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RjDj and the rise of ‘reactive’ music.

As our daily interactions are increasingly affected by the use of mobile wireless devices and technologies, new media seems to become more reactive to our actual environment. Is there an attributable value of our environment to the means of cultural production, consumption and distribution through the use of new media technologies?

The futuristic thought by critical media thinker and researcher Rob van Kranenbug in ‘the Internet of Things’ that “iPods will display colours and produce sounds that correspond to your surroundings”[1] has now been actualized with the rise of RjDj, the ‘reactive’ music player.

Last week I attended the Music and Bits conference, where Reality Jockey Ltd. demonstrated their RjDj application and shared their idea of using unique sensory data, generated by the user and the environment as an input for  ‘experiencing’ music. According to the speakers Andy en Martin the experience of music has changed:”Everything is Music”. The application, released in 2008, uses the audible input acquired by the iPhone headset or microphone for the reactive (re)creation of sound.


RjDj directly applies effects to its input, by which a unique piece of audio is created. This piece can be recorded and uploaded to the website, where users can also create a profile and share their recordings. Unique audible moments are captured, stored and shared, by the use of reactive compositions that are called ‘scenes’.

“Scenes have a different musical structure than traditional compositions and they often have no clear beginning and end. Some scenes promote active listener involvement and others promote passive listening. In any case, when listening to RjDj, take care and enjoy your mind twisting hearing sensations.”[2]

There is a variety of free scenes available and there are paid scenes as well. Nonetheless, how these scenes are being created is much more interesting. RjDj gives the opportunity to create scenes by providing a composers pack that contains tools for creating a scene and share it with the RjDj community, which allows composers to experiment with this new ‘reactive’ music genre that RjDj is promoting and advocating.

However, the ‘genre’ is in a clearly in a very early stage. For me, using RjDj indeed is a ‘twisting’ hearing sensation, that went beyond synthesizer plug-ins or simple soundboards. It made me excited to think about music in a much less constrained way. Arguably referring to RjDj as an emerging music experience is much more suiting than calling it a new ‘music’ genre.

As our environment has become more influential to the production, consumption and distribution of culture, it is satisfying to notice a movement in the music ecosystem whereby the issues surrounding ‘intellectual property rights’ simply tend to fade and music experiences that are being created by the use new media technologies can be ‘fun’ again.

“Join the augmented music revolution”!

Visit the Rjdj website
Download the free RjDj iPhone application
Listen to a recording that I’ve uploaded

Sources
[1] Rob van Kranenburg. The Internet of Things: A Critique of Ambient Technology and the All-Seeing Network of RFID. Amsterdam: INC, 2007
[2] RjDj, What the heck is RjDj?

Interpassivity on Facebook

Social networks give online opportunities to construct social connections, stay in touch with our friends and create/share user-generated content. They are characterized by interactivity; users are capable to react to each others’ actions. However, as our connections grow, our interactivity inherently might not. Therefore the question arises: what role does passivity play in social networks?

At first sight this may be a personal question; we all have our own way of interacting in these networks and maintaining our social connections. However, as our presence and absence in social networks plays an increasingly important role in our ‘real’ social lives, it might be good to take a look at some ways social networks allow users to be passive instead of being active. I will specifically focus on Facebook, but first let’s have a look at an alternative perspective on interactivity.

Interpassivity
In ‘The Interpassive Subject’, the Slovenian sociologist, philosopher and cultural critic, Slavoj Žižek terms ‘interpassivity’ as an opposing concept to interactivity. Not only new media objects, but every form of media, gives the subject (the user) the sense of interactivity. However, Žižek argues that the object is active instead of the subject, who’s passive. He states that with interactivity a false activity occurs: ’you think you are active, while your true position, as it is embodied in the fetish, is passive’. Žižek refers to the Marxist notion of commodity-fetishism to imply that social relations are increasingly reduced to objects (Žižek, 1998).

To clarify interpassivity, Žižek uses an example of someone who lets the VCR record movies, without watching them and feeling profoundly satisfied about it. He lets the VCR ‘enjoy’ the film for him as it were. The VCR watches movies on behalf of the user. From this perspective, the VCR is a medium of symbolic registration, which he calls in Lacanian terms ‘The Big Other’ (Žižek, 1998: p7). This is a clear example where an object literally takes over activities from the user.

