Monday, April 1, 2013

Assignment 3: Distributive Publishing

Weight: 30%

Objective & Procedure
Image licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.Samantha Penney,

Pick one question/hypothesis from the list below. Produce and publish a work (see below for what
constitutes “a work”) that responds to it. You don’t have to agree with the following statements but
you should critically evaluate, explore, counter or perhaps even extend the details of the
arguments and assumptions involved.

1. Digital network media make no essential difference to the relations between publishing
institutions and society.

2. Remix culture is fundamentally at odds with older media institution and practises.
Investigate a case study which illuminates these tensions.

3. When publishing changes, so does society. Investigate and compare the impact of two
publication technologies, one pre-1900 and one post-1962, on a specific aspect of society (e.g.
education, politics, creative industries, science, entertainment, social relationships).

4. "[C]ivilization has been dominated at different stages by various media of communication
such as clay, papyrus, parchment, and paper produced first from rags and then from wood. Each
medium has its significance for the type of monopoly of knowledge which will be built and which
will destroy the conditions suited to creative thought and be displaced by a new medium with its
peculiar type of monopoly of knowledge." (Innis, Harold. (1949). The Press: A Neglected Factor in the
Economic History of the Twentieth Century. London: Oxford University Press, p. 5).

Do you agree with this statement? Provide examples from the history and current state of
publishing to make your argument.

1. “In the days before machinery men and women who wanted to amuse themselves were
compelled, in their humble way, to be artists. Now they sit still and permit professionals to
entertain them by the aid of machinery. It is difficult to believe that general artistic culture can
flourish in this atmosphere of passivity.” (Huxley, Aldous. (1927, August). “The Outlook for American Culture:  Some Reflections in a Machine Age,” Harper’s Magazine).

Think about this quote especially in relation to new media publishing and new kinds of
ecologies of creativity (involved in creation & distribution).

You can respond to these questions in any one of the following formats, all of which need to be
published online AND on the class blog ( Remember to title your
post appropriately and tag as assignment 3.

1. Text based. Blog your response, in a 1500 word length post (you may include up to 5
illustrative images). Publish on our class blog.

2. Image Based. Produce a cohesive series of images with accompany captions. You should
produce 20 images. Captions are not to exceed 50 words each. Publish on Create a
blog post with a short summary and embed your photos. Don’t forget to link to your Flickr images.

3. Time-based Image (Video or Animation). Produce a video of 5 minutes (plus or minus 30
seconds) or produce an animation of 90 to 180 seconds. Publish on Create a blog
post with a short summary and embed your video.

4. Sound piece. Produce a sound piece in the form of a radio documentary. Publish as an audio
podcast (in MP3), uploaded to audioboo.comor Duration: 5 mins (plus or minus
30 seconds). Create a blog post with a short summary and embed your audio.

5. Input your findings by Friday 17:00 so that, as a group, we have the weekend to peruse and
comment on each other’s responses. Any comments on responses should be noted in the comments
section of the appropriate blog post on our class blog.

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