- “Gangnam Style, Azonto and the Cosmopolitan Remix” | Media in Transition 8: public media, private media abstracts and papers
Ethan Zuckerman: “Internet memes — humorous, remixable, amateur content designed for spread online — have attracted attention as an rapidly expanding space for political, personal and corporate expression. While the characteristic of a meme is that it is designed to be spread by the internet public, the cultural rootedness of memes place constraints on the ability of a particular expression to transcend the boundaries of a specific culture: the features of Kenyan internet superhero Makmende that made him spreadable within his home culture may have made him incomprehensible outside the Kenyan internet. The creation and release of memes into an internet that crosses cultural, national and linguistic borders raises questions about how meme authors and remixers concieve of their audience. As the daily newspaper invites us to imagine a body politic in Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities, does the dissemination of memes encourage us to imagine communities that share fundamental characteristics despite cultural differences? How does that imagined community correspond to the reality of communities that remix and spread content? Dance video parodies offer a rich space to explore these questions, as they spread across cultural borders in ways that both celebrate local internet culture and assert participation in a global phenomenon. Parody remixes of PSY’s Gangnam Style video suggest features of dance videos that allow remix across cultural lines. These same features invite corporate cooption of the memes, which may ultimately check their organic spread.”
- “On Murderous and Other Kinds of Rage: Mapping Participatory Culture in Digital India” | Media in Transition 8: public media, private media abstracts and papers
Aswin Punathambekar: “The past decade in India has been marked by a number of astonishing instances of popular participation intersecting with and reshaping a wider political field. The third season of Indian Idol, which saw fan mobilization for the two finalists influencing broader political movements in Northeast India, and the Pink Chaddi campaign designed to protest attacks on women pub-goers by a conservative, right-wing Hindu group, come to mind right away as two key cases that have attracted considerable attention. There has been significant academic commentary on such moments of political mobilization, with considerable attention devoted to the question: what constitutes meaningful participation? However, the discussion so far has been marked by a focus on the ‘political’ dimensions and the implications that such moments and zones of participation hold for our understanding of the tenets of normative political theory. Media and popular culture remain incidental to these analyses. In this paper, I attempt to redress this gap by examining two very distinct expressions of public sentiment (rage, in particular): one involving the issue of corruption and the nation-wide mobilization led by a politician, Anna Hazare; the other involving a film song (Why this kolaveri di / Why this murderous rage) that went on to become the most popular YouTube video of 2011. Tracing changing relations between the circulation of news/entertainment programming and mobile media, I argue that the link between participation and citizenship in contemporary India is to be found in the realm of ordinary, everyday media use.”
- “The ‘Mothership’ Goes Up the Amazon: What Does “Transmedia” Mean for Brazil?” | Media in Transition 8: public media, private media abstracts and papers
Henry Jenkins: “The term, “transmedia,” means simply “across media” and implies some kind of structured or systematic relationship between multiple media platforms and practices. Transmedia storytelling has been defined as representing “a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience. Ideally, each medium makes it own unique contribution to the unfolding of the story.” Transmedia combines multimodality with radical intertextuality: the term has evolved through ongoing conversations between academics, journalists, media makers, policy creators, and fans, around the world. As the transmedia impulse was absorbed into the existing Hollywood industry, what people have called the “west coast” or “mothership” model has defined this approach primarily in terms of mechanisms for engagement which merge aspects of promotion and storytelling in ways where content dispersed across other media platforms helps to drive audiences towards the core text — the “mothership” — most often a feature film or television series. Transmedia Producer Brian Clark contrasts this “mothership” approach with an “East Coast” model for transmedia strongly impacted by its ties to games, publishing, music, advertising, and independent media, again suggesting the localization of the content based on the structures and resources of dominant media industries. Yet, we could take this interest in “localization” a few steps further, focusing on the differences in how “transmedia” works in a commercial industry like Hollywood as opposed to in the context of “public service” media systems, such as those in Canada, England, or the European Union, where the production of transmedia is often shaped by government funding and cultural policy, and the goals are often directed towards education, enrichment, and social awareness. Most recently, the term has reached Brazil and other countries in Latin America. Using the entries from a recent transmedia competition, this paper will examine the ways that transmedia production reflects Brazil’s “hybrid” media economy, noted for public-private partnerships, and the ways transmedia has been deployed to bridge between the country’s diverse cultural traditions. Taken as a whole, this paper will explore how the concept of “transmedia” has diversified as it has spread across different national contexts.”
