A selection of the films we showed in the Cinema 76 film club in 2015.
Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles - Chantal Akerman
Accattone (1961) / Mamma Roma (1962) - Pasolini
Man of Iron (1981) - Andrzej Wajda
Solaris (1972) - Andrei Tarkovsky
The Hour of the Furnaces (1968) - Fernando Solanas
Women without Men (2009) - Shirin Neshat / About Elly (2009) - Asghar Farhadi
Kaos (1984) - the Taviani brothers
The Pillow Book (1996) - Peter Greenaway
The Golden Dream (2013) / In This World (2002) - Michael Winterbottom
Winter Sleep (2015) - Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Wild Tales (2014) - Damián Szifron / Chile. Obstinate Memory (1997) - Patricio Guzman
Timbuktu (2014) / Bamako (2006) - Abderrahmane Sissako
There is a hard-to-understand idea that the technology behind the OMN (open media network) is complex. At a base level it is not, it's the same tech that has been written 1000s of times in the past and uses nearly 20 year old technology.
What is complex is the ideas and social understandings behind the ideas of using this “stupidly simple” technology in the OMN.
Firstly it's needed to understand that Alt-media and the open web in general is F**cked. Once past this point it becomes easer. Secondly a understanding of the forces that F**cked it are both on their side: the #dotcons, Facebook, uber, Amazon etc and on our-side, our encryptionist geeks, NGO social media gurus, process vampires etc.
We don’t currently have power to affect their side, so let's look at our side, in the sense of understanding the OMN. It's based on the 4 opens and none of our guys like this combination for different reasons. It's based on KISS - our geeks don’t like building on the old and our politicos are pushing the fashionista of the vapours avant-garde, so both reject the “old” foundation ideas/tech of the OMN.
The idea is very simple - that we get alt-media groups and sites to be part of a network so they become bigger than their parts. And a very basic issue is solved, they link to each other, which currently the isolated silos do not consistently do. The link is the currency of the web, in this we all become richer and have wider outreach on the “openweb”.
The “innovation” of the OMN is the use of RSS articles as a database exchange format. We thus create a redundant distributed network of databases holding and displaying (linking) to our collective history. Why RSS? Without it we have to get agreement and write custom code for every site that wants to join. With RSS, it's copy/paste and go on 98% of existing sites on the open web. The first is self limiting and impossible to grow, the second just works. There is no complexity at all at this basic level and no need for site agreements etc.
Trouble-shooting this rollout there are issues, but nothing that can't be solved by tweaking and bodging. The next stage is a little more complex, synchronising these databases and keeping articles up-to-date and exchanging tagged metadata so that the “curating of the flows works”. This will need thinking and programming for real, but nothing that throwing some bandwidth and processing power can't solve in an “inefficient way” - again KISS.
Build it first, scale it second. We are running this out in the small world of alt-media, so geeks keep it KISS. There is a philosophical and design issue that will cause bottlenecks, the CMS's we will be using are designed as portals/silos not data rivers/media flow sites. Some creative thought can help here. And there is the opening for innovation and new CMS's at a later time.
To conclude the blocks on building out the OMN are within our own geeks and politicos and have to be overcome. That is the tech is relatively easy, the social side is complex, Ideas for this? My idea is to form a wide;y skilled affinity group and go for it, lead by example. Other paths, ideas, welcome.
It's common knowledge that grassroots media is well F**ed and that #failbook and #twitter are the problem not the solution. Where can we go from here? To reboot alt-media (and play a role in rebooting the open web) we need to create an affinity group to cross the geek/political divide that has demolished our once flowing/healthy alt-media networks.
For a moment let's look at broad-brush history, The 20th century alt-media was one of offline social movements, where modern (21st century) alt-media is a product of online social networks - the web. Take a moment to think about our years of failed encryption geek projects on the one hand, and, the constant churning of disappearing media silos on the other. The last 10 years have been a wasteland for both the geek and political.
The original internet/web suceeded because it was a stupidly open design, it had no built-in agenda to the network. Lets compare this ”new” for a moment to the pre-internet, the old wired telephone networks had all the smarts at the exchanges and the phones were dumb, it was a centralised hierarchical network. Where the internet had the smarts at the ends, the computers, and the network itself was dumb – a horizontal network.
