Many connections between my final project: Conscious Consumer, and the various media theories and examples we’ve studied in class can be drawn. Perhaps the strongest connection between my project and a text we’ve studied in class is with Antonio Lopéz’s book The Media Ecosystem: What Ecology Can Teach Us About Responsible Media Practices. Lopéz argues for a green media citizenship, and along those lines, draws attention towards the blind spot between living systems and media, and how many manufacturers are not transparent in their production chain. Through planetary consciousness and promoting forms of alternative media that encourages democratization and connectivity real changes can be made to overthrow the dominant system, as opposed to media campaigns that promote “shallow” ecological practices and only result in the reinforcement of the status quo.
In using media—in particular the World Wide Web—I will also be drawing upon Debord’s idea that today’s media-driven society presents society with the danger of becoming too complacent. My website will be used to create awareness of the downfalls of consumerism today and how we might reshape the way we buy. Additionally, this draws on the idea of detournement, which is also referenced by Graham Meikle in Future Active: Media Activism and the Internet. Meikle writes “A key tactic here is the practice of detournement – ripping an image out of its original context and setting it in a new one, creating a synthesis that calls attention to both the original context and the new result.” (Meikle, 134) My project rests on this idea of detournement of online consumer culture. I will use the same medium, the Internet, to counteract the negative, dominant system of consumerism that pervades our culture.
Finally, I think that Wael Ghonim’s book Revolution 2.0: The Power of the People is Greater Than the People in Power provides an interesting look into the role of marketing in creating social change. Whereas other texts (such as Marlon Riggs) has urged the importance of not abiding by the “master codes” Ghonim presents a situation in which he had to appear more neutral, less confrontational, and more all-encompassing in order for his Facebook group to gain momentum. While I will include community-building aspects such as membership, newsletters, possible campaigns (such as on www.350.org) and member participation, at the same time the goal is to appeal to as many people as possible, and I won’t want to marginalize the website or the movement.