Kutiman kranks it

Kutiman, the video remix artist best known for ThruYOU, changes it up a little on this video – he still pulls together disparate strains of YouTube musicianship into something that stands alone as compelling performance, now he adds other global street flavours to capture the visual mood of the day:

There’s even a brief cameo by Loukanikos!

Now I can’t resist tacking this on:

Loukanikos profiled by the BBC’s Paul Mason, the people’s best friend (not The Man’s best friend) also features in this Tumblr.

BTW, you wouldn’t know it from the major media, but there is a sizable protest happening in New York right now, as a group of protesters drawing inspiration from Egypt, Spain and elsewhere attempt to occupy Wall Street. The lack of mainstream coverage is not so shocking, but I also have to say at this point the alternative media is not doing a whole lot better job of getting the message out – if there is one. The site from ‘organizers’ Adbusters, which leans heavily on Twitter and Storify, just shows the profound limitations of those forms. The #occupywallstreet tag is a disassociated and formless wall of noise. Where are the stories from the park? The short blogged narratives? Perhaps this is an insignificant event, and there really is no there there… But it seems clear to me that the revolution will not be Like/Retweeted. If anyone still believes in the social power of new media, a major rethink is needed.

10 thoughts on “Kutiman kranks it

  1. I don’t know how valid my critique is… I did not dig so hard, but I would guess I tried harder than a common media consumer.

    I believe I had a better live handle on the 1999 Seattle protests (which I followed online from Mexico) than I did what was going on in New York since Saturday. And that seems nuts to me.

    To underline your point, I remember listening to Amy on Democracy Now! (with some bandwidth issues) in my office in Hermosillo back in 1999. We can still access that link (http://www.democracynow.org/1999/12/1/the_battle_in_seattle_tens_of) and listen now. I have no idea how I would look through Tweets from this past weekend on the #occupywallstreet tag, and doubt there would be much worth learning by doing so. There’s something to be said for media that we control, with nice clean URL’s, and people trying to tell sensible stories.

    In terms of impact, I think the internet is a less interesting, less powerful place than the internet I thought was emerging back in 1999.

    Thanks very much for the comments and the link.

  2. It pains me to read these posts because I want to believe the possibilities are there and just yet uncatalyzed, and maybe that is even true, but I don;t truly believe it. What’s more, when I saw the mouse over text for this XKCD cartoon I couldn’t help but think of this post and the inevitable logic of most of social networking, sharing with your friends where you buy shit.

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  4. A few weeks later and the #OccupyWallStreet protests are growing albeit without a coherent message. Perhaps it is a reflection of the broad spectrum of discontents participating in it rather than the failures of social media to adequately provide channels for deeper content. I don’t think the there, there will not come from the hashtag, but hopefully will emerge as people gather (as organized with a hashtag) to sort out how the social and economic inequalities are affecting people locally. Since reading George Siemens post last month I have been doing my share of new media rethinking, but I struggle with the idea that alternative media lacks social power while seeing it help mobilize the largest protests of my generation.

  5. Brian, would be interested if you think anything has changed a month later; I don’t disagree that trying to reconstruct a coherent narrative from the #occupywallstreet tag is likely impossible. I have two reactions to that – one is that there is an inherent messiness in this revolt that is actually mirrored quite nicely in that tag. The other is that, a month later, it seems to me there is now no shortage of reportage and interesting storytelling coming out of #occupytogether and that, despite this constant refrain of “they are incoherent” (man that bugs me – I know no shortage of extremely coherent people with extremely coherent proposals that are a part of #occupytogether), this is increasing, not decreasing. Which is not to try to refute some of your points and concerns, many of which I think I share. But maybe emergent movements, using emergent media, need a key ingredient, time, for the sense and stories to emerge?

  6. Scott, I am hoping to gather my thoughts on the state of protest (or “prototyping” as Rushkoff describes it) for a post soon. But in the meantime, I have certainly gathered a different impression of the media effects. The hashtags are still quite messy, but there has been a wonderful set of videos, posts, narratives and broadcasts, and while the impacts vary, there is undoubtedly some very compelling stuff being put out there. So yes, an update is required.

    As for the “incoherent” critique, I have no use for it either. First because it usually signals someone who is willfully refusing to listen, and secondly because the absence of “demands” has proven to be an effective way of generating discourse… ie: “what do these people want?” Oddly enough, this has given the events an amplified resonance in the public mind.

  7. Thanks as always for the coherent critique Brian. Do you remember Paper Tiger Television? this is from before Amy Goodman was the AG we now know (and respect)? The struggle I have with the social mediaverse is that it feels as if it is information for its own sake rather than for a purpose. True disruption actually means that infrastructure is threatened and I am not sure that “incoherence” will do that on its own – though it is I think a necessary part of the “revolution. There would not have been a Tahrir Square without a gathering place and actual face time folk needing to engage. The Tea Party began in an equally incoherent fashion but were readily co-opted by the Coke brothers and the rest. It remains to be seen how readily Occupy-ers will be co-opted or whether they will in fact be disruptive. They will need help from real people though with real time and resources to disrupt the structures that have so successfully impoverish us all. #hashtag does not a revolution make. That said, I found myself moved on Saturday as I watched thousands of diverse Vancouverites walk/march down Hornby St. Thanks

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