“The crises in the media are the crises of the media.” Geert Lovink + Shuddhabrata Sengupta, in their preamble to a workshop on The Uncertain States of Reportage hosted by Sarai-Waag in March, 2003.
“If the spectacle of the crisis becomes quotidian, banal and commonplace, does it make sense to speak of a ‘crisis’ any more, as a temporally distinct phenomenon, a time apart from the rhythms of normal time? Or does this overproduction of crises give us an opportunity to reflect on the making and unmaking of crises, their announcement and forgetting? Does it allow us to ask questions about media in crisis with themselves, about their offerings of uncertain truths to shadowy audiences[?]”
“Crisis Media will, first of all, recognise that there is a crisis in and of the media, and this cannot be addressed simply by calling for less reportage and more analysis. Instead we will argue for analysis in the reportage, and a disruption of the apparatus of centralised and centralising information networks. We need to break down the same images that everyone sees, worldwide, in many different ways. And we need to find new ways to tell stories, and to distribute the untold story. The problem of critical media analysis of global crises so far has been to deconstruct the ownership of media and its ideological agenda, attempting to uncover a ‘truth’ of state and corporate control behind the news. The conference takes this for granted, and seeks instead to ask how we may go beyond it, and how alternative media too can stop looking and feeling like cheaply produced versions of mainstream media production.”
The conference site was shared with me by Geert Lovink of institute of network cultures, and author of Dark Fiber (a cool term defined here, harshly reviewed here with an intriguing bit tucked in on language, specifically “discusses the pros and cons of using English”) and Uncanny Networks.
Presentations from Media/Crisis: The Uncertain States of Reportage are available via sarai reader 04.