The Archive: A Neoliberal Project

Robert Gehl discusses the ways in which the online technologies with which we interface on a daily basis are in fact investing a great deal in insuring that our actions are being archived. The “new media compa­nies and entrepreneurs […] assume a curatorial role” (1229) and thus have the power to determine what types of…

“Connection Without Constraint”: Anonymity on 4chan vs. YouTube

Prior to the great push to monetize YouTube, the site had the trappings of a seemingly “anonymous” community — at least according to Michael Wesch. Anonymity extended to the fact that users’ “real” identities were unknown, and, therefore, they could share their personal videos or make offensive comments without real-world repercussions. Perhaps a more interesting…

Ethnographic Approaches to Online Communities: Monetizing YouTube

In late June of 2008, professor of Anthropology Michael Wesch uploaded a video of himself giving a presentation at the Library of Congress entitled “An anthropological introduction to YouTube”. Wesch recounts the history of YouTube, largely framed as interactions between individuals in a community that rapidly began to form norms and cultural practices. At this point,…

Robot Chicken, Star Wars and Finding “Folk” in the Art of Fan Films

Robot Chicken is a show featured on Adult Swim, that consists of satirical vignettes of action figures of everything from current pop stars to vintage ’70s and ’80s TV show characters. The show’s aesthetic is couched in a larger historical frame of fan-driven cultural production. This form’s re-absorption into the mainstream is particularly telling, as it speaks…