Antonio López’s manifesto The Media Ecosystem provides a powerful account of the destructive forces at work in today’s media system that is controlled by the dominant system and is perpetuating both social and ecological injustices. In the final chapters of his book López identifies final flaws in the gap between consumers and producers, demonstrates how certain forms of media/activism are ineffective in combatting the dominant system that is in place, and ultimately, outlines through successful examples how a positive shift can be made in today’s global media ecosystem. López urges for the decolonizing of media and the use of ethical spectacles as well as for the need of a planetary consciousness. Real change cannot be made if the methods used only serve to reinforce the status quo. The idea of “shallow” ecology, for instance, or eco media, differs from alternative media examples in that they are not based in creating collectivity or shared space and knowledge (as seen in Paul Hawken’s community promoting website WiserEarth.org). The idea of the “ethical spectacle” for instance—coined by activist Stephen Duncombe—is to move away from political spectacle that are undemocratic by design and instead, create a “work that is open to interpretation and completed by the viewer.” (p. 153) All in all, López is calling for an occupation of media (or reoccupation) and most importantly, participatory media.
Plus, a book suggestion:
Finally, my last book suggestion/reference: In the 4th chapter López explains how the hyper-stimulating images we see in the media are desensitizing our brains and in the section “Brain Ecosystems,” López delves further into how the way we use our brains has shifted today. This reminded me of a book I have been interested in checking out (although haven’t gotten around to…)
The book is called The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to our Brains and is by author Nicholas Carr. Below is a link to the New York Times’ review: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/06/books/review/Lehrer-t.html?_r=0