<videovortex> magazines and books

annet annet at montevideo.nl
Thu Jan 3 11:29:36 CET 2008

the new magazine OPEN is dedicated to the rise of the informal media
some of the articles are also available online (in english and dutch)

The Rise of the Informal Media
How Search Engines, Weblogs and YouTube Change Public Opinion.

The media through which news and information are gathered and exchanged 
have expanded significantly in the last several years. Weblogs, advanced 
search engines, virtual environments like Second Life, and phenomena 
such as MySpace, Hyves, Flickr and YouTube are offering new tools, 
communication opportunities, social networks and platforms for public 
debate. These are informal media, largely programmed, supplied and 
broadcast by the user – in contrast to conventional macromedia like 
television and the printed press, which are more institutionally 
determined. This issue examines what the implications of this are for 
the public sphere. Questions are raised, among other things, about how 
news and information are handled on the internet, about the conditions 
of our everyday media practices and about the opportunities for artists 
to work in a culture in which the lines between maker and user, between 
amateur and professional, are being blurred.


and Ben Elton presents us with a 'nice' preview of a possible future 
dominated by vidblogs, Fizzy Coffs and Gr'ugs in his latest book "Blind 

"Trafford left his apartment and began to descend the many 
litter-strewn, rat-infested staircases to the street below. The lift 
worked but Trafford never used it. He claimed he liked to walk down for 
the exercise but really it was so that he could enjoy a few brief 
moments away from communitainment screens. He coudl never admit that, of 
course: it would look dangerously weird. After all, what was not to like 
about a news and entertainment video on the wall of a boring lift?"

Maybe resembling too much the old 1984 book by Orwell but nevertheless a 
timely record to fuel our thoughts.

Ben Elton is looking at religious intolerance, and the end of privacy, 
in a post-apocalyptic world. The story is set 56 years ATF, or "After 
the Flood", and its hero, Trafford Sewell, is struggling to conform 
while being bombarded with a wall of supremely banal religious fawning, 
in a society which thinks only perverts do things in private. Screens 
are everywhere, and whether eating, sleeping or having sex, people are 
compelled to record every detail of their futile lives in vast virtual 

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