SMC300 - DIY Culture

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12 Apr 2012
Week 5 Lecture 4/9/2012 3:20:00 PM
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 agency
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
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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 abou content
fostering community
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
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
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
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