*Anyone Can Edit*: Understanding the Produser

The Cultural Studies Concentration of Eugene Lang College & the Institute for Distributed Creativity present:

*Anyone Can Edit*: Understanding the Produser
Dr Axel Bruns
Creative Industries Faculty
Queensland University of Technology

10.00AM-11.40AM Tuesday 11th October
room 215 in the Graduate Faculty Buiding
65 5th Avenue (between 14th and 13th sts)
New York, NY

Recent decades have seen the dual trend of growing digitization of content, and of increasing availability of sophisticated tools for creating, manipulating, publishing, and disseminating that content. Advertising campaigns openly encourage users to ŒRip. Mix. Burn.‚ and to share the fruits of their individual or collaborative efforts with the rest of the world. The Internet has smashed the distribution bottleneck of older media, and the dominance of the traditional producer > publisher > distributor value chain has weakened. Marshall McLuhan‚s dictum Œeveryone‚s a publisher‚ is on the verge of becoming a reality * and more to the point, as the Wikipedia proudly proclaims, *anyone can edit.*

The effect of these changes is not simply more (and more informed) consumption, however * we are not turning into Alvin Toffler‚s Œprosumers‚: consumers with an almost professional level of knowledge about what they consume, but consumers nonetheless. Instead, the networked and hypermediated persona that emerges is a very different beast: users are becoming active producers of content in a variety of open and collaborative environments. Whether it is as members of the distributed development and testing community for open source software projects, as authors, editors, and fact-checkers for one of the multi-lingual Wikipedia sites, as reporters, commentators, and pundits in open news publications ranging from South Korean citizen news site OhmyNews to tech-nerd haven Slashdot, or as global explorers and annotators for Google Earth, they are no longer producers or consumers, publishers or audiences, but both at the same time. They are not prosumers, but user-producers: produsers.

While born perhaps out of a collaborative, open source ideology, produsing is now increasingly recognized as both a challenge and an opportunity by business and governments alike. For example, the Sims range of games relies overwhelmingly on its users as content produsers * 90% of content in The Sims itself is contributed by user-produsers. Similarly, Brisbane-based games company Auran has established a community of produsers around its popular train simulator Trainz, with some 200,000 *assets‚ (locomotives, carriages, scenery and other elements) prodused so far. BBC News Online and other agencies now regularly call for their users to send in camera phone footage of unfolding events. And Trendwatching.com even sees a whole *Generation C‚ of produsers emerging before our very eyes.

More broadly, the Chinese government is in the process of initiating a shift in its economic focus from Œmade in China‚ to Œcreated in China‚, aiming to turn the country from the world‚s factory to the world‚s ideas generator. This shift, with its strong links to the recognition by European and Australian governments of the creative industries as a key economic driver, also builds on the move from users to produsers * it seeks to harness collaborative, grassroots creativity as a means of generating new ideas and new content (while at the same time attempting to maintain state control of the process).

So who are these produsers * and how will they fare in the light of increasing business and government involvement? As economic interests begin to explore ways to generate revenue from produsage, will they undermine its collaborative foundations, and will they reintroduce a regime of stricter intellectual property licensing? Or can the grassroots movement of produsers effect lasting change in our engagement with content, establishing a solid foothold for creative commons and other alternative IP licensing systems, and developing an equitable approach to relationships between the produser community and commercial partners?


Dr Axel Bruns
Creative Industries Faculty
Queensland University of Technology
Brisbane, Australia

Axel is currently researcher-in-residence at the Institute for Distributed Creativity. He teaches and conducts research about online publishing, electronic creative writing, online communities and popular music in the Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. He is the author of Gatewatching: Collaborative Online News Production (New York: Peter Lang, 2005), and a founding editor of the online academic publications M/C * Media and Culture <http://www.media-culture.org.au/> and dotlit: The Online Journal of Creative Writing <http://www.dotlit.qut.edu.au/>.

He is currently preparing Uses of Blogs (with Joanne Jacobs), an edited collection of scholarly work examining the range of current approaches to blogging (forthcoming from Peter Lang in 2006). More information about this book and other research projects and publications can be found in his blog at http://snurb.info/.

Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts

The Institute for Distributed Creativity

08:28 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ethnic minority presence in cyberspace

New Book:


Where is the ethnic minority presence in cyberspace? In this book, Linda Leung makes a pioneering exploration of ethnic minority presence in cyberspace. She finds that despite the apparent white, Western, male, middle class profile of cyberspace, there is significant ethnic minority activity. The work draws on the author‚s empirical research amongst ethnic minority women and incorporates discussion of media and web-texts from the US, Canada, Britain and Australia. This is a fascinating interdisciplinary examination of the web-participation of ethnic communities, which sheds light on how ethnic identities are articulated in cyberspace and contemporary society in both predictable and surprising ways.

04:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

+New Rhizome.org Membership Policy+

As of May 23rd, anyone can view Rhizome.org without contributing a $5 fee. And, anyone can subscribe to Rhizome email lists or post content to the site simply by signing up. All you have to do to sign up is enter your email address and password--it's completely free.

Rhizome Members have access to the Rhizome Archives--all ten years of our art and text--as well as special Member features in return for an annual contribution of $25.
For more information on our new membership policy: http://www.rhizome.org/support/membership_policy.php

About Rhizome.org
Rhizome.org is an online platform for the global new media art community. Our programs support the creation, presentation, discussion and preservation of contemporary art that uses new technologies in significant ways. We foster innovation and inclusiveness in everything we do.

Rhizome.org takes its name from the botanical term for an underground stem that connects plants into living networks, a metaphor for the organization's non-hierarchical structure. Widely considered to be the world's leading online resource for and about new media artists and their work, Rhizome.org connects, supports, and educates the new media art community through a wide range of on- and offline programs.
URL: http://rhizome.org

07:08 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Share, Share Widely

The Institute for Distributed Creativity and The Graduate Center, City University of New York present:

The Conference on New-Media Art Education

Friday, May 6th, 11am - 8pm

The Graduate Center
Elebash Recital Hall
City University of New York
365 Fifth Avenue (at 34th street)
New York City

http://newmediaeducation.org -- website

Join us for an intensive one day conference about new media education. Connect with new media researchers and educators, present, discuss, and exchange syllabi or other public domain materials in a temporary gift economy zone. Bring your USB memory key and laptop.

Please RSVP  until May 4th to idc [@] distributedcreativity.org

Friday, May 6th, 9pm

The Thing
459 W. 19th St
(between 9th and 10th Ave)
New York, NY

Trebor Scholz (Institute for Distributed Creativity; Department of Media Study, SUNY at Buffalo)

Stanley Aronowitz (The Graduate Center, CUNY), Joline Blais (University of Maine), Beatriz DaCosta (UC Irvine), Ben Chang (School of the Arts Institute Chicago), Alison Colman (Ohio University School of Art), Mary Flanagan (Hunter College, CUNY), Pattie Belle Hastings (Quinnipiac University), Tiffany Holmes (School of the Arts Institute of Chicago), Jon Ippolito (Guggenheim Museum and University of Maine), Natalie Jeremijenko (UC San Diego), Hana Iverson (Temple University), Molly Krause (Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University), Patrick Lichty (Intelligent Agent Magazine), Martin Lucas (Hunter College, CUNY), Colleen Macklin (Parsons School of Design), Daniel Perlin (Interactive Telecommunication Program), Andrea Polli (Hunter College, CUNY),  Douglas Repetto (Columbia University), Stephanie Rothenberg (SUNY at Buffalo), Chris Salter (Concordia University, Montreal), Brooke Singer (SUNY at Purchase), Liz Slagus (Eyebeam), Thomas Slomka (SUNY at Buffalo), Mark Tribe (Columbia University), McKenzie Wark (New School), Ricardo Miranda Zuniga (The College of New Jersey).

Timothy Druckrey (Media Critic, NYC, and MICA)
Trebor Scholz (Department of Media Study, SUNY at Buffalo)

> Media Blog Contributions:
Amy Alexander (UC San Diego), Saul Albert (University of Openess), Richard Barbrook (Westminster University, London), jonCates (The School of the Art Institute Chicago), Susan Collins (Slade School of Art), Eugene I. Dairianathan (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore), Elizabeth Goodman (San Francisco Art Institute), Alex Halavais (SUNY at Buffalo), Jeff Knowlton (UC San Diego), Paul Benedict Lincoln (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore), Geert Lovink (Hogeschool van Amsterdam/ University of Amsterdam), Nathan Martin (Carnegie Mellon University), Kevin McCauley
(City Varsity, University of Cape Town/University of Stellenbosch, South Africa), Casey Reas/ Ben Fry (UCLA), Shawn Rider (SUNY at Buffalo), Joel Slayton (San Jose State University), Ricardo Rosas (Midia Tactica, Sao Paolo), Paul Vanouse (SUNY at Buffalo)

>Interviews Leading Up To Conference:
(as part of WebCamTalk 1.0)
Megan Boler (University of Toronto), Joline Blais (University of Maine), Axel Bruns (Queensland University of Technology), Lily Diaz (University of Art and Design, Helsinki), Elizabeth Goodman (San Francisco Art Institute), William Grishold (UC San Diego), Lisa Gye (Swinburne University), John Hopkins (Neoscenes.net), Jon Ippolito (Guggenheim Museum, University of Maine), Adriene Jenik (UC San Diego), Molly Krause (Harvard University), Patrick Lichty (Intelligent Agent Magazine), Wolfgang Münch (LASALLE_SIA, Singapore), Anna Munster (University of New South Wales, Sydney), Eduardo Navas (UC San Diego), Randall Packer (American University, Washington), Simon Penny (UC Irvine), Warren Sack (UC Santa Cruz), Christoph Spehr (Berlin), Ricardo Miranda Zuniga (The College of New Jersey)

http://mailman.thing.net/pipermail/idc/ -- mailing list archives
http://newmediaeducation.org -- WebCamTalk 1.0

>Conference Advisory Committee:
Stephen Brier (The Graduate Center, CUNY)
Timothy Druckrey (Media Critic, NYC)
Richard Maxwell (Queens College, CUNY)

Many thanks to Nikolina Knezevic (visiting scholar at New School University, intern at the Institute for Distributed Creativity).