On the other hand Žižek also describes a form of interpassivity where substitution takes place; all kinds of emotions can be moved from a subject to an object (Žižek 1998: p4). To illustrate this substituted interpassivity, Žižek uses the example of a television-show with ‘canned laughter’ to indicate that the object can influence the subject before interaction can take place. The subject’s laughter is pre-mediated as it where. The subject can experience the same emotion without laughing, because the laughing is substituted by the television. In this case Žižek would call the subject’s interpassivity ‘laughing trough the Other’.

Žižek’s interpassivity is based upon a situation where an individual seems or feels active but is instead passive trough substitution or the assigning of activities to an object. However, social networks contain a lot of individuals that are connected to others trough the same object. How does the notion of interpassivity translate in the use of Facebook?

Newsfeed
Facebook is known for its newsfeed system: a list of friends’ updates that displays on the main page. The newsfeed consist of updates by individual users who are aware that their friends may not even read their updates, because the newsfeed is time-bound. Besides, it’s very likely that the users do not have their Facebook startpage opened constantly, which means that they can easily miss messages. Weather you open the page or not, Facebook receives everybody’s status update for you and you’re able to read the updates later. Thus, the newsfeed system can be perceived as a symbolic registration system like the VCR used in Žižek’s example; as the user doesn’t read his friends’ updates, Facebook does.

Highlights and email notifications
Facebook users might not always be able to see every link, photo or video that every other user submits on their profile page. This is why on the right side of the page there are ‘highlights’ to see what posts other friends reacted to. This way Facebook will actively show things that might be of interest to the users. The same goes for email notifications from inbox messages. You don’t have to constantly check your Facebook inbox, as you receive a link in your email when you receive a new message. Facebooks’ (default) active way of notifying users allow them to be passive, while the notifications itself can lead to reactions.

Substituted sociality and interpassive social enhancement
It’s harsh, but I think it’s quite possible for (real) social relations to become substituted interpassively on Facebook. While users are communicating with their online friends, their social communication in the ‘physical’ world can become less important to them. I’d argue that friendships can turn into a more passive one trough an interpassive sociality that occurs on Facebook. However, on the contrary, people that do care more about their ‘real’ social life, rather than about their digital one, can join Facebook, which allows them to still connect to people who are using it more actively than they are. Even if they do not like to use the service or visit the site often. Facebook is able to enhance their social lifes by making it possible for other users to connect to them, while personally they’re not actively involved on Facebook at all.

The ‘like’ button
If you like something, you can click on the ‘like’ button beneath an update, to show everyone that you do. I’d argue that this is also a case of substitution, where the ‘liking’ something is actively expressed by Facebook, while the passive user doesn’t have to literally express the emotion. The user ‘likes it trough Facebook’, which applies to Žižek’s idea of being or acting through the Other.

Conclusion
Facebook is a new media object that allows users to interact with each other, but I’d say that this interactivity is overrated; in many cases Facebook users seem more active than they really are. Facebook is often ‘active’ for its passive users. Žižek’s notion of interpassivity challenges and encourages us to think about how ‘active’ our interactions with new media objects really are. And as we have seen, they allow us to be interpassive too.

Sources
The Interpassive Subject. Slavoj Žižek. Centre Georges Pompidou. Paris, Traverses. 1998.

The Habermasian implications of the Twittersphere

Blogosphere’, ‘Twittersphere’, ‘Afrosphere’. We’re gradually getting used to a new media terminology whereby we quickly refer to new communication spaces and specified fields as ‘spheres’. As the Twittersphere is still rapidly growing, we might want to look back at Habermas’ classic concept of the ‘public sphere’, which was one of the earliest common ‘spheres’ to refer to.

Twitter, the insanely popular micro-blogging service, which makes it possible to reach every other user in real time with short message of 140 characters, can be seen as a new powerful way of many-to-many communication. It promptly sends out your message to the world, you’re given a voice, others can ‘raise’ your voice by ‘retweeting’, in other words repeating your message in their own user-network  and your messages can reach anyone who enters corresponding words in their Twitter-search query. Twitter is part public, and part private. What does it imply, when we compare the Twittersphere to Habermas’ public sphere?

Public sphere
Jürgen Habermas, is a German philosopher and sociologist that’s well known for his work on the concept of the public sphere in ‘The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere’, which was originally written in 1962. Habermas defined the public sphere itself as a place where the private bourgeoisies come together and form a public to discuss, engage in critical-rational-debate and form a public opinion[1]. In the eighteenth century economical developments had a lot of influence on the (reading) bourgeoisies in Great Britain, France and Germany. They started to come together in coffee houses and salons to reason in rational-critical-debate and moved discussions about literature and art from their private environments to public places. This revealed their importance to the decision making of power state in the eighteenth century, while in the nineteenth century their separate discussions and debates became institutionalized within the European bourgeois constitutional states. The public sphere was important to generate critical discourse that influenced political actions of the state [2].

