by Michael O’Regan
New media are constantly being (re)born. Their endlessly emergent iterations and configurations present something of a double-edged sword to the activist demos. On one hand, this ongoing technological shape-shifting encourages and facilitates a continuously regenerating oppositional praxis. On the other, an ever-deepening techno-centrism risks fetishizing novelty at the expense of continuity. Novelty, of course, withers swiftly on the vine; that which seems exciting and useful in one moment, faces a near-immediate battle to skirt obsolescence or irrelevance.
An illustrative manifestation of this phenomenon is the confused status of the Independent Media Center (Indymedia, for short). Indymedia was the future once, the loadstar of a supposed revolution in journalism that expanded exponentially and inspired a thousand treatises, before academic and activist attention was captured by the social media of Web 2.0. Continue reading →