Skip to content


css.php

From last week’s discussion: a brief aside

Since last week’s discussion on maker culture, I have kept thinking about the contemporary band, Ok Go.

In class, we we talked about making things with technology, and I think, who owns materials once they are published online. As we discussed all of that, I kept thinking back to this band.

I am including a link to a NYT article that sums up the band’s recent strides in viral video dissemination, and fights with their record company. They are unique because they found mainstream success by taking a DIY approach to creating their music videos. See the following two examples

Yes, both videos are rather crudely made, but they are also very original because of their DIY quality. After the band fought with their record company, EMI,  when they disabled the embedding feature on their videos, they dropped their major label, and started their own company .

So what is the tech/pedagogy take away here? Obviously, you should decide for yourself. But I think that it seems safe to say that people will take cultural production into their own hands, even when powerful companies try to stop them.

Posted in After Class Discussion.

Tagged with .


2 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. Jennifer Jacobs says

    Damien Kulash gave a presentation at the Open Video Conference discussing the band’s videos. One of the main points he made was that the videos were in large part a driving force because they were overwhelmingly popular with their fans. This is a trend regularly seen in viral culture in particular. Once a meme develops enough critical fan support, future manifestations are given increased advantage over other competing media because their fan base is already “in on the joke” as it were. Similar trends can be attributed to phenomenons like Auto Tune the News and Soulja Boy. In fact I would argue that like these other two examples, OKGo’s videos are a prime example of a succesful meme.. particularly because people not only enjoyed them, but have re-created them as well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gq7r3F1SoX0&feature=related
    On an aside, Kulash has a substantial history in the field of open video production- he served as the prime witness on the 2008 panel for Net Neutrality: https://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/05/opinion/05kulash.html?_r=1

  2. Jack Powers says


    Yes, both videos are rather crudely made, but they are also very original because of their DIY quality.

    As a recovering typographer, I’m overwhelmed by the DIY quality of much of desktop digital communications created by people who’ve never learned the best practices and deep craft of the visual arts. At the same time, I’m thrilled by the explosion of creative material available in less-than-perfect productions.

    Harvard management prof Clayton Christensen observed that most successful organizations over-engineer themselves into obsolescence. In my field, printing companies made the dots-per-inch so small, the color palette so rich, the range of substrates so broad and the print so beautiful that nobody can afford the time, craft and money it takes to publish. Now, almost half the stuff is dumped to laser printers and the other half is only published on-line. The message is the message, not the medium.


    But I think that it seems safe to say that people will take cultural production into their own hands, even when powerful companies try to stop them.

    It’s also safe to say that people will copy cultural production onto their own computers, even when powerless artists try to stop them.



Need help with the Commons? Visit our
help page
Send us a message
Skip to toolbar