“In its clash with the arcane and bureaucratic practices of the absolutist state, the emergent bourgeoisie gradually replaced a public sphere in which the ruler’s power was merely represented before the people with a sphere in which state authority was publicly monitored through informed and critical discourse by the people” [3].

Contempory relevance
Although the bourgeois public sphere in its contemporary form wasn’t everlasting, as the state and society became more merged over time [4], the concept of the public sphere still remains a relevant paradigm when looking at new digital spheres were people come together. The twittersphere, for that matter has some interesting similarities to Habermas’ concept of the public sphere. Twitter is a public place that’s outside of the control by the state, it allows individuals to exchange views and knowledge, also allow individuals to share critical points of view, and finally is a space were public-minded rational consensus can be developed.

A very recent example is the quick response to a new policy plan from Buma/Stemra. On the 1st of October Buma/Stemra, two Dutch private organizations that collect and distribute remunerations for Dutch music artist, revealed their plan for fining Dutch bloggers who embed copyrighted music(videos). As a result a lot of users on Twitter started posting furious reactions, which later resulted in a petition, a crowd-sourced letter and ultimately a statement against Buma/Stemra’s plan by the political party CDA [5]. This example shows that the Twittersphere can act as a public sphere where contemporary critical discourse can rapidly emerge and influence political action. However, no final decision to reject or refine the plan has been made.

Criticism
It’s also important to note that Habermas’ concept of the public sphere also received a lot of criticism. There are people who argue that the public sphere, a place for pure rational independent debate, never really existed [4]. The ‘public’ will never be accessible to ‘everyone’. In that respect, Twitter doesn’t come close. There are still people who don’t use Twitter, people who cannot use it because of the digital divide, and people who keep their tweets private. Then again, the Twittersphere is a unique sphere that surely can remotely influence political actions by users who elaborate their view and knowledge to a large public, and form a public opinion. But is the Twittersphere really a suitable place for debating?

Aphorisms
Twitter might quickly pick up public discourses, for example in the Buma/Stemra case, but in terms of debating, Buma/Stemra’s absence on Twitter shows that the real debate on the subject is going to take place elsewhere. Twitter is probably more suited to amplify discourses by any individual who can make aphoristic statements about particular themes: Short original subjective or observational thoughts which are easy to remember [6]. These aphorisms can be retweeted a lot and thereby reach a greater amount of people. This can lead to a community with the same opinion. However, I’d argue that the Twittersphere is actually limited for critical independent debate because of its swift, short messages, which don’t allow greater reasoning. Besides, when a public opinion is formed, it’s fragmented (on Twitter itself) which makes it more difficult to respond centrally if you don’t agree with it.

Conclusion
Twitter marks the digital era where we can all use our voices to reach the (Twitter) public with our views and knowledge and thereby engage in contemporary discourses, which might eventually influence political action. However, not everyone is on Twitter or committed to such endeavors; Twitter obviously can be used in many ways. Then again Twitter does bring together a large amount of people with the same interests and therefore makes it possible to generate a group of people surrounding a particular concern. However, Twitter is more suitable to amplify public debate then hosting the debate itself. The concept of Habermas’ public sphere may seem outdated, but it surely has left its traces in new media spheres like the Twittersphere. It’ll be interesting to keep track of the influence of Twittersphere on contemporary discourses in society and political actions. In the (near) future it might be possible that this spherical influence of Twitter will be applied in a more fixed way.

Sources
[1] http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/public/summary.html
[2] http://www.smartmobs.com/2007/11/05/habermas-blows-off-question-about-the-internet-and-the-public-sphere/
[3] The structural transformation of the public sphere, Jürgen Habermas, 1991
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C3%BCrgen_Habermas
[5] http://mastersofmedia.hum.uva.nl/2009/10/02/embedded-video-can-cost-you-a-lot-in-holland/
[6] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aphorism

Digital activism: using social media to change to world

Online social media nowadays seem like perfect tools for initiating social change in the world. Anyone with a certain goal in mind can reach large groups of individuals, spread awareness, raise a fund and get people to feel involved. Social media like Facebook, Twitter and blogs are popular tools for ‘digital activism’. However, it requires some understanding to turn digital actions into real ones.