- “Music Without Borders: Globalization and its Contents” | Media in Transition 8: public media, private media abstracts and papers
Nancy Baym: “The rhetoric of piracy focuses on how the internet has increased unauthorized downloading, and the growing rhetoric surrounding streaming sites such as Spotify tends to focus on the small payments to musicians. Although these are serious concerns, this paper argues that the picture is more complicated by considering this phenomenon from musicians’ perspectives. Based on approximately 40 interviews with musicians from more than a dozen genres and seven countries, I show how these technologies have resulted in the internationalization of previously regional music audiences, bringing musicians indirect rewards both financial and personal. Musicians have found audiences in locations they never imagined they would, international booking has become significantly easier, and they have found revenue streams from international touring even when those populations have relied on unauthorized downloads to initially access the music. Furthermore, increased globalization has brought ephemeral rewards that increase the value of a career in music. These include travel, international friendship, and experience of the common language of music. Ultimately, I argue that these new global flows push us to reconsider piracy and streaming in social as well as economic terms, situating concerns about money within a broader understanding of what makes an artistic life worth living.
- “The Culture of Connectivity: A Critical History of Social Media” by Jose Van Dijck (2013)
Social media has come to deeply penetrate our lives: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and many other platforms define many of our daily habits of communication and creative production. The Culture of Connectivity studies the rise of social media in the first decade of the twenty-first century up until 2012, providing both a historical and a critical analysis of the emergence of major platforms in the context of a rapidly changing ecosystem of connective media. Such history is needed to understand how these media have come to profoundly affect our experience of online sociality. The first stage of their development shows a fundamental shift. While most sites started out as amateur-driven community platforms, half a decade later they have turned into large corporations that do not just facilitate user connectedness, but have become global information and data mining companies extracting and exploiting user connectivity. Author and media scholar Jose van Dijck offers an analytical prism to examine techno-cultural as well as socio-economic aspects of this transformation. She dissects five major platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and Wikipedia. Each of these microsystems occupies a distinct position in the larger ecology of connective media, and yet, their underlying mechanisms for coding interfaces, steering users, and filtering content rely on shared ideological principles. At the level of management and organization, we can also observe striking similarities between these platforms’ shifting ownership status, governance strategies, and business models. Reconstructing the premises on which these platforms are built, this study highlights how norms for online interaction and communication gradually changed. “Sharing,” “friending,” “liking,” “following,” “trending,” and “favoriting” have come to denote online practices imbued with specific technological and economic meanings. This process of normalization, the author argues, is part of a larger political and ideological battle over information control in an online world where everything is bound to become social. Crossing lines of technological, historical, sociological, and cultural inquiry, The Culture of Connectivity will reshape the way we think about interpersonal connection in the digital age.
- “Reshaping Public Space in a Culture of Connectivity” | Media in Transition 8: public media, private media abstracts and papers
Jose van Dijck: “Online sociality is increasingly dominated by major social media platforms (Facebook, YouTube/Google, Twitter) that share operational principles such as algorithms based on popularity rankings and the exploitation of (meta)data for predictive and real time analytics. In the top 100 of most popular websites, there are only two nonprofit platforms, most notably Wikipedia (number 6 in the Alexa rankings). The dominance of corporately owned and commercially run platforms in the evolving ecosystem of connective media is quickly changing the meanings of “social,” “public,” “community,” and “nonprofit”. The question whether Wikipedia can procure its position as a nonprofit platform in this overwhelmingly corporate ecosystem is quite relevant when it comes to determining what is left of the participatory culture that was enthusiastically welcomed six or seven years ago. Government regulators and NGOs have rightly defended the interests of individuals’ privacy against the pervasive power of social media and data industries. However, public space is much harder to defend as corporations like Google and others are gradually penetrating every inch of heretofore-public sectors: education, health care, public broadcasting, and so on. The penetration of online public space by corporate forces is even more urgent in Western-European societies, which traditionally have a much stronger public sphere than the United States. This lecture will address the question whether sustaining public and nonprofit space is possible in a culture of connectivity dominated by data corporations.
