There are two ways to look at divisions in the world, especially along socio-economic lines and types of societies. One is that we should put appropriate technologies in place with the hope that someday, the entire world will stand at the cutting edge together. The other is that appropriate technology is not a placeholder but a meaningful way of life.Last weekend in Detroit at the Allied Media Conference was a wonderful reminder. The assumption of most conferences I’ve attended is that the Internet is both the catalyst and gateway to cheaper media production tools and distribution: The Internet liberated media expression for the rest of us. Although we’re trending toward becoming more wired societies, it is not our waking life. As a gesture, one square of Main Street Project‘s media bingo asks how many of us can recall a melody our grandparents taught us.
Santi Armengod’s session, “Graphic campaigns for social movements, expanded my mind in new ways of thinking about graphics. The workshop began with the history of graphic campaigns in Mexico and closed with six groups collaborating on linoleum block printing, a relatively cheap format that is overlooked when it comes to conveying information. As part of a design collective, Just Seeds and Medios Caminantes crowdsource for designs around campaigns and then produce them as fliers, stickers, stencils, etc. (the last two are especially interesting as defacement to convey information) to deliver information as people travel through their waking lives. Ingeniously, anybody could print the designs (all licensed under Creative Commons) and plaster them in new locations, so the designs are potentially viral in the real world.
Some concepts I scribbled down:
- “You are not here to aid the downtrodden and underprivileged; you’re privileged to be in their presence.”
- “It’s really great to see when you give something away for free, how the bar lowers and others give things away for free.”
—Open source, do-it-yourself, computer-aided fabrication
- In the process of dissecting commercials and analyzing the message, conversation rarely references the quality and features of the product.
—Pop ed tools to win media justice
- “It’s difficult to work in principle.”
—The healthy growth of a digital ecosystem
- “Building a new movement is about building new leaders.”
—Building a movement with media policy campaigns
Things to check out
- Just Seeds – A collective that uses design to work toward media justice in social campaigns
- Main Street Project’s media bingo
- AMC 2011 photos on Flickr
- Using popular education for media literacy (People’s Production House):