This turning on the head of 20th century thinking is important to move out of our current lon- running malaise in alt-media. Am arguing the divide between politicos and geeks is feeding a failed fixation on 20th century thinking in that they both want to build systems (both technical and social) where the smarts are at the centre. In contrast we know that in the 21st century it is more powerful to build “empty” networks that connect the smarts at the edges. The word “empty” here gets a lot of negative responses :) This is the touching of the core problem. Take a moment to re-read and think positive thoughts ;)
An “empty” network is a general-purpose network that connects general purpose computers to general purpose people and community. Yes, the tech we need, like the internet/open web has an agenda but it is not sectarian as #failbook and other #dotcoms are, as are our own much smaller alt-media silos. Instead its “open” and “simple” based on “industrial” standards and open working social ideals. This is obvious, but it needs saying, The “dumb net” is completely ignorant of what the user wants to do – just data in and data out. It's up to the user to decide what the data is. Only “universal languages”, that is data standards, have flow. There is a ridiculous power for change in this obviousness.
It's not hard to re-boot to escape these 10 years of failure, actually it's simple. Though it's not going to happen without a good affinity group who cross the geek/political divide. Message me if you think you have the smarts, skills, tolerance and humility.
Media made and distributed from the lower part of society, made DIY for, from, too, the grassroots. And at its best outreaching beyond.
Media made from an ideologically different perspective to the mainstream (invisible) ideology. And hopefully, though often not, made in a way that can speak outside this narrow idelogical view.
Project that embodied both grassroots and alt-media pushed on a wave of open web. It was VERY successful in its time before being killed by internal ossification of process and the encriptionsts pointlessness. Might be time for a reboot of this project, but maybe something has to lead the way before this can happen.
Is a term that is sometimes picked up by the NGO's and dogmatic control freaks, it tends to be empty and the trademark is owned by a advertising company.
Describes many projects growing out of the UK direct actions movements of the 1990's to the end of the century. A lot of alt/grassroots media projects grow from this spring of energy.
grassroots and alt media are different things though they often overlap in a good way. Indymeda is a project that embody them both but is ossified and needs a reboot to be relevant agen. Radical media needs a scare warning as the history is not good, DIY culture simmers in many small forms, maybe media could bring it back to the centre to make a difference that’s needed in the world?
In grassroots movements
Social media tarts
Capturing the grassroots and building a career in NGO land for them selves from activists movements/agenda’s. They are fine as far as they go, every campaign needs some, but they tend to be competent anufe to unbalance movements towards the “soft”. For them to be useful the need to be a healthy alt to keep this from happening.
Individualism the issue of churning projects with falling outcomes is all that exists, some projects are a bit more together than most if they networked the could be a real start of a alt-media.
In the mainstream
Good will Liberals
Their support for dangerously naive lost course of the soft centre left makes them unbalancing “friends” with out a healthy alt movements will fall over to the “soft”
The Liberal Democrat Party
Its selling out is now obvious. It played the “bad role” of shifting focus away from a real left when needed. Many good will liberals lapped this up till they got a good sound kicking in the teeth during the “alliance years”
The labour party
Is a real left alternative, but it has hard coded DNA in its libryem rules and regulations to foul this out come. And the left in the party has a core “nasty” left who have a long blood soaked wrecking history. The influx of naive “soft” liberalism will be moulded by the bureaucracy on one hand and dispoled by control freaky on the other, this is not a stable mixture for a good outcome. This could be over come by real soughed community but I cant see one.
The Green Party
Has the same issues internally as the labour party, though the top is more soughted. They have a real loon issue to deal with at the grassroots.
The nationalists of all flavourers
Are looking like the ONLY hope of a differences as they push a open loon issue of a sense of belonging agenst the over-wash of globalisation. Not a good outcome but better than the rightwing war happy, poor kicking loons who are the Torys.
A disaster in and a bigger disaster out…
What would alt/grassroots/21centery left look like?
If anyone is interested I would wright a outline of what a few strands of a real alt/grassroots/left network project would look like :)
Hamish sailing away on a lifeboat, this is not a metaphor
This is the first stage of the Open Blogging Network. Currently you have to have a blog on the OMN server, but a bit of programming will enable any blog (vier a RSS feed) to be a part of the network.
Don't be a spectator, be part of the conversation. If you post to your blog on your public page, it is automatically syndicated out to twitter, facebook, and any sites that embed the news aggregator. Just add the relevant tag when you publish (such as frontpage, grassroots, globalviews, friendlyfire, plugandplay, headmix).
Matthew Paul Foster