A network of new media educators will be formed as result of this conference.
http://mailman.thing.net/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/idc -- join mailing list


Over the past ten years new-media art programs have been started at universities. Departments are shaped, many positions in this field open up and student interest is massive. In China and Singapore enormous developments will take place in the next few years in "new media" art education. At the same time technologists, artists and educators acknowledge a crisis mode: from Germany to Canada, Finland, South Africa, Australia, Brazil and Singapore to the United States and beyond. But so far, there has been surprisingly little public debate about education in new media art.

Many educators point to a widespread tension between vocational training and a solid critical education, a lacking focus on media histories for example. There is no stable "new media industry" for which a static skill set would prepare the graduate for his or her professional future in today's post-dotcom era.  Between Futurist narratives of progress with all their techno-optimism and the technophobia often encountered in more traditional narratives-- how do we educate students to be equally familiar with technical concepts, theory, history, and art?

How can new media theory be activated as a wake-up call for students leading to radical change? Which educational structure proves more effective: cross-disciplinary, theme-based research groups or media-based departments? Does the current new media art curriculum allow for play, failure, and
experiment? How can we introduce free software into the new media classroom when businesses still hardly make use of open source or free software? How can we break out of the self-contained university lab? What are examples of meaningful connections between media production in the university and cultural institutions as well as technology businesses? How can we introduce politics into the new media lab?

Between imagined flattened hierarchies and the traditional models of top-down education, participants will give examples based on their experiences that offer a middle-ground between these extremes. Further questions address anti-intellectualism in the classroom and the high demands on educators in this area in which technology and theory have few precedents and change rapidly. In response to this-- several distributed learning tools will be presented that link up new-media educators to share code, theory, and art in real time.

-Vocational training versus solid critical education (e.g. media histories)
-Open Source Software, open access, open content, technologies of sharing
-Edblogging, blogsperiments
-Creation of meaningful connections between art, theory, technology, and history
-Education of politics, politics in education
-Shaping of core curriculum without fear of experiments and failure
-Distributed learning tools: empowering for the knowledge commons (organizing academic knowledge and connecting new media educators)
-Intellectual property issues in academia
-Diversity in the new media art classroom
-Use of wifi devices to connect people on campus and in the classroom
-Uses of social software in the classroom (wikis, and weblogs, voice over IP, del.icio.us, IM, and Flickr)
-Battles over the wireless commons
-Models for connecting university labs with outside institutions and non-profit organizations.

"Share, Share Widely" is organized by the Institute for Distributed Creativity (iDC) in collaboration with the Office of the Associate Provost for Instructional Technology and the New Media Lab, The Graduate Center, City University of New York.

05:39 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Deep Focus: A Report on the Future of Independent Media

"What will grow faster in the next decade, supply of media or the demand for it?"
Andrew Blau, author, Deep Focus

You are invited to an interactive discussion and networking reception with Andrew Blau of Global Business Network and leaders and visionaries from the film, radio, television, video game and Internet fields

Hosted by
The National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture for the release of:

Deep Focus: A Report on the Future of Independent Media

Thursday, June 2, 2005
5:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.

Please allow time to go through a security check and magnetometer
Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian / George Gustav Heye Center

One Bowling Green, New York, NY

Joan Shigekawa, Associate Director of the Culture & Creativity Program at the Rockefeller Foundation

Andrew Blau, practitioner at Global Business Networks

Patricia Zimmermann, professor in the Department of Cinema and  Photography at Ithaca College. She is the author of "Reel Families: A Social History of Amateur Film" and "States of Emergency:  Documentaries, Wars, Democracies"

JC Herz, author of "Joystick Nation: How Videogames Ate Our  Quarters, Won Our Hearts, and Rewired Our Minds" and "Surfing on  the Internet," which was described by William Gibson as
"post-geographical travel writing." She was the New York Times'  first computer game critic and is now producing a documentary on the history of videogames for PBS. J.C. serves on the National  Research Council's committee on Creativity and Information Technology.

RSVP by May 26 to Julie Agosto at 212-245-0510 or rsvp_ny@promediacomm.com

To learn more about Deep Focus go to www.Namac.org

10:17 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)