Being the Media: Designing a New Rrradical Media, Day Two: The Future of Media Activism: Media Intensive & Design Challenge

Conference Fri 10 Feb 2012 - Sat 11 Feb 2012 The New School, Theresa Lang Community and Student Center
55 West 13thStreet, 2nd Floor
Free admission
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What is radical media? What has it been in the past? What can it be in the future? What is media's relationship to social justice and movement building?

Paper Tiger Television, the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, and the School of Media Studies at The New School for Public Engagement present a two-day conference to celebrate, reflect and build on thirty roarin' years (and counting!) of media art and activism.

In 1981, Paper Tiger Television (PTTV) pioneered a truly radical public access show, raising awareness amongst workers in the communication industries of the economic, political, and social power structures perpetuated through the profit-driven mainstream media. Ever since then, the collective has been making fun, yet incisive video that demystifies the information industry and provides a platform for underrepresented perspectives. Collaborating with activists and artists, PTTV videos take many forms—from critical readings of the mass media and popular culture, to traditional style documentaries on social justice issues.

Thirty years later, how can we harness collaborative culture, critical analysis, participatory technologies, and aesthetics to incite social change? What content and platforms can we create that respond to the limits and possibilities of the ever-shifting contemporary media landscape?

We invite artists, activists, scholars, and media makers, movers and shakers of all stripes to explore these questions. Participants are challenged to collaboratively design prototypes for a new rradical media, building on the ideals of non-hierarchical-participatory culture, critically analysis, activism and innovative aesthetics. A broad cross section of individuals, working together with varies proclivities, interests, and abilities, opens up the potential for something truly revolutionary to develop.

Keynote Address, Screening, and Panel Discussion
Day One: Radical Media Then and Now: Keynote Address, Screening & Panel Discussion
The New School, Theresa Lang Community and Student Center
Friday, February 10, 2012, 6:309:00 p.m.
55 West 13th Street, 2nd floor
Free admission

The power of mass culture rests on the trust of the public. This legitimacy is a paper tiger.
-PTTV Manifesto

Borne of the residual political optimism from the sixties and a flush of infatuation with small-format video, Paper Tiger Television (PTTV) began as a series on Communications Update on public access. Featuring Herb Schiller tearing apart the New York Times' "all the news that is fit to print," Paper Tiger's penetrating and playful critiques of Time, Rolling Stone, National Geographic, and Cosmopolitan soon followed.

The public access movement took root at a moment of disillusionment with network television, generating hope that cable would offer a genuine alternative to TV wasteland. Over the last thirty years, the accessibility of public access TV centers has significantly declined, while for-profit corporate media consolidated from fifty into five companies that control ninety percent of the publics media consumption.

Yet, with the growth of the internet and the proliferation of consumer grade production equipment, social media, crowd sourcing, online video, live streaming, and wireless technology, todays media environment is rife with opportunities for innovation and collaboration. Still, from the digital divide, to online filter bubbles, to the echo chamber of social distribution of mass media, to SOPA, and Net Neutrality, an analysis of how these developments are used coupled with the threats coming from the policy level reveals that even these seemingly promising trends are nuanced.

Given these developments, what does a vibrant, radical media look like, how could it function? What lessons can we apply from Paper Tiger's innovative media activism? How can we use media strategically and creatively in the pursuit of social justice?

Moderated by Daniela Capistrano, Multi-Platform Producer of DCAP Media, the festive event features a keynote address, a screening of Paper Tiger Television's Greatest Hits, selected by current Tigers, followed by a panel discussion on the future of rrradical media.

Keynote Speaker
Malkia Cyril, Executive Director, Center for Media Justice

Andy Bichlbaum, The Yes Lab
Jamilah King, news editor at
Jennifer Pozner, founder of Women in Media & News

Presented by Paper Tiger Television, the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, and the School of Media Studies at The New School for Public Engagement , on occasion of the Vera List Center's 20112013 focus theme "Thingness."