Hi, this is Jeremiah. This course is my first foray into civic media making and I’m excited to learn from and with what I can already tell is a highly engaged and experienced group. My background is in philosophy and literature and languages. I lived in Hamburg for 5 years as an English teacher and translator and continue to translate remotely today. I came to the New School to become a filmmaker and as I enter my last semester, I’ve begun to think more about media in relation to social control and political agency.
For me it started with wanting to rethink how we distribute media work as old models are on the verge of collapse. At the same time I’ve noticed the miraculous trend toward a return to the real from the virtual and through it as a global cultural phenomenon manifested in revolutions and revolutionary movements, but also in the general consensus sweeping the planet that real friends are better than facebook friends. I see this as the future: rather than representing an alternative to living in the real world, the virtual will continue to evolve toward returning us to the theater of everyday life, to the streets. Because media consumption is a social organizer, this whole process lends itself to political agitation, organization and revolution: Carrot Mob is a prototype of this kind of organization (social networking after all, is a type of media creation/consumption/distribution).
Sometimes I watch football games (especially this time of year) on TV and there are those great aerial shots of the stadium of 80,000 people and I think to myself how amazing it is to gather all these people to participate in this activity, and then there’s all of us at home, who in addition to the big game, are there to consume the Bud Light play of the game and the Doritos halftime report. Concerts are the same deal. So when I watch this stuff, I’m propping up a system of social organization that sustains our corporatocracy, which in turn decides what exactly I’m allowed to see and hear and who makes it. But the only reason this happens is that they are able to fulfill our basic human need to consume media because they control the means of distribution. It is because this system of distribution is falling apart that I have so much hope in the revolution(s). The more we develop our own distribution pathways as media makers, the more control we have over what kind of society we live in.
I am interested in bottom up consciousness, that is, consciousness that evolves out of an existence precedes essence perspective. If we can make art that people like and we can get it to them in a way that is independent of corporate channels and simultaneously widely available, we can create new behavior without first having to persuade or educate anyone about ideology.
I imagine there are like minded people out there and I look forward to working out these thoughts with you and maybe together we can think of how to move this abstract philosophy into the real world.