Dumber or Adapting?
By Alec Smith
Habermas defined the 18th century bourgeoisie deliberations in London coffee houses the public sphere. A place where rational-minded, working class men set aside their self-interest and engaged in coercion free communication as means to reach consensus on political issues. This is an appealing, idealistic concept that came under scrutiny by many who cited the humanity aspect of decision making and difficulty in finding such informed and involved people.
Keeping this 20th century Marxist idealization in mind, is there a place for sentiments in the public sphere? Are we as a world capable of staying engaged enough in serious politics? Or has our post-modern mass media and technology seduced us toward something more entertaining and scandalous? Do the answers to these questions point to a doomed and distracted society or deeper cultural interests?
Take two headlines: Trump’s debate callout bolsters far-right Proud Boys and When Harry and Meghan met Oprah – and what the battle royal means
What do they elicit?
In order to spark discourse surrounding these questions, this project will take the form of an interactive video, designed to place users inside of a public sphere. The idea here is to suggest a deeper exploration of these topics and blur their lines.
An interactive video that juxtaposes serious news with similar celebrity entertainment. Using the crossroads option, other “people” in this public sphere will appear with opinions. Clicking on them will lead to another video. The aim is to blur the line between these forms of news.
A video, similar to Handsworth Song, that acts in similar fashion to the interview but would be more of an interpretive exercise for the viewer.
Questions from Me to You
Do you have a preferance over one of the formats?
Do these ideas make you think of other relavent ideas?
Is there a way in H5P, or other software, that can make it more like a public sphere?
Am I being too limited/obvious in my format of the project?