Thousands of people join Facebook groups, make donations to support ‘Causes’, change their Twitter avatar, add a badge or gadget to an online profile or just simply get a message across their relations within a social network. These are just some of the countless examples where individual users seem to be digitally empowered to make changes in the world and collectively form an argument to change public debate. But are they really empowered?

Digital activism is still evolving; social media sites have discovered that by facilitating the clustering of individual users that are interested in the same social issues, they could play an important role in digital activism. Although by only bringing people together, the ‘world’ obviously doesn’t change instantly. It takes more than that.

Twitter for Iran, Slacktivism, green avatar

An important distinction needs to be made between ‘slacktivism’ and activism. ‘Slacktivist’, formed out of ‘slacker’ and ‘activist’, is a term that stands for an individual that is supporting a social cause with no or little practical effect, except  for the satisfaction the person feels by doing so [1]. A recent example is the green avatar overlay on Twitter during the 2009 Iran election. By adding the overlay you could show that you supported democracy in Iran [2]. Despite of it being an exciting idea and many people following, one could argue that it was rather a useless act.

Users of social media can be quite self-indulgent. Even when they have no or little knowledge about a certain issue, they might still follow others in a ‘slacktivist’ activity because it does not only makes them feel, but also look ‘good’ and thereby shaping their online identity[3].

However, there are a lot of foundations, NGO’s or non-profit organizations that use online social media to support their campaigns, in addition to offline hands-on actions; talking to (local) authorities, negotiating, suggesting and implementing concepts that create better conditions for people or nature. In other words, effectively making changes supported by digital activism. Not only by using online social media to make people aware of social issues, but also by letting them know exactly know how they could (collectively) effectively act upon them.

Social media researcher Dana Boyd argues that skeptics shouldn’t underestimate the power of social media to bring large groups of people together surrounding particular concerns [2]. I’d like to add that social media can become useful to activism when there is a clear dialogue between online and offline action. In order for users of social media to become more actively involved in campaigns, clear guidelines are needed. An interested user might be passive at first, but may eventually turn into someone taking real action. It’s up to campaign rallyers to create or use an online environment where social media effectively is being used to support their (offline) actions by giving users clear opportunities to become more active. Thus, activism shouldn’t be replaced by digital activism. Instead, it should co-exist and form a powerful combination.

Currently, there’s an online project (in which I am involved) called Rumana’s Sweatsoap initiated by the Dutch foundation Schone Kleren Campagne (Clean Clothes Campaign) that uses social media to spread awareness about working conditions in the garment industry in Bangladesh. Next to the social media services they use (Facebook, Hyves and Twitter), a blog is the heart of the project.

On the blog, a young Bangladeshi woman called Rumana shares her real (factory-) life story. (It’s in Dutch, for they want to reach Dutch people and make them realize who could be producing their clothes and under which conditions.) People can follow and share her narrative using social media, but they also choose to become more actively involved by visiting the blog and viewing the guidelines to do so. It’s a good example of an online campaign where interested people do not have to be actively involved, but if they want to they can easily choose to support SKC’s actions. Besides that, the blog allows the users to contact Rumana by asking her questions, which can be seen as a personal method of individual involvement; moving further away from slacktivists, who are only concerned with themselves.

It might be interesting to research how different social media services currently embed (possible) digital activism within their networks and how they could do this more constructively. Is there an effective way to separate ‘slacktivism’ from ‘activism’? Would that convince more people they actually have the ability to change things and act upon social issues globally? With digital activism still evolving, social media companies and campaign rallyers are challenged to think about their opportunities and possibilities to create platform for effective change.

Links
DigiActive
Rumana’s Sweatsoap (Dutch)

Sources
[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slacktivism
[2] The trouble with Slacktivism. Marcia Stepanek, The PopTech blog, 24-09-09
[3] From slacktivism to activism. Evgeny Morozov, Foreign policy, 09-05-09

White lies and orange experts: WikiTrust

For a long time, online encyclopedia Wikipedia has been criticized for not being a fully reliable source; anyone is able to edit the encyclopedia anonymously, dis- and misinformation can be posted and might even persist. There is no consistent given indication of reliability. However, starting this fall, the ‘WikiTrust’ feature could have a great impact on the trustworthiness of Wikipedia.

