Week 4: Emily Priebe

To me, this week’s viewings were all about challenging culturally accepted norms, reconstructing them in a way that contests how our society has traditionally represented some of those standards and practices.

Stephanie Rothenberg’s work, Invisible Threads, challenges our perceptions of labor and production by operating a sweatshop making jeans in Second Life. This work presents a real, working example of labor conditions not likely to be experienced in many places in the world, even though many of us actively participate in this kind of market by (many times unknowingly) purchasing clothing made in those conditions. As she writes in the description of the artwork, real customers begin to see the real lives of the workers as they watch their clothes being produced, something we are not typically privy to.

Brooke Singer’s collection of work challenges many things that have become culturally accepted: use of chemicals, surveillance cameras, impossible to decode food labels, data collection practices, etc. I found the (in)visible project particularly fascinating. The proliferation of surveillance cameras has been a constant source of tension in our culture. The (in)visible project challenges the rise in surveillance by offering people a chance to take agency in standing up to this progressively developing norm. Here’s the follow through and the call-to-action that we’ve been asking for in many of the transmedia and participatory media projects we’ve examined so far. Singer gives participants the resources they need to create and spread the project on a wider scale.

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1 comment to Week 4: Emily Priebe

  • Makare

    I think you hit the nail on the head at the beginning of your post. “challenging culturally accepted norms” is precisely the best way to put what all of the reading, and viewings seemed to be about. Art is such a great way to explain participatory media, it’s the very nature of art, and having to deal on a daily basis with PR and marketing types, I really wish they would take more note of how art is such a great way to connect with people. It would make my job way more fun to have discussions based on art vs. discussions about how you can leverage the synergy of social strategy within web 3.0 to engage more eyeballs on content…..

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