Presenters: Jack Hammond
Time: 12pm, Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Location: Room 1631, Hunter West, Hunter College, 695 Park Ave., New York, NY 10065
The Occupy Wall Street protest produced an outpouring of symbolic representations in various media, demonstrating an abundance of creative energy. Occupy’s media productions proclaimed opposition to economic inequality and financial control of the economy, expressing the movement’s challenge to what protesters believed were the distortions and omissions of the mainstream media with respect to both the movement itself and the issues it raised. They occupiers used a unique mix of high-tech and low-tech media ranging from direct oral communication to print to electronic media. The new technological tools were mainly used, however, to serve the gathering of occupiers in low-tech, face-to-face encounters and demonstrations.
Occupy broke out at a unique juncture in the development of the media., with mainstream (“legacy”) media suffering economic shortfalls, high-technology new media becoming widely accessible. Young, well-educated aspiring media professionals
Faced a difficult job market in which opportunities for stable full-time employment were few. The Occupy movement resonated with their values, and their precarious employment status made them available for mobilization into the movement. There the teams producing works in a range of genres‑-print, graphics, video, social media, and live streams‑-adopted a cooperative, nonhierarchical working style in which tasks were shared and groups rather than individuals were credited with the results, promoting ideals of nonalienated labor.