WikiTrust is a system created by UCSC Wiki Lab researchers that should indicate how trustworthy Wikipedia contributions are, by assigning different shades of orange as background color to new or edited texts. Its’ algorithms calculates the authors’ reputation; if the authors’ contributions are preserved or built upon he or she gains reputation, and if they are deleted or edited swiftly he or she loses reputation. The shade of orange is derived from the author’s reputation; the lighter the shade of orange, the more likely the author is to be trusted (see some screenshots here). When users view a page and do not edit or delete the authors’ text, they do contribute ‘trust’ to the author. This way information on a page that persists is more likely to be accurate and reliable and edits from unreliable sources might be noticed faster.

Actually the WikiTrust software isn’t new at all.  It has been an extension for MediaWiki since November 2008. People that run their own wiki with MediaWiki are able to make use of the this extension for free.  Also the Wikimedia Foundation has already demoed WikiTrust a couple of times. But at any moment this fall the researchers expect the (demo) feature to be added to the entire encyclopedia. Registered users will soon have the option to turn on the ‘trust info’ tab on and view the colored text to find out more about the reliability of (the edits on) a page.

The Wikipedia community never really like the worth ‘truth’. As the WikiTrust wiki states: Of course, the algorithms implemented in WikiTrust cannot discover “truth”, and cannot discover false information when all editors and visitors agree with it. The concept is based on consensus. That’s nothing new under the sun. Nevertheless, WikiTrust revolves around trusting the information on Wikipedia. With this system users are perhaps given a reason to have more general trust in Wikipedia. Why wouldn’t people ‘trust’ pages containing errors and misinformation? Probably the majority of users use Wikipedia very swiftly and does not bother about the authors’ reputation. WikiTrusts’ algorithms might be able to mark dis- and misinformation as trustworthy, if the author has a high reputation and nobody bothers about editing or deleting that certain contribution. Nonetheless, an author will always start with a low reputation; even if you are truly and expert on a specific field of study, your first entries won’t give you a high reputation, no matter how knowledgeably your contribution is.

Despite the good intentions of making Wikipedia a more reliable source, there already are skeptics that don’t believe WikiTrust will make a positive difference. A number of critical questions that could possibly arise:  Does WikiTrust really improve Wikipedias’ reliability through authors’ reputation, or does it enable dis-and misinformation over time to be perceived as credible information by the (actions of the) crowd? Will this system separate the expert from the ‘lying amateur’, or will it instead keep experts from participating, for they’ll all have the same reputation as the ‘lying amateurs’ in the beginning?

Not far from now the WikiTrust software will be implemented on the entire encyclopedia. It’ll be very interesting to keep track of the impact it will have. Will it be used often? And if so, are the users aware of their influence on the authors’ reputation? Should they be? Can the authors’ reputation be misguiding? Only time will tell.  And ‘time’ itself will become a more and more important factor to improve the reliability of Wikipedia.

Download The WikiTrust Firefox add-on (demo)
Read Wired: Wikipedia to Color Code Untrustworthy Text, 31-08-09
Visit The official WikiTrust wiki

Review of Inherent Vice: Bootleg Histories of Videotape and Copyright – Lucas Hilderbrand

In his latest book: Inherent Vice: Bootleg Histories of Videotape (2009) Lucas Hilderbrand explores the analog past of video nostalgically, and shows its importance and relevance to (new) media studies. Hilderbrand mainly focuses on the aesthetic, cultural and legal impact of the analog videotape era to create a refreshing view of the analog past’s heritage to the digital age.

The first chapter describes the industrial, legal and cultural history of videotape. It revolves around the desire of access, what he terms ‘aesthetics of access’. The second chapter offers case three studies, which is followed by an epilogue about YouTube.

The new media ‘revolution’ obviously didn’t start with the Internet; it started a long time ago with video. When analog videotape and VCRs were introduced and marketed to consumers in the seventies, they were able to record every television show they wanted, watch it later (called timeshifting), skip the commercials and more importantly create a bootleg. Although there were a lot of U.S. court cases in which the recording without permission from the rights owner was questioned, analog video had loose regulations.

Hilderbrand often refers to the famous Betamax case, in which Universal and Disney sued Sony for selling copyright infringing technology. Courts’ decision resulted in the existence the Fair Use policy, whereby timeshifting was considered to be a fair use. Sony couldn’t be held responsible for the inappropriate use of their machines.

Hilderbrand argues that the ‘fair use’ policy emerged from the consumers’ right to access, which over time turned into a defense for infringing copyright. Instead, according to Hilderbrand ‘fair use’ should be considered as a way to document history, personalize texts (audio/visual narratives) and distribute rare works. The way the audience accessed, altered and watched analog video should support this idea.

In the eighties Hollywood, bootleggers and the pornographic industry had discovered the potential benefits of VHS. Hollywood founded a new market instead of turning against it, bootleggers copied and distributed rare works and pornography was a widespread phenomenon.

