Demonstrating Relevance: Response-Ability
A collection of texts and visual works with the suggestive title Demonstrating Relevance: Response-Ability, and subtitle Theory, Practice and Imagination of Socially Responsive Communication - edited and curated by Oliver Vodeb and Nikola Janović - brings a different, fresh and radical interdisciplinary reflexive look at communications, design and media practices and theories. It contains works that were created between 2002 and 2009 in the context of the International Festival of Radical Communication MEMEFEST and additional new reflections written in the end of 2010. It also includes classic texts by Bruno Latour, Douglas Rushkoff, Richard Barbrook, Naomi Klein and John Arquila and David Ronfeldt. This is a crucial book for anyone interested in radical and socially responsive design, art and communication.
The collection of texts is constructive and responsible. With its uncompromising radical approach, it critically questions the ideology and practice of mainstream media-communication discourse. It is looking for theoretical and practical solutions where they are: in socio-responsible conceptualization. The collection of texts is not modeled after a template. It is unique, original and visually invaluable. It combines different visual perspectives and theoretical approaches that are indispensable for the field of social, cultural, media and communication, as well as design studies. A reflexive interlace of theory and practice.
It is designed for anyone interested in new aspects of socio-critical thinking: professionals in the field of design and communication, socially engaged educators, students in cultural, media and communication programs, students of design and art, as well as media activists. The book is in English and in Slovene language. This is a key text for anyone interested in socially responsive communication!
DEMONSTRATING RELEVANCE: RESPONSE-ABILITY is a collection of cutting edge essays, ultimate manifestos, theoretical debates and original visual works. Presented in all its heterogeneity, the content tangles between specificity, diversity, political (in) correctness, stylistic personality, poetry, theoretical rigour and more. Texts are arranged according to themes, so as to offer guidance through the issues the book raises.
The aim of this book is to lead to an in-depth understanding of the communications, the media and the design culture of capitalism. It crystallizes original solutions as ‘good communication’ and broader reflexive communication action, education and research. The work reveals the pitfalls of marketing communication and its market-driven ideology. It reveals the mechanisms of quasi rebelliousness and quasi socially responsible advertising and design practices. It contributes an innovative reflection and analysis on the potential of the web – the gift economy – cyberspace, cyber conflicts and the high-tech economy. The heterogeneous content questions the role of design(ers) in advertising and design. One way it does that is by trying to demystify the ideological mechanisms and practices pulling the strings of everyday and ever-present advertising and design.
The purpose of this work is not only to disclosure mechanisms, but also to raise awareness about dominant communication practices, which, more often than not, violate human rights and do not fulfill their duties and obligations properly. In its essence - the book argues - these mechanisms and practices are predatory and not socially responsible. By not being responsible, they fall short of offering responses to current (communication) problems.
One more note should be added. Content of this book does not overlook the logic of cognitive capitalism and blind spots of communication disciplines. It highlights concerns some have with the scope of today's cultural and social critique. In the spirit of Memefest it further questions the possibility of establishing a new global ethical stance, radicalize questions about environmental awareness and opens pathways to a new subversive aesthetics of existence. The content’s common denominator demonstrates what other practices are not: its responsibility!
Why is it necessary
DEMONSTRATING RELEVANCE: RESPONSE-ABILITY opens-up issues. It unlocks perspectives, practices and theories that are otherwise silenced by the established media and ignored by communication and design professionals and most of academia. We understand the reasons for that. We also see the consequences. That is why this collection of texts is necessary and important - it offers an analytical insight, conceptual apparatus and radical inspiration without which there would be no ‘good communication’ works, nor any emancipated spectators.
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