In my previous blog (Big Politics: The Fate of the State) I examined how shifts in media and technologies have caused changes to occur within government and large-organisations as a result. Thus, creating new communication techniques to emerge between political members and society, on a local and international level. In turn, this week’s blog will acknowledge similar concepts, but will explore how these shifts have created new ways of organising society by permitting a transversal form of collaboration and communication.
As new technologies and media continue to emerge, new ways of distribution are established between individuals and groups on a global scale, also resulting in shifts in the way society can be organised. For example, the rise of P2P (2013) (peer-to-peer) networks, which work by distributing workloads between peers and users, have given power to the public’s who use this form of media by allowing them to challenge the traditional “top-down” structure of government usually evident in large-scale politics and institutions – in turn, these networks operate as horizontal platforms for collaboration. Not only does this create virtual communities among these individuals networks as it brings people with similar objectives and interest together, but also allows the same people to work together in an open environment to achieve a collective goal – for example, a local community attempting to coordinate ideas on a local issue. What is evident here is a form of micropolitics – as each network community, they transverse established frames through open collaboration, as Thomas Jellis (2009) describes, “they involve experimentation and an openness to be experimental”.
Indymedia (the Independent Media Centre) is an example of a participatory network which operates by employing transversal forms of collaboration. They are, as their website describes: “a collective of independent media organisations and hundreds of journalists offering grassroots, non-corporate coverage. [It is] a democratic media outlet for the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate tellings of truth” (Indymedia 2013). Through using an open publishing process, they allow anyone to contribute. Furthermore, by operating as a global decentralised network they are able to transverse the procedure used by “top down” media organisations, allowing people to publish thier media as directly as possible under the shared values of honest reporting on social and political issues, working “for social, environmental and economic justice” (Indymedia Australia).
Conversely, as Douglas Rushkoff (2011) places forth, “the internet as built will always be subject to top-down government control and domination by the biggest corporations” due to commercial, technological and legal “choke points” as well as the ability for them to “turn it off and shut us out”. He clearly states that the internet is built on a fundamentally hierarchical architecture, controlled by big corporations and government. And this is evident in such scenarios where Egypt in 2010 shut off its networks to starve off revolution (Rushkoff 2011). However, I believe if micropolitics pushes forth, if society continue to work across media platforms in such progressive manners collectively, then maybe one day they will be able to stop the big boys from ruling the internet, through such excuses as “policy” and “law”.
I also believe this concept of micropolitics and the interaction of society on a collective level in working as a unit towards a communal goal will be useful for my final assignment. I believe I will be able to look at augmented reality art and, as mentioned in my previous blog (7) how society used new media in the Occupy Wall Street event as a means of protest.
Word: Social Organisations
Indymedia 2013, accessed 7 May 2013, <http://docs.indymedia.org/view/Global/FrequentlyAskedQuestions>.
Indymedia 2013, accessed 7 May 2013, <http://indymedia.org.au/about>.
Jellis, T, 2009, ‘Disorientation and micropolitics: a response’, Spacesof [aesthetic]experimentation, 19 November, accessed 7 May 2013, <http://www.spacesofexperimentation.net/montreal/disorientation-and-micropolitics-a-response/>.
P2P 2013, accessed 7 May 2013, <www.p2pfoundation.net>.
Rushkoff, D 2011, ‘The Evolution Will Be Socialized’, Shareable: Science & Tech, 2 July, accessed 7 May 2013, <http://www.shareable.net/blog/the-evolution-will-be-socialized>.