Jonas Löwgren, professor in Interaction Design at Malmö University and affiliated with MEDEA, gave a short presentation at the event “En Akademisk Kvart” about how the society is currently engaged in a collective experiment. An experiment concerning how we should use the collaborative media. See video and full transcript below.
In 2005, a 13-minute animated film called French Democracy (click link to view the video) spread throughout the world. The film was about the riots in France and it basically made the point that these riots were because of racism and failed integration in Paris’ suburbs. The maker of this film was a man named Alex Chan, an industrial designer who had never made a film before. By using a simple computer game, he was able to make this film in a couple of days and disseminate it online. Only a few weeks later, it had initiated a debate in more or less all the western world on issues of integration and immigration.
More generally, what I think is the most important property of the new media is that they go in both directions. In other words, they are collaborative. People who used to be media consumers are now also producers. This means that there are new possibilities to engage in creative expression, to say things that matter, to influence society and to participate in all kinds of communities.
It seems to me that our society is currently engaged in a collective experiment. An experiment concerning how we should use the collaborative media. This experiement obviously has good sides to it, as well as bad sides. But, I think it’s our duty – as a joint responsibility – to explore the norms and the use practices of the collaborative media, so that these media can find their place in the mediascape along with other new and old media, and so that they can realize the potentials that they ideally can offer to society, to individuals and to culture.
Image credit: Tito Slack CC:BY-NC