In Operative Assumptions, Greg Bordowitz explores the transformation of video as a tool for producing mass culture. He argues that artists often felt intimidated by the power and prevalence of broadcast media. However, the dawn of the internet age has leveled the playing field and redefined how we can used video to reach the masses. I want to explore how Bordowitz’s analysis can be applied to the growing movement of police accountability spearheaded by the Black Lives Matter collective. He writes, ‘[a]ll the work I mentioned fostered the the idea that video could be used as a means to organize audiences around critical activities – questioning the culture identity.” The coupling of video and the internet has transformed consumers into producers of media. Through the internet, participants capture and share critical pieces of video footage that challenges the dominant way of thinking –  which emphasizes the importance of punitive measures instead of rehabilitation and the integration of this ideal into policing in the United States.

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2 responses »

  1. sonyajendoubi says:

    I had similar reflections when I was reading Bordowitz’s article. I think the development of new technologies and its price has made production more accessible to all. Take YouTube for example, it has become so much easier for people to break into this platform because even amateurs can get their hands on great quality production technologies (lighting, filming, editing software etc..). And you don’t even need to have gone to a graduate school program, websites like Skillshare and Lynda make learning these skills and theories so much more accessible. All of these aspects level the playing field, like you said, and make other online media sources (YouTube) as powerful as television.

  2. cassidy says:

    To add onto both of your analyses, I think there is something to be said for the communities that can form through the internet. When AIDS first entered mainstream conversation and reality, there was little to no education around the issue – which caused fear, further transmission, and isolation and alienation of people who tested positive. Although the internet is an overwhelming platform and voices can be drowned out, I think it is a really good rallying tool, one which can include many voices of a movement or project. This accessibility reminds me the other article we read for this week, Saalfield’s emphasis on dialogue between and input from all members of a movement.

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