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<nettime-ann> OurFloatingPoints 4: Participatory Media :: Ulises Mejias
Turbulence on Wed, 28 Feb 2007 19:28:18 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime-ann> OurFloatingPoints 4: Participatory Media :: Ulises Mejias and Trebor Scholz

Emerson College and New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc./Turbulence.org

OurFloatingPoints 4: Participatory Media: Ulises Mejias and Trebor Scholz: 
"The Challenges and Affordances of Participation in the Age of Networked

DATE: February 28, 7 pm
VENUE: Emerson College, Bordy Theater, 216 Tremont Street, Boston 
Streamed live online and broadcast to Second Life! 
Free and open to all!

This Floating Points event will start with Ulises Mejias and Trebor Scholz
both presenting their positions about opportunities and problems with
participation in sociable web media. They will then discuss each others
argumentation and end with a debate open to the public at large. 

The sheer scale of current networked sociality demonstrates the potential of
sociable web media to democratize society through emerging cultures of broad
participation. While phenomena like information overload accompanied the
emergence of communication technologies for a very long time, this current
social turn is new. Millions of people can now perform themselves as
speakers, which is more pertinent than the question of quality or even
political orientation of the produced content. In his presentation, titled
"The Participatory Challenge," Trebor Scholz will investigate the
affordances of sociable web media by looking at examples of the different
intensities and motivations for participation in sociable web media and
their effects. 

Is production the new consumption? In "Networked participation: Wisdom of
crowds or stupidity of masses?" Ulises Mejias will assess whether sociable
web media can live up to its promise of reinvigorating the public sphere.
While participatory networks are certainly posing an alternative to the ways
in which the old mass media generates and disseminates messages, there is
increasing skepticism about their ability to transform this aggregation of
(mostly self-referential) information into meaningful social change.
Furthermore, participatory media networks run the risk of being appropriated
by the same mass media networks that contribute to the alienation of the
individual within society. To understand why this is happening, we need to
engage in a critique of the network as a model for organizing social
realities. Only then will we be able to conceptualize new social realities
that incorporate the best of networked participation with other ways of
being in the world. 

Ulises Ali Mejias is an educator and technocultural theorist whose research
interests include networked sociality, the philosophy of technology, and
learning design. He is a doctoral candidate at Columbia University, where he
has taught a graduate seminar on the affordances of social media. His
dissertation, "Networked Proximity: ICT's and the Mediation of Nearness"
deals with the redefinition of social relevancy by digital media and
explores the limits of the network as metaphor and model for organizing
social realities. Mr. Mejias has been nominated two years consecutively for
an EduBlog award. 

Trebor Scholz is a media theorist, artist, and activist who lectures
internationally on the affordances of networked sociality for media
activism, art, and education. As founder of the Institute for Distributed
Creativity (iDC), he contributed essays to several books, journals, and
periodicals and co-edited "The Art of Free Cooperation," forthcoming with
Autonomedia (NYC). He is currently assistant professor and researcher in the
Department of Media Study at the State University of New York at Buffalo and
research fellow at the Hochschule fuer Kunst und Gestaltung, Zurich

For more information about the series, please visit
Contact: jo at turbulence dot org

Jo-Anne Green, Co-Director
New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc.: http://new-radio.org
New York: 917.548.7780 . Boston: 617.522.3856
Turbulence: http://turbulence.org
New American Radio: http://somewhere.org
Networked_Performance Blog: http://turbulence.org/blog
Upgrade! Boston: http://turbulence.org/upgrade 

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