Networked_Performance

Live Stage: Tweeting the Revolution [us Cambridge, MA]

Tweeting the Revolution: Agency, Collective Action, and the Negotiation of Risk in a Networked Age — a talk by Beth Coleman (MIT) :: October 18, 2011; 12:30 pm :: Berkman Center, Harvard University, 23 Everett Street, Second floor, Cambridge, MA + webcast live :: RSVP required.

This paper looks at the impact of social media platforms on collective action. In particular, it focuses on spheres of activism where personal risk (bodily or otherwise) is the condition of participation. For this analysis, I discuss interviews conducted with Egyptian activists around the events of Tahrir Square. Issues of copresence, witness, and visibility are central to my discussion. This talk is based on a research paper developed with my coauthor Dr. Mike Ananny.

Coleman’s book Hello Avatar: Rise of the Networked Generation will be published by the MIT Press in November.

Hello Avatar! Or, {llSay(0, “Hello, Avatar!”); is a tiny piece of user-friendly code that allows us to program our virtual selves. Hello Avatar examines a crucial aspect of our cultural shift from analog to digital: the continuum between online and off-, what she calls the “x-reality” that crosses between the virtual and the real. She looks at the emergence of a world that is neither virtual nor real but encompasses a multiplicity of network combinations. And she argues that it is the role of the avatar to help us express our new agency — our new power to customize our networked life. By avatar, Coleman means not just the animated figures that populate our screens but the gestalt of images, text, and multimedia that make up our online identities — in virtual worlds like Second Life and in the form of email, video chat, and other digital artifacts. Exploring such network activities as embodiment, extreme (virtual) violence, and the work in virtual reality labs, and offering sidebar interviews with designers and practitioners, she argues that what is new is real-time collaboration and copresence, the way we make connections using networked media and the cultures we have created around this. The star of this drama of expanded horizons is the networked subject — all of us who represent aspects of ourselves and our work across the mediascape.

Dr. Beth Coleman’s work focuses on the role of human agency in the context of media and data engagement. She is currently a Harvard University Faculty Fellow at Berkman Center for Internet and Society and a visiting professor at the Institute of Network Cultures, Hogeschool van Amsterdam. From 2005-2011, Coleman has been an assistant professor of comparative media studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she is the primary investigator of the Pervasive Media/City as Platform research and design lab. She received her B.A. in literature from Yale University and her Ph.D in comparative literature from New York University.


Oct 5, 16:37
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