Mat Van Den Art's Blog


Posted in MDes Dissertation by matvandenart on August 11, 2010

In certain parts of the world people are becoming increasingly vulnerable to everyday consumer decisions and actions of people thousands of miles away, caused by structural problems of globalized capitalism. It is necessary to understand, study and recognize suitable communication medium to overcome devastating economic, social and environmental implications of current socio-economic system.

One-to-many model of communication broadcasted by mass-media is no more suitable to help us uderstand our consumer behaviour and its global implications.

I argue that postmodern mass-media culture increasingly relies upon an orientation toward its own economic growth through irresponsible use of advertising minimizing the space for consumer education or sperading awareness. Postmodern advertising culture more and more relies on the interpretive ‘communicative competence’ of its addressees. Suggesting both, increased potential for cultural commodification as well as avoiding its own responsibility for broadcasted content.

The analysis of various case studies presented in this work has emerged from a review of recent digital technology advancements. Mass-media failure to effectively communicate consumerism in post-modernistic media culture urged me to analyse population perception of Internet and social media and it’s potential to create a more responsible platform to affect general attitude toward consumer decisions.

Case study of Hans Rosling’s approach to statistical data collection and visual interpretation highlights how GapMinder application gives a decision maker(on governmental or institutional level) ability to compare various socio-economic dimensions of the researched problem helping to generate better understanding of associated issues and the extent of their complexity.

Case study of Jonathan Harris’s recent digital communication experimental work explores the notion of wisdom of crowds by enabling realtime two way participation on communication process. Relevant data sets can be searched for and innovatively visually displayed enabling participants to comparatively understand the context of displayed information set. Participant can scan content of Internet/social networks and recognize the contextual associations based on visualization of emotional relationships related to the subject of search. Harris’s approach to online communication enables participants to express themselves, receive ideas, discuss them with others, reflect on them. Visualization of collection of all realated ideas creates visual map of what seem to be general attitude.The expression of crowd and answer to commercial marketing based on paid-for, non-personal communication from an identified organization, body or individual.

Modern era enabled us to use latest technological advancements providing us with the capacity to communicate instantaneously across frontiers right across the world. Internet crated truly equal environment where we can no more hide behind our past preconception giving us the capacity to organize, take collective action and together respond to global challenges which we can no more resolve on the national level.


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