Networking the Container Project: A Radical Approach to Digital Literacy, Creativity and Social Change
da Rimini, Francesca. 2011, 'Networking the Container Project: a radical approach to digital literacy, creativity and social change', Acoustic Space (Special issue on 'Networks and Sustainability'), no. 10, pp. 157-72.
26 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2013
Date Written: March 3, 2011
Post-Autonomist theory suggests the emergence of a new plural political subject derived from informational capitalism. This 'multitude' is a creature of global networks which harnesses Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) to express and expand itself, thereby changing the logic of capital through imaginative, collaborative actions. While post-Autonomist theory has reignited interest in the transformational potential of techno-social assemblages and cognitive labour, the result has been the commodification by capitalism of many aspects of modern life. Subsequently the concentration on more spectacular manifestations (such as the alter-globalisation movement) overshadows smaller, spatialised instances of experimental other-world building. However, the Container Project is a burgeoning example which departs from the status quo. The project interweaves art, 'repatriated' technologies, social architectures, radical pedagogy, and expert networks linking the oppressed with the relatively privileged. Through various ingenious iterations this grass roots initiative stimulates personal and community transformation, as workshop participants experience a new agency which disrupts the existing social order and changes the social imaginary. The necessary precursors to any radical societal change are endemic features in the development and character of the Container Project. Initially emplaced within an impoverished Jamaican rural enclave, and later expanding to other locales via street-oriented mobile innovations, the Container Project is a network-enabled, nomadic project promoting localised social transformation. Its contribution to the larger planetary project of creating another possible world outside of capitalism is impossible to quantify. However, seven years of qualitative research suggests that as it scales outwards into new networks and sectors it inspires dramatically different disadvantaged communities to adapt its blueprint to their own circumstances. Thus it can be considered an emancipatory project, sowing new sites and circuits of non-commodified exchange and free culture.
Keywords: digital literacy, digital media, Jamaica, media arts, networks, network culture, post-Autonomism, social activism, radical pedagogy
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