- “The Paradox Between Public Action and Private Control on Facebook and Google” | Media in Transition 8: public media, private media abstracts and papers
Jaigris Hodson: “Google and Facebook have become synonymous with social media and the participatory web. Selling the attention spans of internet users to advertisers using content almost entirely created by the labor of others, makes these organizations leaders in a media environment that is beginning to redefine the relationship between consumers (or prosumers), technology, and the modern digital organization (Drache 2007, Lessig 2008, Rainie and Wellman 2012, Castells 2010, Shirky 2010). This paper examines Google and Facebook blogs between 2006 and 2011. When taken together, the discourses from the Google and Facebook blogs illustrate a paradox which may be characteristic of many online participatory organizations; that is, there are indeed more opportunities for public participation in these organizations, but private corporate concerns mean that the large degree of citizen participation has not necessarily created the level playing field for which some scholars once hoped.”
- “Auto-biography: On the Immanent Commodification of Personal Information” by Kenneth C. Werbin | Media in Transition 8: public media, private media abstracts and papers
Kenneth C. Werbin: “In the last years, a series of automated self-representational social media sites have emerged that shed light on the information ethics associated with participation in Web 2.0. Sites like Zoominfo.com, Pipl.com, 123People.com and Yasni.com not only continually mine and aggregate personal information and biographic data from the (deep) web and beyond to automatically represent the lives of people, but they also engage algorithmic networking logics to represent connections between them; capturing not only who people are, but whom they are connected to. Indeed, these processes of ‘auto-biography’ are ‘secret’ ones that for the most part escape the user’s attention. This article explores how these sites of auto-biography reveal the complexities of the political economy of Web 2.0, as well as implicate an ethics of exposure concerning how these processes at once participate in the erosion of privacy, and at the same time, in the reinforcement of commodification and surveillance regimes.”
- “Digital Öffentlichkeit” by Dan Faltesek | Media in Transition 8: public media, private media abstracts and papers
Dan Faltesek: “In Louis Brandies’ famous quote “Sunlight is the best disinfectant” there is a nested theory of the public sphere: exposure of relevant facts to dialectical judgment is perhaps the best technique for achieving the public good. It is this idea, that exposure and debate might produce better decisions at work in what has come to be known as the public sphere. Much of what has come to characterize criticism of big data and surveillance relies on a conception of privacy that is at odds with a concept of publicity in public culture, which is problematic. This is particularly true when privacy, ownership, and control are elided into a single form of self-control. In this paper, I argue that in the way that interpersonal communication research has displaced privacy with self-disclosure (the groundbreaking work of Sandra Petronio). Media studies should dispense with privacy as a central concern and turn toward disclosure toward publicity (and thus rhetoric) as the grounding point for theory and criticism. Re-reading public sphere theory as being concerned with the procession of disclosures, debates, and networks that characterize social media offers important insights into how publics and counter-publics form, and their potential for using social media as a publicity mechanism.
- “Flashing Lights: Paparazzi Photography and Celebrity Overexposure” | /Media in Transition 8: public media, private media abstracts and papers
Brandeise Monk-Payton: “An important aspect of the production and consumption of celebrity culture is the desire to access the remainder or residual quality of the star that is not usually within the public’s grasp. Therefore the allure of celebrity becomes predicated on an epistemological quandary. How do we come to know the star? Allan Sekula attests to the “higher truth of the stolen image” through the candid photograph. Particularly in contemporary celebrity culture, the harbinger of such photographs is the paparazzi. This paper theorizes the intersections between the informal practices of ‘street’ paparazzi (sometimes known in extreme cases as stalkerazzi) and celebrity overexposure. Overexposure is a concept that makes apparent how the flashing lights of the camera can be considered an imposition on the star, an excess of publicity that manifests itself as a crisis in celebrity (re)presentation. On February 16, 2007, a seemingly innocuous visit to the hair salon resulted in pop star Britney Spears’ complete shaving of her head apparently undeterred by the system of celebrity in place that regulates her image and brand. The paparazzi, visually complicating the divide between public and private acts, were present and recorded this instance of star defilement through the windows of the establishment, exposing crisis as a fundamental element of celebrity culture. This paper analyzes the paparazzi’s photographic documentation and the media’s circulation of Britney’s spontaneous performance of the ruin of the star body, arguing that the images produced from this moment seem to paradoxically emphasize that it is precisely Spears’ literal removal of the traces of her celebrity that becomes the validation of her “truth” and status as an overexposed affective and affected laboring subject of stardom under the public eye and publicity’s glare.”
- Azonto Gangnam Style – Ghana Style – Zigi (African Parody) – YouTube
African Parody of PSY’s Gangnam Style (Azonto Version)
Download here http://www.hulkshare.com/b3xbv4wkiark