Feb 2 / Review of Day 2!
Feb 2 / Review of Day 2!
This morning’s first session Radio Tactics ran a discourse on the vast gamut of radio functionalities, including as social transformation and political change, as well as radio tactics and the role the medium plays in forming both conceptual networks and physical communities. Major points included participant Douglas Arellanes, from Sourcefabric, who drew parallels between protest and Open Source movements, along with sighting contemporary radio pioneers such as Open Broadcast (Zurich), which broadcasts the self-created playlists of its viewers, as well as Citizen FM in Sierra Leone and West Africa Democracy Radio. Diana McCarty of Reboot (Free Cultural Radio Berlin), confessed that its ‘radio magic is its radio tactic!’ – meaning it steps away from a market structure by broadcasting shows from artistic radiomakers. Panelist Jonathan Marks moved back into the sphere of ‘radio as a political action’ and shared stories of his various FM analogue projects in West Africa, which are intended to create more journalistic jobs for locals. Considering that 80% of Africa is rural, radio works as a fundamental tool in connecting rural and remote societies. The crucial aims of the radio medium today comes with recognizing its future – such as Open Source technologies, peer production and cross-media – while emphasizing quality curating that often involves finding and shaping storytellers to bridge the gap between citizen and professional journalism.
Open Source movements also made their way into the workshop Sharism, which turned away from a laptop presentation to encourage an open dialogue about what it means to create, to share, and how to recognize the limits of sharing when it works against surviving financially. Creative Commons folks Michelle Thorne, Barry Threw and Jon Phillips scrutinzed the blockade that networks and hardware have created between people, software and networks. Their project, Skandle – whose prototype is a thin piece of balsa wood in the shape of Amazon’s Kindle – basically scans the screens of the Kindle e-book reader and offers the texts for free, thereby hacking the DRM (Data Rights Management). The three champions of sharism passed the mic to visitors, but were met with some criticism by those who consider Creative Commons a platform for people with money. Some objected to giving any content away for free – maybe sharism should be balanced with a level of commercialism so content producers can earn a wage? Concepts like gift-giving, crowdfunding (which works on donations) and collaborative consumption (optimizing the use of physical objects through real-life networks) were also tossed about, culminating in the hard truth that copyright laws are more relevant today than they’ve ever been… and as we continue to digitally accelerate into an age of access, these laws become all the more convoluted
by Melanie Sevcenko