SMC300 Cheat Sheet - Week 5

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12 Apr 2012
Week 5 Death of Middleman, DIY
Shifts in production and distribution, culture, media, news, info
Different way of thinking about content people produce and share through social
networks, not merely interactions or data being mined but as form of cultural
production/creative output
Idea that culture increasingly interactive and customized implies activity and
Gauntlett reveals linkages btwn user created content and DIY culture… both in terms
of the ways in which crafters and DIY communities use social networking and online
tools to connect and amplify activities, and producing digital content itself can be kind
of DIY, craft and creativity
Expanded definition of creativity: everyday creativity refers to a process which
brings together at least one active mind, and material/digital world, in activity of
making something which is novel in that context, a process evoking feeling of joy
Arts and crafts
Uncovering links to prior movements practices, where handmade and smateur
produced cultural artifacts were central (making and consuming)… post-
industrialization/rise of mass-produced goods
Important continuities between digital and physical
Not all online and offline creations share same traditions and properties but many do
Gauntlett encourages to move beyond discussing form to think about processes
involved… creativity, making connections, sharing, learning, building social capital
Examine as more than tech, other traditions and practices to consider, alternate history
within which to contextualize much of current interest
i.e. Ele Carpenter’s Open Source Embroidery project highlights overlaps between
embroidery and computer node, including tradition of open source sharing of how
artifact was made
Gauntlett - making digital content is like craft in the tinkering, weaving, from the ground
up experience of making something; maker imprints some of character upon work and
audience sense presence
Web 2.0 led to massive explosion in production and sharing of content and connection,
digital creative platforms (YouTube), web apps encourage to make and share things not
often specific tools but broad platforms, stage for creative perf Gauntlett
3 characteristics of digital creative platforms
framework for participation/ agnostic about content/ fostering community
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digital storefronts
within and alongside amateur production = professional or aspiring creators striving to
connect with audience and markets
DIY id politics
All makers of culture but also consumers, audiences… performed in parallel
3rd dimension of DIY + SNS, changes role as consumer… independently produced,
handmade, ethical, non-traditional/mass goods
Gauntlett making yourself, buy local, popularity of craft fairs, ethical consumption,
identity/performance issues, rough and blurred movements
immaterial labour; modern labour in time/effort not outcome, alienated from
products -> artisan models where work not rationalized but outcome is key
if everyone has means of production and distribution, control no longer special
privileges (+ setting prices), middleman but also financier, promoter… who now
determines value of cultural artifacts?
Rise of Indie; trends ambiguous and complex, unique market structure and traditional
production models
Clear tensions with free culture and p2p, industry push back and lack of sustainability
Trend towards independent production flows, indie as corporate ethos and alternative
models in response to shifts in power/norms
Micro-financing and crowdfunding
Kickstarter success crowdfunding + Amazon… creator keep rest, all creative
control and ownership… Indie Game movie support from online community,
campaigns, raise 200% of goal
We are all producers
Rise of curator
Shirky: media industries got to exert considerable control over media and extract
revenues from public historically in exchange for helping overcome complex problems
with distributing content from creators to consumers
Now problems of production, reproduction and dist less serious, professionals no
longer as much control, everyone media outlets
Clearly still need for sorting through content, rely on networks, tools provided in SNS to
file, sort and stream (sub, playlist, bookmark, tag)
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