The cynics may say its a storm in a teacup, the optimists call it the end of the industrial age. i don’t know who’s right , although i lean strongly towards the latter… but i do know one thing. And thats that we’ve ALWAYS wanted to participate. As a race, as a tribe, partcipation is in a human being’s culture. The first cultural artifact was found 30,000 years ago, and for 99% of that time, how was culture created? By everyone right? I mean that’s how culture is DEFINED, no? As a matter of fact, participation and cooperation is ENCODED in us genetically!
So then… how was it taken away from us?
Well… along comes the industrial revolution and the silly methodolgy of double book accounting, and flawed economics… and it becomes profitable to “industrialise”, to achieve economies of scale, to homogenise all products – including culture (read the seminal “Culture Industries ” paper to get some more info, or see this short video). Suddenly culture creation was industrialised, institutionalised, and the producer and consumer were separated.
But i think Clay Shirky put it most succinctly in his TED Talk – you created an institution to reduce cost of communication, now that those costs have fallen drastically, do institutions still need to exist?? Well… more on that on another post. The POINT is that we’ve always wanted to participate, and now with the communication tools adn the technology at our disposal, we CAN, and WILL take culture creation BACK!
So i’ve been working with these guys for some time (since the MBN days), and what they’re doing with the “I AM” films is nothing short of the first step in a revolution in participatory culture, well at least for India.
They’ve been using networks, Facebook, twitter etc not just to market themselve… oh no sirree… you can actually PARTCIPATE in the film! From giving money, to provideing your talent and services… anything you want to do, do it! And already 300 people from the world have invested, and hundreds more, from production to catering to acting etcetc… all of them are being “crowdsourced” – aint it cool?
This is not the first crowdsourced movie in the world obv. Myspace, for example made “Faintheart” So, oh my brothers, what are you waiting for – spread the word! Support the project – Let’s take the power back! Tell your friends, tell the media, lets actually stick it to the “man” for once… what say?
I have great belief in the power of collective action… but we must act COLLECTIVELY :). Do what needs to be done.. friend it, forward it, RT it, Blog it…
Or why don’t you make an #iam video?