“…whenever computer mediated communications technology becomes available to people anywhere, they inevitably build virtual communities with it” -Howard Rheingold
Social media is everywhere in 2013. More and more people are carrying around mobile platforms, tools which are giving them the means to stay in constant contact with ever-broader networks. The implications of contact between new collaborative media (such as Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter) and traditional one-to-many media (such as radio, newspapers, and network TV) are only beginning to come to light, and so they make for an interesting object of research for humanities researchers. Specifically, the impact of new media on the established social discourse surrounding the political, journalistic, artistic, and academic fields is an intersection worth exploring as we look for new ways to share our research.
In this proposed Play/Talk session, participants are invited to help create a machine à tweets : a social network constructed collaboratively from paper, pushpins, pens, pictures, and strings. In addition to their joint creation of a unique visual object, which will incorporate text, colour, and space, participants will be invited to engage in a moderated discussion, identifying similarities and differences between on- and off-line social networks, and considering what these comparisons and contrasts can tell us about the on- an off-line media environments we are a part of.
Marc Rowley is a graduate researcher and MA candidate in Littératures francophones et résonances médiatiques, whose thesis research explores resonances between the social critique function of the 20th century comic novel and that of 21st century tweets.