Tuesday, 29 January 2013

edc MOOC begins!

The Coursera E-Learning and Digital Cultures MOOC has commenced!

These early days are a tsunami of resources, suggested readings and cacophonous fellow learners. I don’t know how many people are doing this MOOC (someone mentioned 40k), but the facebook page and twitter feeds seem frantic – a frenetic learning space.

I’ll start with some reactions to two of Week 1’s video resources…
In Bendito Machine 3, the original oscilloscope object, with its single wavy line, seems a very benign god object. The tv god object exhibits increasingly surprising, cruel and randomly violent behaviour to the supine 'worshipper' audience. The net god object is not explored (another film perhaps), being destroyed by the ‘deus ex machina’ alien stilt machine, which is in turn destroyed by the descent/fall of  some horrible measly call-centre corporate selling machine. Despite all the abuse from their gods, these 'natives' are very much 'living with' their techno gods. They are random and unimportant victims of those gods. But the victims are in thrall.
Viewed in another way, the god objects continually assume a crucial central position in the society of the natives. The early god objects are placed on the altar by the adoring natives. The more advanced god objects  climb onto the altar, onto the podium, assuming their power place – so they’re very conscious that the centrality of their god position is the source of their power as gods. Humans remain important to the ‘alien imposed’ technology.

I haven’t watched any of the other Bendito Machine videos, but I will, when time permits.

Apart from the rather obvious ‘sinister tentacled aliens from the sky’ similarities, I don't see an visual echoes with Bendito Machine in this film. NEWMEDIA  is very much a sinister, subtle apocalyptic depiction, an alien invasion, a destruction. Humans are not depicted in this video, apart from one human face seemingly attached to alien tentacles. The aliens or alien craft hover over the post-apocalyptic disintegrating, moss-covered city, sinisterly vacuuming up 'stuff'. Black smoke billows into the air, to exacerbate the disturbed scene. This is a war scene, a catastrophe. The humans have lost.


all comments and suggestions welcome...

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