Friday, February 01, 2008

Rip Trips

Local tactical media guru Steve Anderson led today's meeting of the Digital Educators Consortium at the Institute for Media Literacy at USC. Anderson may be most familiar to VP readers as the creator of anti-Bush parodies, such as Subservient President or Abuse of Power, which send up mainstream ad campaigns targeted at young consumers and the politics of corporate capitalism itself. (Previous mentions of Anderson's work are here and here on Virtualpolitik)

The DEC now has a wiki that documents some of the tools that campus educators can use to bring video into the classroom for critical remixing and commentary. It's a great list of resources, although it doesn't include the plugs for Perian and the VLC Media Player that I heard at today's session or mention one of my personal faves in the free software department, CamStudio, which my digital rhetoric students found very easy to use for screen capture on Windows machines. (For screen capture practice, Anderson used the amazing "Cunnilingus in North Korea" flash film by South Korean web artist Young-Hae Chang.)

Ironically, Anderson would not have been able to demonstrate BitTorrent technology toward the end of the session, if he were relying on his university's network, because it currently blocks these extremely efficient data packet exchanges. Of course, there are many legitimate uses of BitTorrent. For example, political activists and nonprofit organizations can host video without paying for costly bandwidth on their Internet domains, a technique used by the Greens in Europe.

In fact, just last week I was personally "quarantined" by my Internet Service Provider for apparently violating my terms of use somehow with a bit torrent device that I had never used for any nefarious purposes.

To learn more about the IML, check out their upcoming event, 24/7 - a DIY Video Summit.

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