Friday, March 03, 2006

The Technocultural Imagination:Life, Art, and Politics in the Age of Total Connectivity

an essay by Siva Vaidhyanathan, a cultural historian and media scholar currently working as an assistant professor of Culture and Communication at New York University.

For the past twenty years, the United States has been experiencing a significant cultural, social, and political shift of which we are only now taking account. The very presence of powerful personal computers, loaded with easy-to-use editing and production software, connected to millions of others at high speed at all times of the day has changed the cultural and political environment radically and irreversibly. Distributive information and communication technologies have enabled this shift by amplifying the effects and possibilities of long-established practices. Clearly, Americans have experienced a radical change in expectations when it comes to culture and information. I call this change the rise of technocultural imagination. We are on the cusp of a truly democratic cultural moment. But all is not open and free. Nor should we celebrate this technologically enabled, radical cultural democracy for its own sake. It's messy and troublesome. It’s risky and disruptive. But it's also exciting and fascinating.
full paper (pdf) >

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