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Title: Social Broadcasting: An Unfinished Communications Revolution
Authors: Packer, Randall
Keywords: broadcasting
video art
Issue Date: 17-Oct-2017
Abstract: This paper examines the history of social broadcasting and the experimental video art movement that brought about a radical departure from traditional, hierarchical forms of mainstream media and television. The concept of social broadcasting draws from a relatively obscure, yet seminal history in which the first generation of video artists, whose work coincided with the availability of affordable cameras in the late 1960s, organized around socially-participatory and politically activist agendas. These artists embraced video as a call-to-action against establishment media, forming independent, decentralized, and mobilized collectives to make their own media. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, alternative broadcast communities in the US and across Europe emerged, claiming public access television as their medium. These artist-driven video networks, including Videofreex, TVTV, Paper Tiger TV, Deep Dish TV, Radio Free America, and Raindance, encouraged others to create their own broadcast media, rather than being passive consumers of centrally constructed television programming. In the seminal video art journal Radical Software, Gene Youngblood proclaimed: “The videosphere will alter the minds of men and the architecture of our dwellings,” forecasting the transformative and politically revolutionary potential of emerging information networks. By looking back and analyzing the historic legacies of video activism, we see a still unfolding future for networked and social media, not just as a corporate controlled delivery mechanism for reinforcing consumerism and mainstream popular culture, but as an artists’ collaborative platform for experimental invention and social broadcasting.
Description: Biography: Randall Packer, Bio Since the 1980s, multimedia artist, composer, writer, and educator Randall Packer has worked at the intersection of interactive media, live performance, and networked art. He has received critical acclaim for his socially and politically infused critique of media culture, and has performed and exhibited at museums, theaters, and festivals internationally, including: NTT InterCommunication Center (Tokyo), ZKM Center for Art & Media (Karlsruhe), Walker Art Center, (Minneapolis), Corcoran Gallery of Art (Washington, DC), The Kitchen (New York City), ZERO1 Biennial (San Jose), Transmediale Festival of Media (Berlin), and Theater Artaud (San Francisco). Packer is a writer and scholar in new media, most notably the co-editor of Multimedia: From Wagner to Virtual Reality and the author of his long running blog Reportage from the Aesthetic Edge. He has written extensively for publications including: MIT Press, Johns Hopkins University Press, the Leonardo Journal for the Arts & Sciences, LINK, ART LIES, Hyperallergic, and Cambridge University Press. He holds an MFA and PhD in music composition, and has taught multimedia at the University of California Berkeley, Maryland Institute College of Art, American University, California Institute of the Arts, Johns Hopkins University, The Museum of Modern Art, and most recently at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. At NTU, he is an Associate Professor of Networked Art where he founded and directs the Open Source Studio (OSS) project, an educational initiative exploring collaborative online research and teaching in the media arts. At NTU, he organized the Art of the Networked Practice | Online Symposium, a global event which featured participants from more than 40 countries around the world. URLS:
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