Friday, July 29, 2005

week 2 stuff

Hi everyone,

After thinking about it, I'm not convinced as to the distinction made by Henry Jenkins between jammers and fans. He claims the diference lies in the intent; the former is motivated to resist and challenge the status quo, while the latter is motivated more by a love of the material they address.

However, the effects of both jamming and fan culture are similar in some ways. Both can actively disrupt the commercial machine. A clear example of fans challenging existing material is the Star Wars fan who, while motivated by love, still felt dissatisfied enough with the creation of The Phantom Menace to create the Phantom Edit.

I would argue that this tampering and changing of existing material is a mutual focus of jammers and fans. Both make use of existing cultural products to create new formations in accord with their own individual visions.

I would also argue that those who choose not to alter existing material should not be put under the "couch potato" label. Just because an individual is not physically altering or subverting material in a way which is obvious to others does not mean they are not actively engaging with the material.

It seems quite patronizing to assume that people who are not physically engaged with technology are simply faithfully absorbing any information provided without a critical thought floating through their minds. I have many a critical thought as I sit watching big brother... just because I don't create a big brother parody using taped footage spliced with animal kingdom clips doesn't mean I haven't thought of it. The fact that I could seems to be the point... because I choose not to doesn't necessarily make me a passive sponge. Perhaps it just makes me lazy...

Anyway, that's my little rant...

oops, just saw Hilary's comments down there, now I don't know where mine should go... Aaargg! Sorry, haven't addressed your points at all Hilary, but I'll just say Bravo!


Blogger Hilary said...

Haha yeah, I think the comments are meant to go in the comment part of the blog under the seminar topic post, but meh never mind im sure it won't matter this time!
I do like your point about the fans and the cultural jamming, that story about the fan who produced the 'Phantom Edit' out of love, was exercising a 'similar' intent to so-called 'jammers' but I guess it was the emotion behind it. However, when talking about that I did think it was a somewhat disgraceful thing to do to Lucas's work!!
I would of sued him!
Nevertheless though, I still think there are some distinctions to be made between Jammers actions and Fan actions, even when they seem to cross the line in such situations as what you have discussed.
Nice one Gwen :)

Fri Jul 29, 06:23:00 pm 2005  
Blogger Kaori said...

I just wanted to comment that I totally agree with Gwyneth that those who choose not to involve themselves in altering the existing material ought not be labeled as the traditional "couch potato". If everybody started trying to use the cutting-edge technology to alter the existing material, the world would undoubtedly be a chaos filled with worthless creation. I believe it is a priviledge or rather a obligation given to those who are creative to make use of their creativity to physically make a contribution to the world. And of course, most of us not gifted with such creativity can still choose to have critical minds about the existing material, instead of obediently absorbing the material provided to them.

Sat Jul 30, 08:31:00 pm 2005  

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