Bootlegging a videotape isn’t just duplicating video. Hilderbrand argues there’s an aesthetic value added. With each bootleg, the audience becomes aware of its degeneration. Lines and glitches appear, the image can become blurred and the sound can change. This contributes to the video experience and can make it more personal. This is what Hilderbrand means by ‘personalizing text’.

Personally, I would have like it if Hilderbrand had addressed ‘remixing’ more clearly, not especially in the context of ‘personalized text’, but rather throughout the whole book. When I read that some VCRs had the possibility (through dubbing) to add a different soundtrack to the videotape, I coulnd’t help to relate it to the personalized music videos that today are everywhere on the web. In the digital age we’re almost constantly personalizing texts. While perhaps not mentioning remixing enough, Hilderbrand does however mention Creative Commons, but not necessarily as a fair alternative to Copyright when it comes to ‘personalizing’ texts.

He does illustrates ‘personalized text’ itself by using two splendid examples: A short experimental movie called Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (Todd Haynes, 1989) and Joanie 4 Jackie (Miranda July – 1995), which is a feminist tape-sharing network.

Hayne’s Superstar is a film where the pop star Karen Carpenter is portrayed as a miserable anorectic Barbie doll that is influenced by “the media”, and contains the soundtrack by Richard Carpenter. Consider it a cult classic. It has been popular for being ‘banned’ due to the use of unauthorized material and for the way it circulated in the audience.

In both examples video tapes were being bootlegged, altered and distributed. However, the Joanie 4 Jackie project made it possible to share and deal with interconnected issues. Joanie 4 Jackie was a project in which women distributed chain letter video tapes in their network, adding footage to it when they receive the videotapes. While the Joanie 4 Jackie project ran in a determined social network, Superstar was distributed through personal connections. It could appear anywhere, in any altered version. Both case studies illustrate how the access to video has changed. Viewers turned into users of video.

The third case study (which is the first one in the book) is about the Vanderbilt Television News Archive. The VTNA was founded in 1968 by Paul Simpson. He approached the Vanderbilt University with the idea that he wanted to archive the news from ABC, CBS and NBC. CBS sued him for copyright infringement while the VTNA was part of their organization. However, eventually it was considered as an archive worth to preserve. It is a remarkable initiative that shows need to preserve cultural (video) history. Today the archive digitally still isn’t fully available to everyone.

Digital video as opposed to analog videotape has often more restrictions and more levels of mediation; videos might be locked with a DRM technology or are uploaded to the web from a mobile device and lose quality through compression. In the epilogue Hilderbrand analyses digital video on the post-broadcasting community website YouTube. He thinks YouTube is important for replaying pop-culture memory, but it’s limited, because of its fleeting access; video can disappear fast when the copyright owners has asked to take it down. It remains a matter of time and control.

Hilderbrand concludes that copyright should serve the public good; instead of using copy-prevention strategies for market purposes, we should look for a fair way to archive and preserve media. Copyright namely endangers the preservation of cultural memory.

Inherent Vice is an interesting read for everyone who’s involved with (new) media studies; it reminded me to be aware of mediation, the possible differences in accessing media, the aesthetic value of a format and the importance of the preservation of cultural memory. First I focused more on the music industry when I studied copyright’s survival, but now video tape has opened my eyes to an important history that could possibly change the future access to media content.

Lucas Hilderbrand is Assistant Professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of California, Irvine.

Hilderbrand, Lucas ‘Inherent Vice: Bootleg Histories of Videotape and Copyright’, Duke University Press, 2009


Links
Official book page at Duke University Press
Interview with Lucas Hilderband by Chicagoist.com
watch: Superstar: a Karen Carpenter Story
Joanie 4 Jackie
Vanderbilt Television News Archive


About Me

Marc Stumpel is a new media researcher, blogger and producer.

He holds a MA degree in New Media and Culture from the University of Amsterdam (2009-2010).

His main research interest is the antagonism within the political and economic dimensions of digital culture, especially in relation to social media.

Being a privacy/user-control advocate, he is concerned with the development of alternative social networking spaces and techniques. He is involved in the FB Resistance project and has written his master’s dissertation the Politics of Social Media, focussing on control and resistance in relation to Facebook.

He also holds the degree: Bachelor of Communication & Multimedia Design, Business & Organization Interactive Media at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam, specialization project management (2005-2009).

Marc is also a musician and producer under the alias of Zuurstof.

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