movements). Today, many of these elements have become hallmarks of global-scale movements against economic inequity, cultural domination, and political injustice.

The student revolt had flared first at Nanterre, in March 1968, before spreading to Paris and elsewhere in France in May and June. As we will see later in this chapter, Touraine was an important early proponent of new social movement theory. He recognized that the fundamental conflicts and dynamics of what he was the first to call postindustrial or “programmed” society were mainly knowledge-based and cultural. Touraine argued that in the changing post-war social context, actors’ subjectivity and self-expression would play a greater role in social change than the classic economic, institutional, or class relations and determinisms associated with industrial society – a shift that would spur the development of new social movements.

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